A political newcomer looking to unseat Normal Mayor Chris Koos believes the redevelopment is a "failed concept."
Former Illinois State University and State Farm employee Victor Connor said Wednesday Normal is at 77% of the debt level of Stockton, California.
Stockton recently declared bankruptcy, and Connor believes Normal is headed in that direction.
"I want Normal to be a friendly place for all of its citizens and all of its guests. But I don't want to see citizens pay more and more taxes just to live here," he said in a prepared statement.
Connor said Normal has increased taxes 48% even though the population has risen only 10% since 2003.
He said much of the revenue is being used to pay for the $80 million remaining in debt for the Uptown project.
"We should be redirecting money to where people are. The main shopping for both Bloomington and Normal has moved out to Veteran's Parkway," he said.
Connor also said only six people he talked to said they liked Uptown. That is out of 150 people in the entire town he asked.
Normal has a population around 52,000.
If elected, Connor said he would pay off the debt since it's required, but he would also shrink the size of town government.
"While the population of Normal has been growing at an annual rate of 1.3% over the past 21 years, the town government has been growing at over twice that rate at 2.7%," his statement said.
So when asked about reductions, Connor said the town doesn't need as many police and firefighters.
He believes positions can be eliminated through attrition.
"Whenever four people leave through attrition, we would hire three back until we got back to the five town government employees per 1,000 citizens that we enjoyed in the 1990's," he said.
Connor also believes Normal has too many town cars.
Koos is running for re-election.