New City Councillor wants more development, Purdue integration
by Mike Young | Editor-in-Chief
(Above: a map of the area annexed by West Lafayette, which includes much of Purdue)
Eddie VanBogaert’s resignation last week left a spot open on West Lafayette’s City Council.
26-year-old Nick DeBoer, friends with VanBogaert since college, was sworn in to take his place Monday, making him the city’s newest councillor.
While VanBogaert’s resignation may have come as a surprise for some, DeBoer had known of his friend’s planned departure since the beginning of August. The two Democrats had first met when working on the Obama campaign in 2008. In the following years, they had taken turns helping each other run for government and leadership positions: PSG senate, PSG vice president, and City Council.
“[VanBogaert] and I are good friends,” says DeBoer, “and I have been around formally and casually during his tenure: someone to bounce ideas off of and someone whom was interested in the minutia details of city government. ”
DeBoer says one of his priorities is to better connect the Purdue community to West Lafayette as a whole.
“Prior to annexation, anyone living in student residences was not enfranchised to vote. That is now over and I want to help integrate two communities that have historically stood isolated as neighbors,” DeBoer says. He hopes to work with student leadership to bridge the gap.
DeBoer also describes himself as a “vigorous proponent of development” and wants both more projects and faster work on existing ones.
DeBoer says more development would be good for Boilermakers, even if they may not be all that interested in it. He feels the Purdue population “generally wants to be left alone while being able to afford tuition, rent and their bar tabs.”
“That’s fine,” he adds. “The best way to ensure that is for a competitive rental and retail market; that occurs through development and denser construction.”
DeBoer hasn’t decided if he wants to defend his seat when elections are held in November 2015. He plans to evaluate the situation and make a decision after the start of next year.