News Local/State

Two Savoy Trustees Vying To Succeed Retiring Village President


The Champaign County village of Savoy hasn't elected a new village president since 1989. That will change next week. Village trustees Joan Dykstra and John Brown, are vying to succeed Robert McCleary, who's been in office 27 years.

Dykstra says that she and Brown agree on most issues. But she says as a retired teacher she can devote more time to the position than Brown, who is a University of Illinois police lieutenant.

“I’m uniquely qualified to be an advocate in intergovernmental meetings that happen with the university, Champaign, other public bodies like Champaign Sanitary, we really need a more hands-on experience and team leader," she said.

Brown defends his ability to hold both positions, citing other local leaders, like Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen, who also works as an attorney.

Both candidates in the officially non-partisan race are Republican, and Brown says they do agree in most areas. But he’s concerned the office could become too partisan under Dykstra’s leadership.

“You should be making decisions that are best for the village, and not worrying about higher office at some other time, or what’s going to get you the most votes, or whether it’s going to keep people supporting you, and that kind of stuff," he said.

A Savoy Trustee since 2002, Dykstra is also a former Champaign County Board member, and worked for former GOP Congressman Tim Johnson.  The retired teacher says party should not be an issue when it comes to this race. 

The local elections are next Tuesday, April 4th, but early voting is underway.