Voting Day: Guide To Area Elections
Voters across Illinois head to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in races that include mayors and village presidents, tax measures, school board members and other questions.
In recent weeks, Illinois Public Media reporters have covered the issues, interviewed the candidates and explained what's at stake in many area elections. On election day, here's your guide to what's on some of the ballots.
The Champaign County Nursing Home is on the ballot again.
Voters are being asked to decide two different options on the April 4th ballot about the county-run nursing home --- whether or not to raise property taxes to fund it, and whether or not to give the county board permission to sell or dispose of it.
Both proposals have their advocates, and the advocates for both sides say theirs is the best way to ensure the nursing home’s continued existence.
It's a complicated issue with a lot at stake on all sides. Listen to Illinois Public Media's Jim Meadows explain the debate and potential outcomes.
Voters in Urbana are casting ballots to elect their first new mayor in 12 years.
They’ll be choosing between Republican Rex Bradfield and Democrat Diane Marlin, who defeated incumbent mayor Laurel Prussing in last month’s primary.
Marlin serves on the Urbana City Council, representing Ward Seven on the south side of the city. She says she would work to make city government more effective and business-friendly.
Illinois Public Media’s Jim Meadows spoke with Marlin on a range of topics, starting what what she sees as her qualifications for the job.
Listen to the full interview here.
Next week’s mayoral election in Urbana marks Rex Bradfield’s third bid for the office. He’s twice lost to current mayor Laurel Prussing (in 2009 and 2013), but this time, the Republican engineer and land surveyor faces Democratic Alderwoman Diane Marlin. Bradfield says if he’s elected next week, his top priority is expanding Urbana’s tax base. He says there’s been no stability in what developers can expect when they pitch projects to the city council in recent years.
"The way other developers are being treated, is an indication that Urbana is not real friendly to developers," he told Illinois Public Media's Jeff Bossert. "And when you have that, it's hard to get people to invest their money in Urbana."
Listen to Bradfield's interview with Illinois Public Media's Jeff Bossert here.
Voters in the Champaign County village of Rantoul have three candidates from which to choose for mayor in Tuesday’s municipal elections. Chuck Smith is the first-term incumbent. He’s opposed by the man he defeated for the office four years ago -- former mayor Neal Williams -- and current village board member Gary Wilson.
Dave Hinton is covering the race for the Rantoul Press. Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline spoke with Hinton, who says it should be a close election on April 4.
Listen to the interview for an in-depth look at the candidates and their positions.
Decatur’s ability to attract business has become one of the main issues of debate before next week’s mayoral election. Challenger and longtime businessman John Phillips also contends recent hikes in property taxes and water and sewer fees are creating a burden for residents. Incumbent Julie Moore-Wolfe, a former city council member, has been in office since 2015, appointed after the passing of former mayor Mike McElroy.
Phillips says residents shouldn’t have to pay water rate hikes on top of property tax increases of 15 percent.
But Moore-Wolfe says without those increases, the dredging of Lake Decatur wouldn’t have happened, and the city wouldn’t be attracting new business.
Learn more about both candidates and their priorities for the city of Decatur in this report.
The Champaign County village of Savoy hasn't elected a new village president since 1989. That will change on election day. 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.
Brown defends his ability to hold both positions, citing other local leaders, like Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen, who also works as an attorney.
Read more about what sets the two apart in the full story.
By Wednesday morning --- the day after Election Day --- residents in two Vermilion County school districts should know if they will be sharing a cooperative high school.
If voters in the Rossville-Alvin and Bismarck-Henning districts say yes to the referendum on the April 4th ballot, Rossville-Alvin will share in the use, expense and governance of Bismarck-Henning’s high school.
The boards of the two school districts have both held public meetings to explain the proposals.
Under the co-op arrangement, the two school boards would each send three of their members to serve on a special cooperative board for Bismarck-Henning high school. The Bismarck-Henning board would send a fourth member to serve as the co-op board’s president; that member would vote only in case of a tie.
Learn more about the proposal and what's at stake in the full story.
The local history museum in Douglas County is asking voters to approve a tax referendum to fund the museum’s future.
Board President Judy Landeck says the Douglas County Museum in Tuscola has grown since its beginnings in 1984.
She says people who think of it as largely the hobby of a few people interested in old artifacts have the wrong idea.
“It is much, much more than that,” said Landeck. “It is the Douglas County Museum, and hopefully it will remain the home of the history of those who have come before it.”
Find out what's behind the push to create a county-wide historical museum district.