Township official to be named to county board seat

DANVILLE — Danville Township Highway Commissioner A.J. Wright is expected to be appointed to the Vermilion County Board Tuesday night to fill the remainder of the term of attorney Larry Mills, who died this summer.

A 45-year-old Democrat from Danville, Wright said he was saddened by the death of Mills.

Mr. Mills, a 58-year-old Democrat and former Vermilion County assistant state's attorney, was found dead July 5 in a room at the Sleep Inn, 1908 N. Lincoln Ave., U. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said it was determined after an autopsy and toxicology tests, which "showed nothing," that his death was from natural causes.

Wright is scheduled to be appointed to the county board District 7 vacancy at the Vermilion County Board meeting at 6 p.m. tonight in the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex, 6 N. Vermilion St., Danville. Mr. Mills was elected in November to his District 7 seat but drew a two-year term, so Wright will be running for election to his appointed seat in November 2014.

Wright has been Danville Township highway commissioner for the last six years and was just re-elected last spring to a four-year term in that position. He said he is excited about being part of the Vermilion County Board and representing District 7, which generally covers the southwest corner of Danville, the Heights and Hillery areas and stretches west toward Oakwood.

"I think it's an important position for all over Vermilion County," said Wright, who lives at 607 E. 7th St. in Danville and is married to Marcie Wright, a director and teacher at Danville Area Community College. They have three adult children.

In his first meeting Tuesday, Wright will be voting on the county board's proposed tax levy and budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Dec. 1. The board will be voting on whether to put the levy on public display for 30 days after which the board will consider it for final approval. The proposed levy would be a 3.6 percent increase over last year's county property tax levy. The county is proposing an $11.99 million property tax levy compared with an $11.58 million levy that was approved last year.

Wright said although he understands the need for the increased levy, he does not believe he will be voting for it. He said he expects to be conservative on tax increases as a county board member but doesn't foresee never voting for a tax increase.

"But right now I don't think Vermilion County can support that," he said.

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