LIVE: Election Day April 7, 2015

LIVE: Election Day April 7, 2015

 

9:29 p.m. Shortly after the Champaign mayoral election results were finalized, the winner, Deb Frank Feinen, walked in to the Brookens Administrative Center to a round of applause from her supporters.


Surrounded by her family, she thanked her friends and supporters for taking time to help get her elected.


“(This shows that) trying to turn this election into a partisan match doesn’t work,” Feinen said. “Champaign isn’t a partisan town.”


— Johnathan Hettinger

 

 

***

 

All results unofficial

 

√ = apparent winner

 

Champaign mayor (vote for 1)

(41/41 precincts)

Petry  2,243
Feinen   4,967
Foster  1,112
Gerard  3,800

 

Champaign school referendum

(53/53 precincts)

Yes  4,652
No   10,945

 

Champaign school board (vote for 4)

(53/53 precincts)

Shannon   7,056
Richards   7,229
Kloeppel   5,558
Armstrong   8,282
Young  4,133
Cobbs  1,614
Lee  3,836
Brown  5,193
 

 

Champaign park board (vote for 2; 43/43 precincts)

 

Hays  5,461
Solon-Wetmore  5,059
West

3,933

 

Danville mayor (vote for 1) (33/33 precincts)

McMahon  2,003
Eisenhauer √   3,481

 

Danville school board (vote for 3)

 

  City (33/33)

County (16/16)

Total
Schroeder 2003 222 2225
Dobbles √  2299 240 2539
Miller √  2164 158 2322
Adams 1904 172 2076
Larson 1946 200 2146
Davis √  2046 194 2240
Campbell 1910 180 2090

 

 

 

***

 
8:56 p.m. Deb Frank Feinen is building on her early lead in the Champaign mayor's race. With almost half (20 of 41) of the precincts reporting, Feinen leads with 3,251 votes (41 percent). Incumbent Don Gerard is in second with 2,465 votes (31.1 percent). Joe Petry has 1,454 votes (18.3 percent), while Karen Foster is in last with 757 votes (9.55 percent)
— Johnathan Hettinger
 

8:38 p.m. With 29 of 117 precincts reporting, former congressman Tim Johnson has taken an early lead in the race for Parkland College trustee. The top two candidates receive a spot, and Johnson has 3,107 votes (35.82 percent). Brendan McGinty is in second with 2,985 votes (34.41 percent), and Jim Voyles is in last with 2,582 votes (29.77 percent).
— Johnathan Hettinger

 

8:33 p.m. The village of Bondville is no longer dry. The referendum that would allow businesses in the town of 450 people to sell alcohol has passed by a vote of 63 to 33.
— Johnathan Hettinger

***

8:21 p.m.: The Champaign schools referendum is trailing by 72 percent to 27 percent with 15 percent of the precincts counted. County Clerk Gordy Hulten says he hasn’t analyzed where the votes are but that it will be difficult to come back from such a big gap.
— JULIE WURTH

In an interview with WDWS, Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said he toured most of the Champaign and Champaign township polling places today, and everything went very smoothly.

In terms of turnout, Hulten said it was about what he expected.

"I didn't see anything that looked like it was unusual - nothing too heavy, nothing too light," Hulten said. 

Hulten also said turnout may have looked lighter because of a record number of early voters. 

Hulten said he chose to tour the Champaign polls because he expected higher turnout there because of the mayor's race and the school bond issue.

— JOHNATHAN HETTINGER

About six minutes before the polls closed tonight, the Deborah Feinen campaign committee reported another $5,000 campaign contribution from Champaign County Business Empowered PAC, the political action commitee of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

The PAC has given $10,000 to Feinen’s campaign.

Here’s the link to the disclosure.

— Tom Kacich

*****

Members of the “Keep Central Central” group that opposed the Unit 4 school construction proposal plan to be at the Brookens Center tonight to await election returns. School board members running for re-election are also expected to be on hand.

Prue Runkle, a member of the “vote no” group, said she isn’t sure what to expect, but if the $144 million measure fails she hopes the new school board will work with members of her group and other community members on a possible alternative to the Interstate Drive site proposed for a new Central High School. Keep Central Central had suggested expanding the current Central or building a new school at Spalding Park, alternatives the school board had rejected as too costly and cumbersome.

“We just don’t want it so far away, and there are possibilities closer without eminent domain and all of the problems that a lot of people seem to think there will be,” Runkle said Tuesday evening.

— Julie Wurth

****

Staff writer Nicole Lafond checks in with three candidates for Unit 4 school board:

Alissia Young

As soon as the polls close at 7 p.m. today, school board candidate Alissia Young, accompanied by all of her family and friends, will head to Brookens Center to await the results.

“My feelings today are a combination of things: I’m nervous, optimistic and excited all at the same time,” she said.

Despite all of the “vote no” signs she’s seen around town, Young, who voted in support of the measure, says she remains optimistic the Unit 4 referendum will pass.

“I respect everyone’s opinions, but I voted ‘yes’ because it’s time for us to move forward and get this school built,” she said. “My focus has been on the kids all along; it’s all about the children.”

Kathy Richards

After Kathy Richards voted around lunchtime today at the Windsor Road Christian Church, she had a long conversation with a neighbor about Unit 4 schools issues.

These types of discussions are exactly what Richards is looking forward to most if she is elected to the Champaign school board today.

While Richards said she did not want to disclose how she voted on the $144 million referendum issue, she has been vocal in the past about exploring infill locations around town for the new Central High School.

Richards says she will wait at Brookens Center with her fellow candidates, adding she has “no idea what to expect” and she is “nervous, but relieved the campaign is over.”

Azark Cobbs

After voting “yes” on the Unit 4 schools referendum today at the unemployment office on Mattis Avenue, Azark Cobbs has been on social media advocating for himself and the school facilities package.

“I’m feeling really confident things will go well tonight. I got my message out about my feelings on the referendum and the Champaign schools and I know we can really get something accomplished if I’m elected,” he said.

Cobbs, who is a big supporter of Interstate Drive, said he thinks the $144 million referendum results will be really close this evening, but he’s optimistic the community will vote in favor of the measure.

“I think it’s really going to now or never,” he said.

***

Radio coverage begins at 7:06 p.m. today with Brian Moline anchoring on WDWS 1400-AM and Carol Vorel on WHMS 97.5-FM. Michael Kiser and Tim Ditman will check in from Brookens Center throughout the night.

Several News-Gazette writers are included in the WDWS lineup, including Tracy Moss (8:15 p.m.), Nicole Lafond (8:30) and Jim Dey (9).

12:15 p.m.

Election Day turnout in precincts that supported last November’s Champaign schools bond issue was relatively low this morning, while turnout in areas that opposed the tax increase was much higher.

In City of Champaign 1, which votes at the Douglass Park Annex, only 35 people had voted as of 10 a.m. Four years ago in a comparable consolidated election, 203 voters cast ballots.

At the Spalding Recreation Center, where precincts 6 and 10 vote, there were 92 voters as of 10:20 a.m. Four years ago 320 voters turned out.

Turnout was much better in areas that opposed the $149 million bond issue in November.

In Champaign 3, which votes at the Bible Baptist Church on West Kirby Avenue, there were 240 votes as of 11 a.m. Four years ago there were just 148 votes cast the entire day. And in the November the precinct voted 64 percent to 36 percent against the bond issue.

Higher than normal votes also were reported in City of Champaign 33 (which votes at Meadowbrook Church), City of Champaign 34 (which votes at the Tony Noel Center at Parkland College) and City of Champaign 37 (which votes at the Carpenters Hall on Duncan Road. All three precincts defeated last November’s $149 million bond issue proposal.

 

 

***

County Clerk Gordy Hulten checked in on WDWS 1400-AM this morning.

Listen to the entire interview here

***

URBANA — Even before the polls opened for Election Day voting in Champaign County, more than 3,000 people already had cast ballots.

At the close of business Monday, 3,255 people had voted in this year's consolidated elections, according to County Clerk Gordy Hulten.

At a similar point in the 2011 election, only 906 votes had been cast. However, in that election early voting only could be done at the Brookens Center. This year's early voting was available at seven sites in addition to Brookens.

Champaign school issues obviously are the big drivers of the early turnout this year, as there has been an unusually high number of voters from the city of Champaign and Champaign Township.

Of the 2,928 early voters who had cast ballots before Monday, 1,545 (about 52 percent) were from the city of Champaign, and 566 (about 19 percent) were from the six Champaign Township precincts that are located outside of the city.

By contrast, only 223 people from Cunningham Township (Urbana) had voted, plus 594 from the rest of the county's precincts.

In the Champaign school district, eight candidates are running for four four-year terms on the school board. And the school district has proposed a $144 million bond issue, much of which is to build a new Central High School.

Six precincts — all in Champaign or Champaign Township — already have more than 100 votes, and in every one of those precincts a similar school bond issue last November was defeated.

Meanwhile, the turnout has been weaker in precincts where the bond issue vote was supported last November. In city of Champaign 1, where the bond issue passed last November, 78 percent to 22 percent, only 18 early votes have been recorded.

Overall, 931 early votes have been cast in the 10 precincts where the bond issue did poorest last year, while 223 early votes have been cast in the 10 precincts where it did best.

There's also a four-way race for mayor in the city of Champaign, and the 1,545 votes already cast in the city amount to about 18 percent of the 8,416 votes cast in the mayoral race four years ago. Most of the precincts with high early voting numbers also are precincts that traditionally vote Republican, such as City of Champaign 24, 33, 34 and 38.

Polls will be open throughout Champaign County today from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Over the last eight consolidated elections in Champaign County, countywide turnouts have ranged from 22 percent to 13 percent.

— TOM KACICH

Booze in Bondville?

For the 450 residents of Bondville, the dry days may soon be over.

Not one restaurant, bar or gas station has made its way inside the borders of the Champaign County village, nestled between Seymour and Champaign, since it was incorporated in 1972.

That all could change with the passage today of an alcohol sales referendum that would give the village, dry for more than 40 years, a chance to bump up its tax base, says Mayor Karl Kennicker.

Kennicker and other village officials have been going door-to-door informing residents about the proposal. If it's green-lit, he'd like to see a Casey's General Store or restaurant come to town.

"There's really nothing here right now; it's a dry, dead town, so this would really help get things going," the mayor said.

— NICOLE LAFOND

Shot at history

Of the 1,392 American cities with populations of 30,000-plus, just 245 have female mayors, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. Two Champaign mayoral candidates hope to make it 246 today.

If Deb Feinen or Karen Foster wins, it would mark the first time that both Champaign and Urbana had a female mayor at the same time. Joan Severns (1979-83) was Champaign's first and only female mayor; Laurel Prussing, who's not on today's ballot, holds that distinction in Urbana.

How rare are female mayors? Urbana is the state's 38th-most populous city, according to the U.S. census. Only three Illinois cities with more people have a woman in charge, according to CAWP (Evanston, Oak Lawn, Mount Prospect).

— JEFF D'ALESSIO

Tune in

After the polls close at 7 p.m., WDWS will broadcast regular updates throughout the evening. Listen to Brian Moline anchoring from the studio; Tim Ditman and Michael Kiser anchoring coverage from the Brookens Administrative Center, reporters Scott Beatty and Phillip Kisubika and from the newsroom with Carol Vorel, Dave Shaul and Tamera McDaniel.

Election roundup

Here's a look at some of the information we've presented over the past few months on the April 7 elections:

For video of each Champaign mayoral candidate answering three basic questions, check this gallery.

Here are Q&As from Champaign mayoral candidates Deborah Frank FeinenKaren FosterDon Gerard and Joe Petry.

Here's a report from a mayoral candidate forum last month.

Here's our endorsement for Champaign mayor.

Here are candidate profiles for Champaign school board candidates Amy ArmstrongJamar BrownAzark CobbsChris Kloeppel,  Kerris Lee,  Alissia Young, and Kathy RIchards and Kathy Shannon, who are running together.

Here are our endorsements for school board.

Jonathan Westfield is unopposed for a two-year term on the school board.

Here are election podcasts from WDWS.

Here are Champaign school board candidates' responses to WDWS questionnaires.

Here's a report from a Champaign school board candidate forum in March. And here are their views on the proposed site for a new Champaign Central High School.

Here are pro and con guest commentaries on the Champaign schools referendum.

Here's a look at the three candidates for two Parkland board seats. Here are our endorsements for Parkland College board.

Wondering whether you're registered, or where your polling place is, in Champaign County? Check here.

Here are profiles of the candidates for Danville school board Shannon SchroederThomas W. MillerWade AdamsBill DobblesShelly LarsonGladys Davis and Jane Campbell.

Here are profiles of Danville mayoral candidates Scott Eisenhauer and Jim McMahon.

Here is a report from a candidate forum for Danville mayor.

Here is our endorsement for Danville mayor.

You'll find lots more of our election stories here.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 07, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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"Only three Illinois cities with more people have a woman in charge, according to CAWP (Evanston, Oak Lawn, Mount Prospect)."

Jane Byrne would disagree.

johnny wrote on April 07, 2015 at 5:04 pm

I think the key word is "have," not "had."

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 07, 2015 at 6:04 pm
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Oopsie.

 

I read it wrong.

randallkrause wrote on April 07, 2015 at 6:04 pm

I appreciate the updates, and I suspect this is going to be a close race esp. for the mayor's seat.

787 wrote on April 07, 2015 at 9:04 pm

So, after the clubbing that the Unit 4 referendum just took... does anyone think that School Board President Laurie Bonnett might start LISTENING for a change... or will she keep DICTATING what SHE wants to the voters in Unit 4?

Hey Laurie... you just got your rear end handed to you.    You're lucky that you weren't up for re-election, because you would have been easily VOTED OUT.

everything-bagel wrote on April 07, 2015 at 10:04 pm

The voters were somewhat under informed on the previous vote and it almost passed. This one showed, by the WIDE margin, that voters now ARE informed and acting as such!

awycislo wrote on April 07, 2015 at 9:04 pm

My God.  Did you listen to that interview with Lorrie Bonnett?  She is pathetic.  Essentially accused the "no" voters of not knowing facts.

The only facts we need are that the Interstate Dr. location is horrible, and the board is even more horrible.

787 wrote on April 07, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Did she have yet another stunningly bad interview on WDWS.... again?   

She needs to resign her position as Board President.  Complete lack of temperament.

Bob from Champaign wrote on April 07, 2015 at 10:04 pm

The only logical conclusion to be drawn from these results is that a "For Sale" sign needs to go up on the Interstate Drive site tomorrow.  I believe this result is commonly known as an old fashioned butt kicking.

Now perhaps we can move on to some creative ideas to think outside the box a bit and come up with some truly unique and innovative design plans for new schools.  I belive that the voters will support an even larger project if it is creative and inspired.  Given the layout and demographic growth, a "three smaller schools" with room to expand concept seems the only logical choice.  I would love to see a creative redevelopment of the Central facility with specialty programs and administrative offices.  Develop it into a moderinized classically styled building with ties to downtown businesses and U of I academics.  An Honor's academy, if you will.  As properties becomes available around Central, they can be easily purchased a fair market value to become room for future expansion. Then we add an expanded Centennial High School with an emphasis on strong vocational and technical programs Finally we build a new "Millennium High School" in South Champaign with a strong Arts and Humanities emphasis.  Students would be able to attend the school that best suites their needs and academic focus.  Perhaps an argument can be make for a large athetic facility at the old Holiday Inn site on N. Neil as well as the vacant lots across the street. That might be a great asset to the town, and an attractive "Front Door" entrance to Champaign from the highway.  A beautiful pedestrian overpass and entrance gateway to link the two could be designed.  Hiring an architectural firm that has some vision is desparately needed.  While all this is going on, pass a much smaller referendum to address Dr Howard and Centennial improvements while plans for the new High Schools are being developed.  Progess doesn't have to stop for 10 years. This all just needs a good re-think.

dstangl wrote on April 07, 2015 at 10:04 pm

"Finally we build a new "Millennium High School" in South Champaign..." Wow, that sounds real Central!

dstangl wrote on April 07, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Congrats KCC, you just won the vote; except now where in the hell is a school supposed to go! You and the Republicans have a lot in common: take from the young (education, environmental resources, etc.) and give to the old, white and few (entitlements, garbage-filled materialist wasteland, etc.). Better enjoy it while it lasts because over the next generation a perfect storm of youth unemployment & undereducated poor that cannot get any job besides waiting in line for the same benefits scraps that you and the baby booming horde of retirees will be even more viciously wrestling after.

Make a suggestion not a mental IED!

randallkrause wrote on April 08, 2015 at 7:04 am

"Make a suggestion not a mental IED!"

I'm not involved with the Keep Central Central coalition; however, I developed a comprehensive proposal for a new Central High School at an easily accessible, centralized location and submitted it to Unit 4 on three separate occasions.

The first draft was addressed to Stephanie Stuart, Community Relations Coordinator, at the town hall meeting on September 30, 2013. I submitted another copy directly to Judy Wiegand at the followup meeting on June 17, 2014. Then I issued a revised draft to both Dr. Wiegand and Ms. Stuart prior to the public forum on February 25, 2015 at the Leonard Recreation Center. To date, I have received no official response from Unit 4 whatsoever.

As part of my proposal, I included conceptual site plans and floor plans as well as detailed statistical figures supporting the location as a fully viable, futureproof alternative to Interstate Drive. Almost every aspect of my proposal met or exceeded the educational programming requirements specified by Unit 4 in their needs analysis published in February 2014, with only 10 acres of private land acquisition required of 43 total acres.

  • 1 Competition Football Field and Track (1 needed)
  • 1 Practice Football Field/Band (1 needed)
  • 1 practice soccer field (1 needed)
  • 8 tennis courts (8 needed)
  • 2 baseball diamonds (2 needed)
  • 2 softball fields (2 needed)
  • 400 student & faculty parking spaces (350 needed)
  • 180 outdoor recreation parking spaces (147 needed)
  • 1000 stadium parking spaces (1250 needed)
  • 96,000 sq ft academic spaces (96,000 needed)
  • 9,600 sq ft band, choir, orchestra spaces (13,000 needed)
  • 11,500 sq ft library, media center spaces (12,000 needed)
  • 6,000 sq ft visual arts spaces (6,500 needed)
  • 17,400 sq ft administrative, student services spaces (9,000 needed)
  • 43.0 net site acres (47.5 needed)

The main building would be located on an existing bike route and bus route, and utilities (water, sewage, electricity, cable, etc.) are already in place. Thus, I believe the location to be a competitive alternative to Interstate Drive.

Nonetheless, after multiple attempts to communicate my ideas to Unit 4, they refuse to even acknowledge, moreless discuss, this option with the public. I think the reason is clear: Unit 4 has a unilateral agenda to build at Interstate Drive, regardless of whether other practicable infill locations exist and are brought to their attention by the public.

Marty wrote on April 07, 2015 at 10:04 pm

There are a lot of people that just won't vote for tax increases.

Homeboy wrote on April 08, 2015 at 8:04 am

Yea like the people paying the bill AKA property owners

Homeboy wrote on April 08, 2015 at 8:04 am

Yea like the people paying the bill AKA property owners

Objective Reporter wrote on April 07, 2015 at 11:04 pm


Tonight, Champaign has been set back 10 years.

Checkyourfacts wrote on April 07, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Those who praise Keep Central Central would do well to look at the flyer the group passed out to voters (I picked up several of them when I was out campaigning for a friend over the weekend).  This is a group that created and passed out a flyer that did correctly depict the proposed site on Interstate Drive.

 HOWEVER, they left off the entire Ashland Park neighborhood, which is right next door to the proposed site on Interstate Drive (and why, oh why, did the News-Gazette ignore the lies this group was peddling?).  

Why would anyone praise a group that lied to voters?  Why would anyone want to be associated with a group of people with so few morals?  (walking away, shaking my head.  Can't believe the voters allowed themselves to fall for this large of a snow job.  Sad, sad day for our community--but it's the kids who will suffer in the immediate term, and the taxpayers who will pay more in the longer run.)

JamBam wrote on April 08, 2015 at 2:04 am

I am so happy all of you tax and spend recklessly liberals got your butts handed to you yesterday (72% - 28%). Building new buildings will not make education better.  It wont make kids smarter. Buildings dont teach students. TEACHERS do. Want to improve education? Get better teachers.  Get rid of the teachers that are horrible. Champaign has a crime problem that needs addressed way before building a new school that is not even needed. If you want to make Champaign an attractive place to live, keep property taxes low and prosecute crime.   Put competent people in leadership positions.  You know, the basics.

Laurie Bonnett - you are fired in two years.  You will never get this school bond issue passed because it is not NEEDED nor WANTED.  Not today. Not tomorrow. Not in the next 10 years.  If even typically blue Champaign County wants no part of this ridiculous spending, then its over. Forget about it.   Keep your hands out of our pockets. If you want to be part of a productive School Board, start assessing teachers and getting rid of those that underperform.  Get rid of the students that misbehave. Set standards for achievement in all extra curricular activities.  Give up the construction projects.  That is simply trying to put lipstick on a pig and is nothing but self serving.  

lga wrote on April 08, 2015 at 3:04 am

It's hard to attract and maintain good teachers in a school with roaches, noxious mold, 20th century technology, inaccessibilty issues, overcrowded classrooms, no hot water, no temperature controls, crumbling walls and ceilings, no real science labs, no collaboration space....

Sounds like a really attractive job, doesn't it?

787 wrote on April 08, 2015 at 6:04 am

Gee... that sounds like the 1890's school building that I attended.  t's not the crisis that people want to make it to be.  

I'll fill you in on a little secret... the U of I has some old and crummy buildings as well.

randallkrause wrote on April 08, 2015 at 8:04 am

The Champaign school district owes its faculty and pupils a 19th century education -- just because someone else experienced that in their youth? Meanwhile, one mile away is a world class university that is leading the way into the 21st century.

I guess Unit 4 should fund a vocational program for kids who want to build buggies and repair gas lamps for a living too.

787 wrote on April 08, 2015 at 9:04 am

Take a look at the University High building, and tell me what you see, Randall Krause. 

The building does not teach the kids.

awycislo wrote on April 08, 2015 at 6:04 am

I love that the losers are all "doom and gloom".  Maybe they should have thought about that before their board president decided to be so ignorant and pick the worst possible site for a new school.

Nope.  WE NEED A NEW SCHOOL SO BAD WE WILL PUT IT ANYWHERE!

I'll vote in favor of it as early as this November, even if it's more money, if they figure out someplace better than that.

Local Yocal wrote on April 08, 2015 at 8:04 am
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Good job voters. The referendum needs a good long look-see and designing a new school in a better location should be one of many other considerations that this school board rushed and brushed away in their lust for a big build out. The academic performance of the school kids coming out of Unit 4 is disturbing. The SRO's need a review as to their overall impact. The disciplinary numbers are shocking, and who gets to do all this building? Out-of-town contractors, hiring out-of-town construction workers? And finance charges. Not even the News-Gazette is willing to talk about the finance charges on a long term loan.

Consider what the county board is going through. $60 million tax dollars have been raised with the Public Safety Sales tax meant for a $24 million tax dollar Courthouse, a $4 million tax dollar youth detention facility, and paying off the $9 million tax dollar Satellite Jail. So we're all paid up then, right? Nope. The County Board, (with the Nursing Home build out included,) is still $36 million tax dollars in debt until 2029.

The school district talks about overcrowding without talking about hiring additional faculty to meet the overcrowding. Building a new building, remodeling old ones does not reduce teacher-to-student ratios. Not one penny of this referendum was ever going to hire more faculty. This project definitely needs to be thrown back to the drawing board with consideration as to what's going to happen inside the buildings, not just how pretty the buildings will look from the outside.

 

Checkyourfacts wrote on April 08, 2015 at 9:04 am

Local Yocal,

more students = more General State Aid (the money the State sends to each school district, on a per-pupil  basis).  This, of course, assumes the Governor doesn't make an absolute hash of the 2016 budet and get the 30% cut he wants to apply to every category.  

General State Aid is generally around $6100 per pupil, and Unit 4 actually has some money saved up in various funds (but that will be drained quickly, if Rauner gets what he wants).  Isn't it possible that Unit 4 plans to pay for the needed teachers out of General State Aid?

Another issue is how Illinois structures tax money within budget categories.  The Public Safety Tax that you alluded to can be used to pay for law enforcement, courts, and jails.  It can't be used to pay off the nursing home bonds, for example,the County Board stipends, or the power  bill out at the Brookens Center.  School districts have a lot of restricted funds, too, and money from the sales tax can't be used for teacher's salaries or textbooks.  If Unit 4 decides they need more money to pay for teachers, they can do a referendum to raise the property tax rate.  (Whether such a referendum will pass in the current toxic environment is another issue...)

Local Yocal wrote on April 08, 2015 at 10:04 am
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The county board debt cannot be explained by the Nursing Home. They still owe over $19 million on the courthouse. Finance charges, along with adding to the shopping cart after the restrictive promises were made to the voters, are costly keep the debt going on for a long period of time. The County Board has used the Public Safety tax to decorate the Courthouse, remodel the courthouse, pay utilities they don't budget with General Revenue. Same could be true with the School Referendum, which neither The News-Gazette or school board will discuss finance charges. Banks are beyond reproach apparently.

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