PAXTON – County board members said they anticipate reducing the number of sheriff's deputies and making cuts in county services after voters rejected a proposal to increase Ford County's sales tax.
County board member Floyd Otto, R-Roberts, said the sheriff's office will likely reduce the number of deputy positions from six to five at the end of the month after unofficial results showed residents voting 3,067 to 2,980 against increasing the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 6.75 percent.
ROSSVILLE – Rossville-Alvin School Board President Dennis Price felt a combination of happiness, sadness and relief late Tuesday night as the vote totals made it clear that Rossville-Alvin High School will be deactivated next school year.
"It's the right thing to do, but it's sad we've been forced into this," said Price, referring to the state system for funding education, which has put a strain on many districts, especially those losing enrollment like Rossville-Alvin.
There's a new sheriff in town.
Republican Charlie McGrew of Arcola, a 30-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, was elected Douglas County Sheriff on Tuesday, beating Bob Utterback, a current Douglas County sheriff's deputy.
Champaign County voters Tuesday approved a property tax increase to fund programs for developmentally disabled residents.
The vote was 49,325 to 27,074 to create a new county tax.
URBANA – It was a good day to be an incumbent for several Champaign County officials.
Democrat Auditor Mike Frerichs, Republican Circuit Clerk Linda Frank and Republican Recorder of Deeds Barb Frasca held on to their jobs.
URBANA – Control of the Champaign County Board will remain in the hands of Democrats for another two years, after a hard-fought election that saw Democrats lose one seat but still retain a 15-12 majority.
Board Democrats said the election was particularly tough, given that Green Party candidates ran in Districts 7, 8 and 9, along with Republicans.
In August 2003, Republican Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden survived an attempt by Democrats to strip him of his election duties. On Tuesday, he escaped a countywide ballot question that could have done the same thing.
A proposal to create a countywide election commission to conduct elections failed 38,093-34,585.
PAXTON – Park board president Tadd Ostendorf said the Paxton Park District will likely go back to voters again in April 2005 after they rejected a proposal Tuesday, 1,269 to 690, to raise property taxes for the park district.
"We're disappointed by tonight's results, but we'll regroup and try again in April," Ostendorf said.
CHAMPAIGN – State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, held on to her House seat on Tuesday and will return to Springfield for a second term.
Her 103rd District includes Urbana, most of Champaign and part of Savoy.
ST. JOSEPH – Fire protection, emergency medical services and local disaster recovery operations in the St. Joseph area could be under one umbrella by early next year.
The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District now operates the area's volunteer fire department and the village of St. Joseph runs a medical rescue squad as well as the local Emergency Services and Disaster Agency.