As we draw closer to Election Day on Nov. 4, you will undoubtedly be bombarded with articles, television ads, etc. urging you to vote. Undoubtedly, it’s a crucial time to make your choices known.
In addition to marking your ballot for the next leader of this state — incumbent Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn or his challenger Republican Bruce Rauner, Clinton County voters will be faced with contested races at all levels of government.
There are statewide races for attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer.
In the 15th Congressional District, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Collinsville is being challenged by Democrat Eric Thorsland of rural Mahomet. Republican Kyle McCarter of Lebanon is running unopposed in his bid for re-election as state senator of the 54th Legislative District.
Incumbent Republican state Rep. John Cavaletto of Salem is being challenged by Democrat Josh Berger of Centralia for the House seat in the 107th Representative District. In the 108th District, incumbent state Rep. Charlie Meier of Okawville is unopposed.
The Fourth Judicial Circuit (comprised of the nine Illinois counties of Clay, Christian, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Marion, Montgomery and Shelby) will have two contested elections for circuit judge vacancies.
Voters from throughout the circuit will choose an at-large circuit judge to fill the vacancy of retired Judge Sherri L.E. Tungate. The candidates for this judgeship are Associate Judge Ericka Sanders of Centralia and Attorney Martin Siemer of Effingham.
Voters in just Clinton County will select a replacement for Judge Dennis Middendorff of Carlyle, Resident Circuit Judge of Clinton County, who is retiring as a judge effective December 2014.
The candidates for the judgeship are Associate Judge William Becker of Breese and Attorney Stanley Brandmeyer of New Baden.
A proposition asking residents of District 12 Elementary to vote “yes” or “no” on a 30-cent tax rate increase (per $100 of assessed property value) for the school’s Education Fund is among the questions — some binding and some nonbinding — that will be asked of Clinton County voters in the Nov. 4 election.
Other questions deal with electric aggregation in Bartelso, a special tax for the Irishtown Township Road District, changes to the Illinois Constitution and advisory questions regarding minimum wage, prescription drug coverage for birth control and an additional 3 percent tax on income greater than $1 million.
District 12 Tax Rate
The District 12 proposition states: “Shall the maximum authorized annual tax rate for educational purposes of Breese Elementary School District No. 12, Clinton and Bond County, Illinois (commonly known as Breese District 12) be increased from .92 percent to 1.22 percent?”
Concerned Citizens for District 12, a group of parents, teachers, administrators and community members held a series of public meetings to educate the communities of District 12 about the need for the referendum. The final meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the Breese campus.
The group stressed that District 12 is struggling because of inadequate funding by the state and not because of wasteful spending. Compounded over time, the state has withheld just over $3 million in General State Aid (GSA) which the district was entitled to receive.
While the state has been reducing GSA and transportation aid and completely cutting many other monies that the school had received, there continue to be unfunded mandates placed on the school such as the requirement to convert to Common Core State Standards, the implementation of the Response to Intervention program for students with learning and behavior needs and No Child Left Behind (to name a few).
The group also stressed that District 12 is one of the lowest locally funded school districts in the state. (A comparison of tax rates and operating budgets for schools across Illinois is available on the EDGE Web site www.edgeillinois.com/referen dum-fact-check.php).
To reduce spending, Davis said District 12 has cut over 11 percent from the Education Fund budget since last year. Over the last 7 or 8 years, 23 teaching and staff positions have been cut with 6-1/2 of those teaching positions cut since last year. Band and sports programs are funded by the school’s Booster Club, and staff and administration have taken a hard pay freeze, meaning no raises and no step increases.
The proposed 30 cent tax increase will cost approximately $75 a year for a taxpayer with a home valued at $75,000, $175 per year for a home valued at $175,000 and $275 a year for a home valued at $275,000.
A New Baden man was sentenced to six months in the Clinton County Jail after pleading guilty to burglary to a New Baden home. Jason F. Belman, 29, ap-peared in court sans attorney last Wednesday before Judge Dennis Middendorff for a sentencing hearing after he previously plead guilty to Class 2 felony burglary and Class 3 felony unlawful possession of a weapon.
Judge Middendorff reminded Belman that he could hire an attorney or (if he could not afford one) have a public defender appointed for him.
Judge Middendorff asked Belman how far he went in school and Belman told him 11th grade.
Middendorff told Belman that (state’s attorney) John Hudspeth went to law school.
“Not trying to pick on you but it doesn’t seem like a fair fight,” Middendorff said.
However, Hudspeth said that through his cooperation they had negotiated a sentencing of 180 days in the Clinton County Jail — which he would be eligible for good time credit for time served — and placed on 42 months probation and fined $1,000 plus court costs.
Judge Middendorff noted that Belman had failed to appear for previous appointments with the probation office. After Belman gave him an excuse for his missed appointments, Middendorff said that the excuses were “a load of crap.”
“If you want me to put you on probation, you need to show up,” Middendorff told him. “It’s all excuses for you and if it is, we can forget about it (the plea) and (you) can just go to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
“I think we should start a pool with when you will (be before me again),” he added.
Middendorff said that the probation department describes Belman as “sarcastic.”
“But before me, you look like a whooped dog,” he said,
Middendorff advised Belman that he needs to make “some changes” in his life and his attitude.
“Or heck, you may commit something before I get off the bench (following retirement next month),” Middendorff said.
|Fri., October 24||445.37|
|Sun., October 26||445.22|
|Tues., October 28||445.11|