One less question will likely be showing up on the November ballot. Last night, the Springfield City Council voted to table a proposed referendum to have Capital Township dissolved into the City of Springfield. Capital Township is coterminous with the city, so they cover the same area. Because of the overlap, many of the functions a township would normally carry out are done by the city, and several township positions are held by their county counterparts.
There is a wider push in Illinois to consolidate units of government. The few remaining coterminous townships like Capital Township are prime targets for this movement. If fact, the city’s question was very similar to one posed by Sangamon County. Their question would have the township dissolved into the county. This similarity lead to some concerns. Aldermen Redpath said that although the questions are non-binding, they might be confusing to voters since only one could actually be implemented. Alderwoman Turner countered this objection, saying it was critical that voters have multiple options on what she referred to as an issue with strong political overtones.
Other aldermen had issue with the non-binding element of the question. By statute, there are ways for a city to dissolve a coterminous township. Aldermen Donelan said that if the city wants to dissolve the township, it should do it the right way. Aldermen Theilen echoed this sentiment, saying he was opposed to non-binding referendums as a general principle.
Concerns about potential cost were also raised and addressed. Director McCarty said that because the taxing authority for the township will still be present if the township was dissolved, taxes should not go up as a result. But, because the overhead of the township could be consolidated with another body, taxpayers should see some saving from the move.
In the end, the council voted 7-3 against moving the issue out of committee. Alders Turner, DiCenso, and McMenamin voted to move to the question forward. The vote to table the issue passed 6-4. Because it takes a supermajority to take an issue off the table, three aldermen would need to change their votes to bring the issue back up. However, this is not necessarily the end of the issue. A proposal done “the right way” to dissolve the township into the city could still be brought forward, or some aldermen could change their stance and un-table this question.
Sales tax and township consolidation propositions pass
In addition to the candidates running for office, there were several questions on the ballot for voters in Sangamon County. One question was if Capital Township should be consolidated with Sangamon County. The other was if there should be a one percent sales tax to help schools pay for facility improvements.
Both questions passed. The township question passed handily with 75 percent of the vote. The sales tax was approved much more narrowly, 53 to 47 percent.
Because it was a non-binding question, the township vote will do nothing by itself. It will, however, strengthen the case for the county and township to consolidate.
The sales tax referendum was a binding question, and will go into effect July of 2019. It is expected to raise about $10 million for District 186, and another $10 million for other districts in Sangamon County.
Republicans Campbell, Aiello win county races
With 99 percent of precincts reporting in, we can announce Jack Campbell will be the next Sangamon County Sheriff, and Joe Aiello will be the next County Treasurer. Campbell took 65 percent of the vote, and Aiello took slightly less at 63.
Both parties won contested county board seats. Republicans Abe Forsyth (27) and Tim Krell (15) won their races. And Democrat Anthony “Tony” DelGiorno won in district 22.
At the current time, it appears Mike Murphy will represent the 99th Illinois House district, which covers most of Sangamon County. The 96th House race between Rep. Sue Scherer and Herman Senor, as well as State Senate district 48 (Manar/McMillan) are both too close to call.
County Treasurer candidate Tom Raymond w/ Thomas Clatterbuck
In this episode of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show, we had Sangamon County Treasurer candidate Tom Raymond. Raymond is running as the Democratic candidate in the treasurer’s race. Raymond currently works for the Illinois Department of Revenue, and serves on the executive board of AFSCME Local 997.
We discussed several of his new proposals to help the county, including a grant for first time homeowners. This program would work through local banks to encourage home ownership in communities that are currently underserved. Some of Raymond’s other proposals involve expanding broadband internet access, and providing more money to fight the drug epidemic.
Raymond also offered his views on some major county issues as well. He broke with the current county board and Mayor Langfelder and said that Capital Township should remain an independent agency. Although he leaned towards the city rather than the county taking over the township functions, Raymond said the township was starting to revitalize itself and should continue to do so. He also came out strongly in favor of the sales tax to support the schools, and was cautiously optimistic about the new EDC.
You can watch the full interview in the player. To learn more about Tom Raymond and the other candidates for Treasurer, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.
You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Shows page.