The April 2nd municipal election is rapidly approaching. Candidates for local offices like the village board and school board are making their final appeals to voters. To help voters make an informed decision, the Chatham Area Public Library and Chatham Area Chamber of Commerce held a candidates form on Thursday night. The four candidates for village board, and five candidates for contested school board seats came out to make their cases.
The Village Board
Krisen Chiaro, Andrew “Dewey” Detmers, Terrance H. Fountain, and Matthew Mau are running for 3 positions on the Village Board. Detmers, Fountain, and Man are all incumbents. All of the candidates agreed that infrastructure was the key issue for the village. The village is facing $28 million in needed road improvements, and figuring out how to pay for it will be a challenge for the next board. Water service is another pressing issue for Chatham. Ensuring residents have access to reliable, cheap, and clean water is also a continual concern for the board.
The School Board
Duane Sieren, Patrick Phipps, Jerry Harrison, Steven R. Bryant, and Kyle C. Barry are running for 3 positions on the school board. Sieren is the only incumbent up for a contested seat. Transparency and restoration were the dominant themes of the school board candidates. Chatham remains a destination because of its strong school system, but in the last several years the district has had real challenges. Controlling class sizes, and getting adequate staffing in both full time and substitute staff are two of the specific issues the candidates mentioned. However, despite these issues, the district is recovering well and candidates were very confident the district can continue to improve and be a draw for the community.
Candidates were also invited to talk about their involvement with the community and personal and professional backgrounds. You can watch the full forum in the player.
Springfield reelects Langfelder, most incumbents
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting in, it appears Jim Langfelder has won another term as Springfield’s mayor. Langfelder received 58 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Frank Edwards, received 42 percent. He took 14,573 of the 25,092 votes cast.
Mayor Langfelder will have a familiar group with him at the council. City Treasurer Misty Buscher and City Clerk Frank Lesko both defeated their challengers. Lesko held on against Rianne Hawkins 54-46. Buscher won with 74 percent over Jennifer Notariano. Aldermanic races were mostly in favor of incumbents as well. Chuck Redpath (Ward 1), John Fulgenzi (Ward 4), Andrew Proctor (Ward 5), Kristin DiCenso (Ward 6), Joe McMenamin (Ward 7), and Ralph Hanauer (Ward 10) all retired their seats. Dorris Turner (Ward 3) and James Donelan (Ward 9) had no registered opponents.
Ward 8 was an open race. Longtime Alderman Kris Theilen term-limited out, and three candidates ran for the seat. Erin Conley won, taking 58 percent over Dean Graven’s 36 percent.
It currently looks as if Willie “Shawn” Gregory will be the next Ward 2 alderman. Gregory won over Gail Simpson by a single vote, 464 to 463. Alderman Herman Senor came in third, with 392 votes, or 28 percent.
For the full results of the Springfield election, as well as other races in Sangamon County, check of the County Clerk’s election page.
Morgan County Republicans host municipal candidate form for Jacksonville
The April 2nd election is just a few days away, and candidates are making their final appeals to voters. To help voters make an informed decision, the Republican Women’s Club of Morgan County hosted a candidate forum for Jacksonville and South Jacksonville municipal candidates on March 26th. This event was a chance for residents to learn more about the candidates seeking seats on the city council and village board.
Nearly all of the Jacksonville aldermanic candidates were in attendance. Both Anthony “Tony” Williams and Benjamin T. Cox came out for Ward 2. Donald Cook and Louis H. Eason III for Ward 5 were also present. Although Michael Bartlett and Brandon C. Adams are both running in Ward 3, they are running for different seats. Bartlett is facing off against Nicole Riley for the normal four-year term. Adams will face Karen Day-Mudd for the two year term that was vacated last fall.
The candidates had a clear focus on infrastructure development and economic development. Like many small towns, Jacksonville is facing a shrinking population and job losses. Making Jacksonville a more attractive place for businesses and residents will be the main focus for the city council after the election.
Half of the South Jacksonville trustee candidates attended the forum. Chris Norton, Jenn Slavin, Todd A. Warrick, and Stacy Pinkerton all made their case for office. Tom Jordan, Jason Hill, and John Stewart were not present.
South Jacksonville’s candidates had similar recommendations for the village. Improving roads and sidewalks was a major concern. However, local water infrastructure and increasing staffing at the fire department were also touched on as well.
You can watch the forum in the player. Due to an equipment issue, we were unable to record the opening statements for Cook, Cox, or Bartlett. The municipal election is April 2nd, and early voting is still ongoing.
ICON announces 2019 endorsements
Springfield ICON has announced their endorsements for the upcoming municipal election. ICON (Inner City Older Neighborhoods) based their decision on both written responses to their questionnaire, as well as their candidate forums held last month.
Identifying the issues facing Springfield and having plans to address them were key for endorsements. But ICON Chair Carol Kneedler said that having a positive outlook on these issues was important as well. Springfield does have its problems; but overemphasizing them is a problem in its own right.
The candidates that were endorsed are:
Mayor – Jim Langfelder (incumbent)
Clerk – Rianne Hawkins
Treasurer – Misty Buscher (incumbent)
Ward 1 – T. Ray McJunkins
Ward 2 – Gail Simpson
Ward 3 – Doris Turner (incumbent)
Ward 4 – John Fulgenzi (incumbent)
Ward 5 – Andrew Proctor (incumbent)
Ward 6 – Kristin DiCenso (incumbent)
Ward 7 – Joe McMenamin (incumbent)
Ward 8 – Erin Conley
Ward 9 – Jim Donelan (incumbent)
Ward 10 – Robert Patino
To learn more about Springfield ICON, check out their website. The municipal election is April 2nd, and early voting has already started.
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