IN LAST WEEK’S column I gave my prediction on which six Decatur City Council candidates, out of the 12 listed on Tuesday’s ballot, would advance to the general election on April 6th, following this week’s primary election. I indicated that incumbents David J. Horn and Chuck Kuhle would advance on Tuesday, along with Ed Culp, Marty Watkins, William Wetzel and Jacob Jenkins.
Since those six did advance when all the votes were counted and will compete for the 3 expiring seats on the Decatur City Council April 6, I will be heading for Las Vegas and a new career (just kidding).
Actually, there weren’t any surprises in the results, at least for me. As the results below from Macon County Clerk Josh Tanner indicate: Horn finished first, Culp finished a strong second, Kuhle finished third, followed by Watkins, Wetzel and Jenkins. With the field reduced to six candidates and over a month before the April 6th election, the public should be able to focus more on which three candidates residents want to occupy those three seats.
Presently, it appears Horn, Kuhle and challenger Culp would be the winners on April 6, but Marty Watkins can close the gap and jump into the next position up. Of course, with only 3,315 ballots cast in a community where there are 48,025 registered voters, the larger turnout that will happen in the general election April 6, because of other races, such as Decatur School Board, on the ballot, there may be some advancement of candidates who finished 4th through 6th. That’s also true for the top 3 vote getters who, with many more voters involved in the April 6th election, could pick up a considerable number of votes.
I’ll have more on the city council race and what we can look forward to seeing happen in next week’s print and online editions of the Tribune. Following are the vote totals and percentages for the candidates in Tuesday’s Primary Election: Number of Precincts 59
Registered Voters 48025
Ballots Cast 3315
Voter Turnout 6.9%
Total Votes Counted 9069
DAVID J. HORN 1499 16.53 %
CHUCK KUHLE 1359 14.99 %
MARTY WATKINS 1318 14.53 %
ED CULP 1483 16.35 %
WILLIAM (WILL) WETZEL 874 9.64 %
ELIJAH ENGLAND 314 3.46 %
ALDOPHIS D. COOPER 277 3.05 %
ANTHONY S. CHAPPLE 126 1.39 %
HARDIK J. SHAH 129 1.42 %
JACOB JENKINS 771 8.5 % J
OHN PHILLIPS 702 7.74 %
MARC (GUILLOTINE GUY) GIRDLER 217 2.39 %
• IT SEEMS TO ME that Macon County is getting the short end of the COVID-19 vaccine, as the supply we have been receiving pales in comparison to other areas in our region. Not only is there a limited number of people who are getting their first vaccination shot because of a lack of supply, I’m hearing from people scheduled for their second shot of the two-shot process, who are being called to reschedule their appointment because the expected vaccine did not arrive.
Here’s an example from a very frustrated citizen: “My wife and I are considerably frustrated over the delay in vaccines that all outlets in Decatur and Macon County are experiencing. My wife and I were scheduled for our second shots Tuesday then weather delayed until Wednesday and when we got there Wednesday, we were told to go home as vaccines did not arrive.
“I heard the mayor (Julie Moore Wolfe) Thursday morning (Byers & Co.) prior to you going on expressing her frustration over the absence of vaccines and that she didn’t need the National Guard for logistical support because all she had to do is call ADM and get all the logistical she would need. I was thrilled to hear our mayor express her frustration over the delay.”
Hopefully, by the time you read this column, our vaccine supply will be greatly enhanced. We have some great local health providers who are doing, and can do, the vaccinations. They just need the vaccine. We’re not asking to be given anything other than what should be our fair share and, as reported last week, 4,000 vaccines for Sangamon County, compared to 300 for Macon County, certainly does not seem fair.
• WELL DONE, Jack — Decatur Park Board Commissioner Jack Kenny will retire from the board on March 4, 2021 after 28 years of service. The unexpired term has two years remaining and ends with the election cycle of April 2023. (See story elsewhere on this site for more details.)
“We are honored that Mr. Kenny has been the longest serving Park Board Commissioner in the history of the Decatur Park District and thank him for his contributions to the agency’s advancement over nearly three decades,” stated Stacey Young, Decatur Park Board President. It’s hard to imagine the Decatur Park Board without Jack Kenny on it. He has done an outstanding job. I enjoyed my relationship with Jack during my years as mayor…and beyond. Best wishes, Jack.
• I WAS driving on Route 51 South which was heavily coated with ice and snow after the big winter storm last week when I couldn’t help but think that the road was smoother with all of the ice and snow on it than it usually is when it is dry and filled with potholes and bumps! The weather of February has certainly done even more damage to many of our roads that weren’t in great condition before the storm! By the way, kudos to those who worked hard to clear our roads and streets in Decatur and Macon County after the big snow last week. They not only battled 7 to 9 inches of snow and some winds blowing it around, but sub-zero temperatures which made it impossible for salt to melt the ice once it was applied. Good job!!!
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s “Byers & Co.” every Thursday morning starting at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider part of the program. With Tuesday’s Primary Election over we know which six candidates are moving on to the final round in April where three will be elected to fill the expiring council seats. I’m sure the results of that election will be part of what we talk about.
Stay safe everyone.