Decatur voters have barely had time to catch their breath from last week’s 2022 General Election before attention turns towards our municipal government and the expiring terms of Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe and Councilmembers Bill Faber, Lisa Gregory and Dennis Cooper.
As I’m writing this column Moore Wolfe and Gregory have already announced they are running for re-election and Faber announced that he will step aside after serving for two terms. (He gives some of the reasons for his decision in his column on page 7 of this week’s print and online editions.)
Nomination petitions for the four positions may be filed in the office of the City Clerk, located on the third floor of the Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, during regular business hours from Monday, November 21, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. through Monday, November 28, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. City offices will be closed on November 24 & 25, 2022 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The 2023 Consolidated Primary Election, if necessary, will be held on February 28, 2023. The 2023 Consolidated Election will be held on April 4, 2023.
City Clerk Kim Althoff, in announcing the dates for filing nominating petitions also stated: “Please note that the City Clerk cannot provide any legal advice with regard to the election process.”
If you are considering running for a council seat or the mayor’s position, I would strongly encourage you to make sure you understand what is required of you in the filing process.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed some candidates not being able to get on the ballot because their filing had incomplete paperwork.
The city clerk is not an advisor on what you need to do and that’s the reason the nomination filing announcement contains the statement that she cannot provide legal advice “with regard to the election process”.
I’ve seen more than a few candidates over the years have their campaigns end before they essentially started, not because they failed to file paperwork on time, but because they failed to file everything they needed to file with the city clerk.
Again, if you are going to run for a seat on the council, make sure you file on time with everything you need to file, or you will not be on the ballot.
• IT DOESN’T seem possible that 20 years ago I was a candidate for the mayor’s position and won my first four-year term on April 1, 2003.
That’s right. I won election on April Fool’s Day and I took a lot of good natured ribbing because of it.
Fortunately, for the candidates (and probably the public) The Consolidated Election will be on April 4, 2023 instead of April Fool’s Day.
I’ll have more on the candidates and the city council race once the field is set following next week’s filing of the petitions.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of interest in the council race to this point, probably because so many people got so fed up with all of the campaigning and barrage of negative television commercials about opponents.
Hopefully, that will change by the time the city council election rolls around next year.
Usually, after the nominating petitions are filed and the candidate field is set, there’s not a lot of campaigning until after the holidays and the first of the year.
• NOT MANY surprises in last week’s election, with the Republicans winning most of the positions in Macon County voting.
The Macon County Board is certainly in control of the Republicans with a 12-3 victory over Democrat candidates.
Of course, Republican county officer holders, Macon County Clerk Josh Tanner, Macon County Treasurer John D. Jackson and Macon County Sheriff Jim Root had no opposition, so they won election.
Out of the five state representative races involving parts of Macon County only one race, in the 96th District, had opponents and Democrat Sue Scherer beat Republican Lisa Smith to win re-election.
The other four state representative districts in Macon County were won by Republicans who faced no opposition.
Out of the three state senate races that involved Macon County, Republican candidates without opposition won two and the third in the 48th District was won by Democrat Doris Turner who beat Republican Sandy Hamilton.
All the results are available at the Macon County Clerk’s Election Website at il-macon.pollresults.net
• OTHER WINS — In the two Congressional Districts that involve Decatur and Macon County, Republican Mary Miller beat Democrat Paul J. Lange in the IL-15 and Democrat Nikki Budzinski beat Republican Regan Deering in the IL-13 race.
The outcome of the IL-15 race was never in doubt after Miller beat incumbent Rodney Davis in the Republican Primary in June.
The Deering/Budzinski race in the IL-13 was more interesting and, although Budzinski won the district, Deering did win Macon County with 50.93% of the vote to Budzinski’s 49.07%.
Of course, Deering is from Decatur so that certainly helped in her win in the part of the county represented by the IL-13.
Considering the district was drawn to favor Budzinski, Deering made a race out of it.
It was easy to tell there was a real battle going on in the IL-13 by the flood of nasty commercials on tv involving the candidates.
• IT CANNOT be ignored that Republicans in Macon County had one of the best election days ever — although statewide Democrat candidates such as Governor J. B. Pritzker won.
Those statewide Democrat candidates didn’t win in Macon County. Republican Darren Bailey beat Pritzker in Macon County 58.43% to 38.9%.
The other statewide races for Secretary of State, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer were all won by Democrat candidates — but in Macon County, Republicans topped the votes in every one of those races.
• THE RACE for Macon County Judge in the Sixth Circuit was won by Republican Shane Mendenhall who won over Democrat Andrew Weatherford 61.99% to 38.1%
There was a lot for Republicans to celebrate in Macon County balloting.
• SIGNS of the times. It seems like every election someone has to break the rules on where political signs can be placed.
I could not help but notice the “Vote for Doris Turner” signs that were in Central Park along Franklin Street and along the right-of-way on South Main Street.
I don’t know if other candidates had signs elsewhere that I didn’t see, but such signs on public property are a violation of city ordinances.
I wouldn’t think that Turner was involved in the decision to place the signs on public property. It was probably an overzealous campaign worker who didn’t know it was wrong.
The signs were put up on election day, or the day before, and served their political purpose before city workers had the chance to remove them.
• ROUTE 51? What happened to the work that was started on Route 51 South between Cleveland and Elwin?
There was a lot of patching on the road several weeks ago, apparently in preparation for resurfacing.
Now, everything seems in limbo.
Terry Howley, who was my predecessor in the mayor’s office, sent me an email the other day: “Paul. Your many recent articles on this much-delayed project must have scared off the workers as I have seen nothing being done for the past two weeks.
“PS: When this is completed, please write another article about Route 36 from Church St to Fairview Ave – it is almost as bad as Rt 51 from South Shores to Elwin. This part was to be re-paved two years ago according to our state rep …not sure what happened at IDOT?”
The last I heard from IDOT was that the resurfacing of Route 51 South was to start Sept. 12. Since they issued the information a few days before Sept. 12, silly me, I assumed they meant Sept. 12, 2022.
They did some patching to prepare the road for resurfacing and then the workers disappeared, although the traffic barrels have been left alongside the road.
UPDATE: Some workers were seen back doing some patching on Route 51 South Monday morning.
For this we give THANKS!
• THE CLOCK — One of our loyal readers sent me an email about the clock that’s stopped.
She wrote: “I’ve forgotten who takes care of the clock on the corner north across from Central Park.
“It seems to be stuck at 12:55 p.m. or some such time.
“It was already stuck prior to the time change, so that’s not the reason.”
Hmmm. I wonder what big event happened at 12:55 p.m. to make it stop — and how I missed it.
Anyhoo, the problem may be a battery that needs replaced.
• IT WAS good to see my longtime friend Phil Zeni downtown on Friday.
I met Phil when both of us were doing some things on WDZ in the early 1960s.
Phil was back in Illinois to attend the funeral of a friend and we had a good chat and did some catching up on what’s been happening in our lives.
Phil has always been very supportive of my role as editor and also, mayor, during the time I served in that office.
He also brought me a gift box of goodies from the City of Memphis.
Phil, who also has a long history of successful publishing, has a special interest in World War I.
He reminded me during our conversation that we were meeting at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year — the same time that the Armistice was signed ending World War I.
• ZOWIE! Check out the interest rates on CDs on Stifel’s ad on page 7 of this weeks print and online editions! That’s the best interest rate I’ve seen in a long time.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider.