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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

I wrote a column for the DeKalb Daily Chronicle for 8 years starting in December 2007 and running until November 2015. Then I returned to column writing in August 2016, all of them archived here.

 

If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

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Looking at some local election races

By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................Oct 27, 2016

The sample ballot for Nov. 8 published in the Daily Chronicle last week is an interesting study in democracy at the local level.

Most of us wonder which County Board district is ours so we can know which board candidates will be on the ballot at our polling place.

Quick now - without checking the website - what district are you in and who is your local County Board member?

Something quite evident is the lack of choices - there's no competition in 12 of the 15 County Board races and no one running against the incumbent circuit clerk or coroner.

Sample Ballot DeKalb Co, IL

Also, in the state senate, state representative or congressional elections no one challenged the incumbents (except in the 14th Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren faces Democrat Jim Walz).

If you want to find out what your ballot will look like on Election Day, you can visit dekalb.il.electionconsole.com/voter-lookup.php and type in your name and birthdate to see.

Why we need partisan County Board members is a mystery to me. The balance on the County Board seems to change every two or four years. Right now, Democrats have a 13-to-11 majority, and by the looks of the ballot they will retain control for the next two years at least.

Being on the County Board doesn't pay much - most members earn $83 a meeting, capped at four meetings a month, plus 50 cents a mile for driving to and from the county's Sycamore government center.

The only contested countywide races are for state's attorney and circuit judge, and only the state's attorney race is hotly contested.

Four judges also face retention, where voters are asked to answer yes or no to the question of whether they should remain in office. I guess the only reason you would vote against a judge is if he or she ruled against you or a close friend or relative in a case before the court.

I would wager that 95 out of 100 voters could not tell me who Robert "Bob" Pilmer is, but there he is on the list of judges seeking retention, along with Thomas Doherty, Timothy McCann and Robbin Stuckert.

There is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the state to use tax money designated for transportation only for that purpose, and not let it be transferred to other accounts as is often the case now. But do we want that in our Constitution? I'll have to study that one further and try to ignore all the TV ads telling me how to vote.

Next week let's look at the DeKalb and Sycamore mayoral races coming up in April 2017 and find out how much each mayor makes, just in case you might like to run. I've heard several names of people who may be in the races in the two cities. But there will most likely be more, especially in DeKalb.

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The columnist can be reached via email at :

barry815sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115