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
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
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.