From: Kenna Dunlap Johnson, Blue Ridge District 18 School Board Candidate

 

elect

Along with being a mother, I am also a wife and a licensed clinical social worker.  I have worked now as the Director of Behavioral Health for Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services in Gibson City, Illinois since 2011.  Prior to that, I worked for several years with children, adolescents and adults in inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and behavioral healthcare.  My previous and current board experience includes serving as the East Central District Chair for the National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter Board of Directors.

I am running for school board because I care about the wellbeing of our children from all aspects of development.  I hope to play an active role in the district and help to strengthen our community engagement as well as our perspectives and understanding of social and emotional learning in the schools.  I understand that families, school leadership, faculty and community members must work together to make a difference for the future of our children and for the future of our communities.

Please consider me for election to the Blue Ridge District 18 School Board. The election will take place this coming spring, 2017.

 

Respectfully,

Kenna Dunlap Johnson, MBA, MSW, LCSW

From: Glenn Reeser, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Trustee

My name is Glenn Reeser. I am a lifelong resident of Farmer City and have run our family farm operation for 43 years.

I am running for election as a Santa Anna Township Trustee, which is a position I have held for the past 12 years.

The most important thing is to run the Township efficiently, and to be willing to listen to the concerns of the citizens of Santa Anna Township. I am seeking your support and vote on April 4th.

Thank you.

Glenn Reeser

From: Marty Kopp, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Trustee

IMG_3180

69 year old semi retired farmer. Graduated from Moore Township High School in 1966. Joined the Army in 1967, spent a year in Vietnam , returned to Farmer City in 1970. Married a local girl , Sue Whitehouse, went to Parkland College, 1971-1972 , graduated with an Associate Degree in Farming Technology. Started farming in 1978 to the present.

POSITION SEEKING: Trustee

EXPERIENCE: Trustee for Rutledge Township for 30 years

QUALIFICATIONS :  My experience as a trustee for Rutledge Township.

REASON RUNNING FOR OFFICE: I am very concerned about keeping our Township Government. I have lived my entire life in Farmer City and I care about our town.

MOST PRESSING ISSUE:  The financial situation of our state. The best way to address this is to voice our opinions and concerns to our state legislators.

IMPROVE EFFORTS TO CONNECT WITH OUR COMMUNITY:  visit with the local people, ask for their opinions and concerns

VITAL ROLE IN OUR COMMUNITY:  keep working with the community and keep Santa  Anna township functioning , financially secure and strong .

From: Sally Williams, Candidate for Santa Anna Trustee

Name:  Sally Williams

Position seeking:  Santa Anna Township Trustee

Experience:  Have been in the position for four years.

Qualifications:   I attend annual meetings in Springfield and area workshops
in Bloomington each year where multiple educational sessions are offered. I
attend DeWitt County Township meetings.  I read a monthly publication
offering information on State Legislature, proposed Bills, and general and
specialized updates on State issues and law.  I have learned a lot from
practical exposure to township operations.

Why running for office:  I firmly believe in local government and enjoy
representing voters.  We have a true voice in Government at this level.  It
is where the common man can make a difference.  Township government is ideal
and has been shown to be more efficient than larger governing bodies.  Here
we have neighbors looking after neighbors and the voice of the people can
really be heard.

Most Pressing Issues:   The issues at this time are mostly fundamental
issues of maintenance.   We are maintaining township finances and are
prepared to replace the roof of the Township Hall at some time in the
future.  We received four mowing bids for the cemeteries and accepted the
low bid.  The best way to address issues is to avoid crises and remain
prepared to deal with the unknown.

Connecting with the community and being transparent:  Many mechanisms are in
place to be transparent and connect with the people.  A Town Meeting is held
every April where electors have a direct voice.  Our monthly meetings are in
public and the agenda includes a public comment period when people can speak
without prior appointments.  The meetings include financial, road, assessor,
and cemetery reports.   A tentative budget is available for public
inspection for approximately a month before it is adopted and can be
reviewed at the township hall during regular hours.   At the end of that
period, a public hearing is held on the budget before it is adopted.

Vital local role:  To help each taxpayer by making the best use of every tax
dollar.

Hosting the peace meal program is extremely valuable for our community.  The
Township Hall is made available for seniors to eat there and socialize, and
meals are delivered to those less able to get out.   We donate monthly to
the local food pantry and the General and Emergency Assistance programs help
those in need.

From: David Holtz, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Highway Commissioner

My name is David Holtz and I would like to ask for your vote and support
for my re-election to the Santa Anna Township Highway Commissioner position
on Tuesday April 4, 2017.  I am in my 12th year serving as the Highway
Commissioner and look forward to the opportunity of serving this township
for another term.
In the past 12 years, I have:
• Successfully remained under budget each year while meeting planned goals
such as resurfacing roads even when oil prices increased, made many needed
updates to equipment, new sign installations, purchasing of road materials,
and reduced labor costs.
• Successful snow removal during hazardous weather conditions for rural
residents to travel to/from work and school, in addition for emergency
response services.
• Successfully meet the general administrative duties of the township
highway commissioner to address requests and needs of residents per the
mandatory duties of the township highway commissioner by laws.
• Established effective communication and a working relationship with the
Blue Ridge School District, City of Farmer City Street Department, DeWitt
County Highway Department, and Farmer City Fire Protection District.
• Participated in professional development through attending several
classes, meetings, and educational seminars thru the Township Officials of
Illinois program to keep up to date on township related legislation.
As a lifelong resident of this community, parent, and taxpayer, I take my
role and responsibilities seriously. Over the past twelve years, the
improvements that I have made provided significant improvement in the
safety of our travel on the township roads outside of the city limits of
Farmer City. Even in leaner years as the result of rising oil prices and
limited funding, I was able to focus on maintaining our roads while not
increasing taxes. My goal for the next four years is to continue to contain
costs and make the best use of our available funds. I will continue to do
my best, day or night, to clear the roads in the winter months to ensure
all township road residents can travel as safely as Mother Nature allows.

I ask for your support so that I may continue to serve as the Santa Anna
Township Highway Commissioner. Please vote for me on Tuesday April 4, 2017.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (309) 261-9185.
Thank you again for your continued support!

Thank you,

David Holtz

From: Scott Whitehouse, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Assessor

000_0105
I am Scott Whitehouse, a life long resident of Farmer City and married to
my wife Janet of 46 years. Our children Lisa Perkins and Wes Whitehouse
also live in Farmer City where Wes’ girls attend Blue Ridge school of which
we are a STRONG $ supporter. Janet and I own, maintain and manage many
homes and commercial properties in Farmer City through our business,
Whitehouse Rentals.Because of my years of experience with real estate, I was asked by a Dewitt
County board member to run for the position of assessor. When I asked him
why he said; things need to change after 40 years, it’s the 21st century. I
accepted the challenge; paid $2700 for my own schooling in Chicago and
Springfield and earned the required designation of CIAO. (Certified
Illinois Assessing Officer) And since 2005 I have completed 262 hours of
continuing education and done assessment work in Piatt and DeWitt county’s.As a contracted assessor for Blue Ridge Township (Mansfield) I strongly
believe it is very important and in the best interest of our Blue Ridge
School system that I Scott Whitehouse also become the assessor for Santa
Anna (Farmer City) because of our flow of funds between the two townships
and counties.Why do tax payers in Santa Anna have to go through the assessor to receive
their exemptions?

When I am elected ALL who are eligible for Property Tax Exemptions will
receive their notifications through the mail as does everyone else in the
county. This way you will receive all the information needed along with the
forms to sign and simply mail back eliminating anyone being forgotten.

When elected I will work very hard to eliminate the mystery about taxes by
teaching those interested how to navigate through the DeWitt County
Supervisor of Assessment web site.

After the election the term does not begin until Jan.1, 2018 but if you
have questions about your taxes please call me @ 309-928-3601
<(309)%20928-3601> I’ll be glad to help.
Scott Whitehouse

From: Robert W. “Bob” Scarbrough, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Property Assessor

bob 1

Santa Anna Township Property Assessor

My name is Robert W. “Bob” Scarbrough and I currently serve as your Santa Anna Township Property Assessor. I was appointed & unanimously approved by the current Township Board of Trustees in January 2016. I replaced my father, Dean W. Scarbrough who had the privileged of serving Santa Anna Township for over 50 years. My goal has been to provide a professional, honest & efficient office.

I am a lifetime resident of Farmer City where I have worked exclusively. You might know me from carrying out your groceries at Hammers IGA or delivering your mail for over 34 + years for the U.S. Postal service. During this time, I have had the pleasure of watching a whole generation of children grow up and raise their own kids. You might have heard them refer to me as “Bob the Mailman”. Currently I am president of Central Illinois Cemetery DBA as Maple Grove Cemetery, duties include all maintenance of equipment, cemetery grounds, arranging the sale of monuments & financing. I am also very involved in the Trinity Community Fellowship Church, Knights of Pythias, F.C. Genealogy Society and a 12 step group. Feel free to ask my former co-workers, employers,  friends and business establishments in the FC area, about the person I have strived to become in the last 15 years.

Santa Anna Township Assessor Position -WHAT I DO:

1.I meet with taxpayers to explain the Illinois taxing procedure, discuss assessed values and make sure all eligible exemptions are given. 2. Treat all people with respect, confidentiality and in a friendly manner. 3. Keep track & assess over 1,800 parcels of properties including 700 owner occupied, 260 senior citizens homestead exemptions and 170 senior citizens tax assessment freezes. 4. Strive to work with the Township Board. 5. Uphold my oath of office as a township official.

WHAT I DO NOT DO: 1. Assess Farmland 2. Assess Land values 3. Raise taxes- Taxing bodies calculate tax rate, county, & state may institute a multiplier. ( I just change assessments up & down which are approved by county supervisor of assessments & board of review) 4. Make decisions based on race, creed, political affiliation & personality. 5. Discuss my personal views on political or social issues.

Please call me if you are turning 65 this year or older, so that I can make sure to get you signed up for your Homestead Exemption for your property taxes and see if you may qualify for the senior citizens tax assessment freeze. Call me at 309-928-2211 office or cell 309-825-1196 .

Thank you for your time & I will appreciate your support and your vote. If you have any questions please call me at 309-825-1196.  Robert W. “Bob” Scarbrough Santa Anna Township Property Assessor.     Township Government – Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

From: Betty Schmidt, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Clerk

betty

Name and personal information

Betty Schmidt has resided in the Farmer City community since 1990. Mrs. Schmidt retired in 2015 from employment at Parkland College and is a member of Sacred Heart Church where she assists with the music ministry. Her husband, Phil Schmidt, has owned and operated Schmidt’s Welding and Fabrication Shop in Farmer City since 1998.

Position seeking

Betty Schmidt is seeking the position of Santa Anna Township Clerk.

Experience

Betty Schmidt previously served one term as an elected member of the Blue Ridge School District Board of Education.  The Board of Education voted Mrs. Schmidt to be its Secretary and she performed those duties for two years. Mrs. Schmidt was prepared to successfully complete the tasks of this office through similar experiences obtained in other organization affiliations throughout the years.

Qualifications

Having worked as the Unit Bookkeeper at Blue Ridge Schools (10 years) and then Payroll Manager at Parkland College (15½ years), Betty Schmidt became very familiar with the annual cycles that a governmental agency experiences and the required recordkeeping practices expected by the State of Illinois. While on the job, she strived to meet and exceed these requirements each day.  Also, Mrs. Schmidt has training and experience responding effectively to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as required by the law. In addition, she has successfully completed mandated training related to the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Why running for office

It is the clerk’s records that are the official records of the Township. These records must be structured, very precise, and thorough. Betty Schmidt has the needed skills and proven experience to successfully perform all these duties and more as Santa Anna Township Clerk.

What do you see as the most pressing issues for Santa Anna Township, and what is the best way to address them?

Due to the fraudulent use of a debit card during 2015, which resulted in the theft of funds from a bank account owned by Santa Anna Township, the most pressing issue for the Township is to continue to enforce measures to prevent this or similar activities in the future. The Board of Trustees and other elected officials should be ready to accept and implement recommended corrective actions to protect the taxpayers’ funds from being misrepresented.

How can the Township improve its efforts to connect with the community and be more transparent?

Santa Anna Township can improve its efforts to connect with the community and be more transparent through establishing better utilization and marketing of its website. By posting meeting agendas and minutes to the Township website, the entire community could easily access and review any measures planned by the Township Board of Trustees, Assessor, and/or Road Commissioner. By making a few clicks with your mouse, you could obtain and examine the annual Township and Road District levies and budgets. Ordinances approved for implementation by the Board of Trustees could be made available for your review through this electronic access.

What vital role do you see the Township playing in the local community?

In general, townships in Illinois are responsible for General Assistance, Property Assessment, and Road & Bridge Maintenance.

From: Michelle Castle, Candidate for Santa Anna Township Supervisor

Attention residents of Santa Anna Township, our community needs your support and participation! The April 4th local election date is quickly approaching and I, Michelle Castle, want to continue serving as your Township Supervisor. I am an ambitious 28-year-old that was born and raised in Farmer City. I have an educational background in business and currently work full-time managing my family’s local restaurant, The Fish Wagon.

In October 2016, I was unanimously appointed by the Santa Anna Township Board of Trustees to fill the vacant seat of resigning Township Supervisor Betty Schmidt. Over the past six months, I have worked directly with the Board, Highway Commissioner, and Township Assessor to fulfill the responsibilities of this role. Duties of the Township Supervisor include serving as Chairman of the Township Board of Trustees, supervising the General Assistance program, and maintaining records as the Treasurer of all Town funds including Road and Bridge funds.

I am running for office because I believe in the importance of youthful involvement in governments at all levels. As Supervisor l am able to offer an energetic and youthful perspective to Santa Anna Township.

It’s time we start doing things the right way in Illinois and regain our state back to a sustainable condition. This must begin at the local level. Due to all the recent government corruption, I believe transparency is more important today than ever before. Accountability needs to remain a top priority for all levels of government. As Supervisor I have the taxpayers’ best interest in mind and will continue to promote a transparent Township government.

I hope you will all show support for our community on Tuesday, April 4th and vote for me, Michelle Castle, as your Santa Anna Township Supervisor.

From: Jessica DeMarse, Candidate for Farmer City City Council

 

image1

Jessica DeMarse
*Married to Ken DeMarse, Mom to Ian 17, Maximus 14, Kathryn 7
Work full time at Carle
Councilwoman since Aug.2016
Chair of Blue Ridge P.I.E. since 2012
I’ve served on BRHS Athletic Boosters, Jr High Boosters, many school sub committees, and town event groups.

-Contact Info Jessicademarse@yahoo.com

-Seeking retention of my seat as councilwoman on Farmer City City Council

-I feel that the current Council is maintaining a momentum in addressing concerns of the public and is building accountability and transparency while protecting the city in personnel matters.

-I sincerely want the best for our community and want to see it represented for all the positives that are here. This DOES NOT mean we don’t address issues as they arise. It means accountability and refining our processes.  I’m passionate about a community working together without losing control of my emotions.

-Currently the most important items on City agenda would be…
1. Receiving the correct balance of hotel/motel fund and ensuring reconciliation of city accounts. The council members are keeping in contact with the bookkeeper and city manager about the current status of our audit. Unfortunately it is likely we will not be approving any funds to go out of this account until we can build up our reserve.

2. Getting ready for next years budget. Budgeting for Ordinance book updating will help citizens & city staff understand their rights and ordinance enforcement options.

3. Continue fostering the relationship and community connection with the Farmer City Police Department for the sake of our officers and our citizens. Getting an update from Chief Scott at the last council meeting was awesome. He is thinking long term about the vehicles, working to maintain fiscal responsibility of the department and also enforcing town ordinances that will make visible improvements to town.

-Short term goals would be…
1. To determine our plan for the power plant: Maintain the plant for an increase cost which will pay off in the long run or plan for closure as retirements get closer. I would like to see the information we learned in the survey shown and explained in a public forum again so that others can have an input on this. This is a decision that is bigger than the council.

2. We should have full power across I-74 and a running gas station, hotel & eatery. We need to find a developer and we need to consider someone that can help market this new expansion as part of an established city. Farmer City is a great hub city to many other larger towns and that is a good thing.

Longer term…
1. I would like the current businesses that may be struggling to feel more secure in their longevity here. And it would be nice if at least 2 of the empty town businesses were filled.

2. I want people to be able to trust the administration more. I want the city to pass on any shareable information before it’s ‘heard’ elsewhere.

-I think our City Council is a place you bring ideas and issues so that decisions can be made that follow our current laws and to change the laws that are no longer effective.

-Without a local paper it’s going to be more difficult than ever to stay informed with news & happenings.
People will need to make a concentrated effort to find out what current topics are being dealt with.  Being less reactive with opinions and more proactive with actions can only be beneficial.  You DO NOT have to be on the City Council to organize a city project, improvement or otherwise.  Let us work together with you.

Thank You for your time,
Jessica DeMarse
Vote April 4th!

 

image2

From: Mary (Shelley) Friedrich, Candidate for Farmer City City Council

Mary (Shelley) Friedrich
339 S. John St.
Farmer City, IL 61842

I am seeking a seat on the Farmer City City Council

I have no experience in public office.

I have an Associates Degree in Mass Communications with a specialty in
Visual Arts. I have been an effective business leader, as an Art Director,
for the past 20 years.

I am running for office because I believe I am an effective leader, with a
critical eye and common sense, which is what I believe this town
desperately needs. I am fiscally conservative, I would like to take on
projects which would most definitely use funds, but I would only push these
projects if we could use money from grants and/or donations and volunteer
hours.

In my opinion, the most pressing issue for Farmer City is that fact that we
need to get things cleaned up. This is two-fold. Literally and
administratively.

We need to seek out ways to clean up ramshackle properties and beautify our
downtown area. We need to be more productive administratively and take
accountability for issues that are being brushed under the carpet, so to
speak.

As far as short-term goals, I would like to see properties cleaned up. I
would like to take a closer look at ordinances and make sure they are
enforced. I would also love to see a successful Farmer’s Market in the
square.

Longer terms goals for this town in my eyes are to see more businesses open
and more people coming to live in our town. We have to figure out exactly
why people are overlooking Farmer City for residency and fix the problem.
Logistically, we are situated in such a way that travel time is minimal to
Champaign, Bloomington, and Decatur.

The current council does not seem to be proactive from what I have seen.
They react to going-ons but seldom bring new ideas to the table.

I’m not sure that the citizens are currently very involved with the city.
Most things I hear people say are not very flattering. We need positive
citizens that want to help.

Thank you for your time and I would sincerely appreciate your vote on April
4th.

From: Erin McKinley, Candidate for Farmer City City Council

erin pic.jpg

Hi, my name is Erin McKinley. I am 33 years old and a lifelong resident of Farmer City, mother of 2 boys: Dylan 12, and Logan 6; stepmother to Lexi 16 and fiancé of 14 years-Herb. We live and own a home in Farmer City, our two boys attend Blue Ridge schools. I am the office manager of our family owned business, McKinley Water Conditioning, located in downtown Farmer City.

I am running for a 2 year term for city council. My experience and qualifications are as follows: I am Vice President of the Blue Ridge Educational Foundation. I am Co-Director of Farmer City Heritage Days. I volunteer with Angel Tree to help families in our community that are having hardships. I am very active in our community and try to volunteer my time whenever it is needed.

I am running for this office because I am very concerned for our community. We need more accountability up at city hall and we need to improve our community so families will want to move here.

I would say the most pressing issue would be the lack of transparency from our city manager and city bookkeeper regarding all city financial activity. The hotel-motel tax account is concerning to me, I would ask more questions and hold everyone accountable for their actions regarding this account. I would like to also work with officers to help figure out what the issue is with the juvenile vandalism and how we can resolve the problem as a community. Finally, I would like to see the infrastructure of Farmer City be improved, for instance, I would work on a sidewalk replacement initiative so we can improve our sidewalks and make our town look more attractive to potential families looking to move to Farmer City.

My short-term goals for the city is to listen to the people of Farmer City and be a voice for them.  I would also like to look into offering the residents of Farmer City a recycling program where they can recycle locally and not have to drive 30 minutes. I would also like to figure out a better solution to the leaf burning in town. I am not saying to completely do away with it but I would like to see it allowed much less often than it is currently.

My long-term goals would be to make Farmer City beautiful and get certain areas cleaned up around town, also try to help citizens improve their sidewalks. I would also like to see the pool updated in some fashion because I think it is a real asset to our community that we have this facility, it gives teenagers jobs and it is appealing to a family looking to move here. I would like the city to also develop a stronger relationship with our school district and see what we can do together to make our community more attractive to potential families looking to move here.

My opinion on the role of council in our current form of government is to hold our city manager accountable for his actions, listen to the citizens of this community and be a voice for everyone, make informed decisions to make our community a better place. I feel that citizens of our community have somewhat lost their voice and I would like to help them get that back, we need better communication with all departments within the city and to hold the administration more accountable for their actions. Please get out and vote April 4th. I would appreciate your support!!

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: