Schoenburg: Yes, dear voter, more elections are coming

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Anybody ready for an election?

Well, believe it or not, the wheels are already turning – and filing for a small number of local offices before voters in the spring starts on Monday.

“In the elections business, there is always another election which we’re preparing for, and this is no exception now,” said Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray.

“Even though we are still working on bringing to a conclusion to the November 3 election, we are fully focused on the next stage … the consolidated election of April 6.”

Sangamon County has 26 townships, and candidates for offices in each will be chosen at township caucuses set for Dec. 1. Unlike most municipal elections, township offices are elected on a partisan basis.

Among other offices up in the April 6 election are three Springfield Park Board trustee seats. Two incumbents say they are not seeking new terms. Grant Hammer, who is finishing eight years on the board, said it was a tough decision over which he agonized, but “it’s time to pass the torch.” A father of three, he’s helping coach a couple of hockey teams. He is also executive director of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Sierra Senor-Moore was named to the board in 2016 and was elected to a four-year term in 2017, but she also is, in her words, “a little busy.”

That includes being a mother of two young children, and meetings got in the way of watching some sports activities. She’s also an assistant U.S. Attorney. She said the board is “a great opportunity to serve.”

“I appreciate everyone on the board, and who works for the park district,” she said.

Robin Schmidt holds the other park board trustee seat up for election and will seek another term.

Filing for the non-salaried trustee posts on the officially nonpartisan park board comes Dec. 14-21 – the same filing date for most offices up in the spring.

A select group of nonpartisan municipal elections have filing from Monday through Nov. 23. They include offices in Chatham, Curran, Leland Grove, Rochester, Sherman, Southern View and Spaulding.

Terms are generally staggered, so some village presidents and board members are up this year, and others are not. Those seven governments have early filing dates because under state law, if more than four candidates file for an office, there will be a Feb. 23 primary. If there are up to four candidates, there is only the April 6 election.

Chatham Village President Dave Kimsey is among candidates who will be on the ballot seeking another term.

Other April 6 races include four seats on the Springfield School Board, and five of the 11 Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority seats that oversee the Bank of Springfield Center.

District 186 School Board seats up are those held by Tony Mares in Subdistrict 1, Mike Zimmers in Subdistrict 4, Tiffany Mathis in Subdistrict 5 and Judith Johnson in Subdistrict 6.

Mike Coffey Jr., chairman of the convention center board is among those who have decided to seek re-election. Mary Frances Squires and Terry Young, who along with Coffey, represent District 4, also are seeking new terms on the board. Tony Smarjesse, representing District 3, is also running.

Gray said candidates for office can find information, including election calendars, on his office website, sangamoncountyclerk.com, or can call the election office at (217) 753-8683.

Gray said it would be nice to have elections more spread out, but he knows there has to be time for any objections to nominating petitions to be acted on, and to be heard in court if needed – all in time for ballot printing and early voting.

“I don’t claim to have the solutions, but it needs to be looked at,” Gray said.

He also noted that drop boxes were allowed in this month’s election by act of the General Assembly, and he hopes legislative action allows them again, as they were popular, efficient and secure way for people to cast ballots.

Condolences

Condolences to family and friends of Sangamon County Board member David Mendenhall, on the tragic loss of his daughter, 38-year-old Annisa Mendenhall of Loami, in a Nov. 9 traffic accident. Her obituary said the activity director Elmcroft of Wyndcrest Assisted Living in Rochester loved spending time with the residents there. She also loved road trips, camping, riding motorcycles and most of all spending time with her family and children.

Condolences also to friends and family of Jimmie Voss, who died at his Springfield home Oct. 30. He was 73.

Voss was a past president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP, and for more than two decades was state political action director for the NAACP.

An Air Force veteran, he was a deacon at Abundant Faith Christian Center, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a member of Frontiers Club and American Legion. He long worked for former U.S. Sen. Roland Burris – when Burris was state comptroller and attorney general, as well as a member of the Senate.

Meanwhile, former state Sen. Maggie Crotty, D-Oak Forest, is being remembered for her long career in public service. She died Nov. 5 at age 72. She had been in the Illinois House and Senate, from 1997 to 2012, and more recently was Bremen Township supervisor.

Former state Rep. Terry Steczo, who said Crotty decided to run for the House when he left his seat, said he knew her for more than 40 years.

“Maggie Crotty was a public servant extraordinaire who prided herself on proving to her constituents that elected officials can be caring, empathetic and responsive,” Steczo posted on Facebook. “She was a staunch advocate for education, for those less fortunate, for working people, senior citizens and for the developmentally disabled and she worked tirelessly to aid in any effort to assist them. … (S)he was always in the thick of the fight to make their lives better.”

Contact Bernard Schoenburg: Bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com, 788-1540, twitter.com/bschoenburg

Region: Springfield,Feeds,News,Sang,Region: Central,City: Springfield

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November 14, 2020 at 11:33AM

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