DeKalb, IL –
Three of the Rockford school board's seven members will be new. Voters chose Tim Rollins, Ken Scrivano, and Laura Powers last night, as well as unopposed incumbent Bob Evans. The changeover comes at a critical time in the school district, as the board struggles with deep financial troubles and members who are at odds with the school superintendent.
Also in Rockford, Alderman Timothy Durkee cruised easily to a win over challenger Brian Jenkins-Leggero. Durkee was recently appointed to city council to finish out the term of State Representative Joe Sosnowksi.
The winners in contested races for DeKalb City Council are David Jacobson, Kristen Lash, Ronald Naylor, and Monica O'Leary.
Dixon's mayor has won a fourth term. Jim Burke took 48% of the vote, beating out two challengers.
Rochelle mayor Chet Olson defeated challenger Thomas Henry McDermott with 52 percent of the vote.
Oregon mayor Thomas Stone retains his seat after beating two challengers last night.
Nearly three out of four Rockford voters chose to keep a one-percent sales tax for road repairs. The 8-and-a-quarter percent sales tax would have dropped a full percentage point IF voters had rejected the funding plan. It was first approved in 2007 as a way to fund infrastructure work without borrowing. The tax was set to sunset next year, but voters renewed it a year early. The city will continue to collect the funds until 2017, when voters would have to approve it again. The tax raises nearly 15-million dollars per year: state matching grants have increased significantly since the city changed the way it pays for roadwork.
A number of northern Illinois communities took a step toward changing the way they pay for electricity. Voters approved referenda allowing their local governments to look into signing up for power suppliers other than Com Ed. Among the communities approving the Electricity Aggregation referendum are Fox River Grove, Harvard, and Elburn.
The Kane County Forest Preserve District asked for 30-million dollars to purchase more open space and the voters obliged. This is the fourth time in recent years the county has approved a tax hike for open space: the economy, however, probably made this the closest margin yet. 52 percent of voters approved the hike, compared to at least 64 percent in the past. The average Kane County homeowner will pay an extra 13 dollars a year in support of the preservation of open space.
Voters in the Village of Winnebago overwhelmingly chose to pay a higher sales tax in exchange for sewer and water improvements. The sales tax will now be 8 and a quarter percent: the village must now decide whether to do the repairs itself or pay the Rock River Water Reclamation District to take it over.