Issues on May ballot


Staff report



The five elected Urbana officials whose four-year terms expire at year’s end filed for re-election with the county Board of Elections by Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

They are Mayor Bill Bean, Council President Marty Hess, Second Ward council member Cledis Scott, Fourth Ward council member Ray Piper and at-large council member Pat Thackery. Hess and Piper are Democrats. Bean, Scott and Thackery are Republicans.

The incumbents have no opposition in the May 7 primary, however, Rich Ebert, a Republican and chairman of the city Planning Commission, filed for the Fourth Ward council seat, and so will oppose Piper in the Nov. 5 general election.

The names of write-in candidates who file by the Feb. 25 deadline will not appear on the May ballot.

Justin Weller said in a Jan. 31 Daily Citizen article that he will file as an Independent to oppose Bean as mayor in the November election.

Independents have until 4 p.m. May 6 to file for the Nov. 5 general election. The names of write-in candidates who file by Aug. 26 will not appear on the ballot.

May 7 issues

The only countywide issue on the May 7 ballot will be an additional five-year, 0.3-mill levy filed with the Logan County Board of Elections by the Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Services (MHDAS) Board of Logan and Champaign Counties for operating expenses. MHDAS officials told the Daily Citizen that additional funds are needed to respond to an increased need for mental health and substance abuse counseling and prevention services in the nine school districts in the two counties. MHDAS officials say needs are beyond what guidance counselors can provide, and issues include depression, teen suicide, alcohol and drug abuse and school violence.

Also filed with the Logan County Board of Elections was a 1 percent income tax renewal for the West Liberty-Salem school district.

The Logan County Board of Elections meets Feb. 21 to certify filings for the May 7 election.

For the fourth time, the Graham school district will attempt to pass a five-year, 1 percent earned income tax for current operating expenses. Since the levy failure in May 2018, the district has cut $1.5 million from the operating budget, resulting in decreased staff and transportation services and increased student fees.

For the third time, the city of Urbana will attempt to pass a continuing additional 0.6 percent income tax for fire, police and EMS services. This would raise the current tax for these services from 0.4 percent to 1 percent. It would bring the new total city income tax to 2 percent. City leaders cite an increased need and decreased state funding for these services.

The Champaign County Board of Elections is scheduled to meet today, but it was not known at press time whether the agenda would include certification of election filings.

Voter registration deadlines/absentee voting

Those wishing to vote in the 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. May 7 primary election must be registered to vote at the county Board of Elections by April 8. The board office will remain open until 9 p.m. that day. Usual hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.

Absentee voting for the May primary starts April 9. The Board of Elections will be open for absentee voting 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays April 9-26; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. April 29-May 3; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 4; 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 5; and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, May 6.

Those wishing to vote in the 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 general election must be registered by Oct. 7. The office will remain open until 9 p.m. that day.

Absentee voting for the November general election starts Oct. 8. The Board of Elections will be open for absentee voting 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays Oct. 8-25; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 28-Nov. 1; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2; 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3; and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4.

The Board of Elections is located in the county Community Center on South Main Street in Urbana. For more information, including how to request an absentee ballot through the mail, call the board of 937-484-1575.

Staff report