Mount Carroll officials: City Clerk Julie Cuckler, Alderman Mike Risko, and Mayor Carl Bates speak with Mt. Carroll residents about their community. (PA photos/John Huggins)
By JOHN HUGGINS | For The Prairie Advocate News
DIXON, IL – The University of Illinois Extension office for Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside Counties hosted an event titled “Red, White and You: Illinois Local Government and the 2012 elections” at Sauk Valley Community College on Monday, Sept. 24. Voters from the three counties were invited to this program in order to help them make an informed choice on election day by learning about local government and to meet candidates.
The evening kicked off with a program on the basics of how local governments in Illinois operate and the election process for the consolidated elections that will take place in the spring of 2013. Terry Feinberg, educator at Extension, gave an overview of the more than 8,000 local government bodies and over 120,000 local officials in Illinois.
The presentation focused mainly on county, township and municipal governments. She noted some of the less common types as well, such as airport authorities and mosquito abatement districts. It was pointed out that most officials are unpaid positions. Feinberg also gave a brief overview of property and sales taxes, along with the fundamentals of state funding of schools.
Candidates, voters and students listen to presentations on local government and elections.
Three area county clerks were on hand to discuss six key topics of the election process on the local level. Brian Woessner, Carroll County Clerk and Recorder, reviewed the referendum process and how to become a candidate for local office. Cathy Myers, Lee County Clerk and Recorder, discussed voter registration and absentee voting procedures. Dana Nelson, Whiteside County Clerk, presented information about write-in candidates and the role of an election judge, including student judges.
Following the presentations many area local and state officials and candidates were on hand for a “meet and greet.” For more information on election and local government, visit http://elections.illinois.gov. If you would like to find out about other programs offered by University of Illinois Extension, call 815-835-2070 or visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/clw/.