Campaign Blog: Please Come Back for our Election Night Coverage
Welcome to Yorkville Patch's blog for the April 5 election. Check back for updates.
Candidate biographies and other election information can be found on Yorkville Patch here.
Monday, April 4
Make Yorkville Patch Your Go-To Source for Election News Tuesday Night
If campaigns are truly races, then we're rounding the bend and reaching the finish line. The polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, close at 7 p.m. - and shortly after that, you'll see a flurry of activity here on Yorkville Patch.
We'll bring you results on the major races as they become available. We'll also track down the candidates for their responses to their wins/losses/those referenda.
Will the balance of power tip on the Yorkville City Council? Will Valerie Burd be cleaning out her office at City Hall soon? Will we get bike paths along some major Yorkville thoroughfares? Will voters approve a sales tax increase? And will anyone really be sad to see campaign signs disappear?
Yorkville Patch will launch its Election Night Blog when the polls close at 7 p.m. and update it regularly throughout the evening. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as we're planning to issue a few referenda of our own using Facebook's new question tool about 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Until then, if you haven't made up your mind which way you'll vote, please check our our candidate profiles, videos and Q&As.
Friday, April 1
Kendall County Saw Small Increase in Early Voting
Andre Salles, editor of Montgomery Patch, has an article about early voting turnout in Kane and Kendall counties. There was a bit of an increase in early voting in Kendall County. (Interesting aside: Kane County has a Votemobile that was set up in Jewel-Osco parking lots throughout the early voting period.)
The last consolidated election brought out 680 early voters in Kendall County, according to County Clerk Debbie Gillette. This election saw a few more: 778, as of Thursday morning, Gillette said. There are 63,373 registered voters in Kendall County.
Kendall County offered two early voting sites—the county clerk’s office in Yorkville, and Oswego Village Hall. Oswego brought in considerably more voters: 514, to Yorkville’s 264.
Tuesday, March 29
Mayor Addresses Campaign Letter
Incumbent mayoral candidate Valerie Burd defended her campaign letter that claimed her opponent voted to default on the sewer bonds.
“He didn’t come up with any other solutions,” Burd said after Monday’s candidate forum.
Her challenger, Ward 2 alderman Gary Golinski, voted against placing the sales tax referendum on the April 5 ballot and voted against pushing the sewer bond payment onto property tax bills this summer.
Those were the main votes surrounding the sewer bond financial crunch; the City Council did not literally take a vote on whether to default on the bonds. Voting against the sales tax referendum were Golinski and Ward 4 alderman Rose Spears. Spears, Golinski and Alderman George Gilson Jr. (Ward 1) voted against collecting property tax money to cover the majority of the 2011-2012 sewer debt payments.
In a letter recently circulated by Burd’s campaign committee, Burd states: “My opponent in the April 5 election voted to default on these bonds and stated that he has no solution to this problem!! As your mayor, I will not allow us to default on our bonds.”
Golinski replied with a letter to the editor published in last week’s Kendall County Record.
“This accusation is completely misleading,” Golinski wrote, according to the Record. “I, along with a couple of other aldermen, voted not to put these bond payments on your real estate taxes. I felt that before we increased the city’s portion of your real estate taxes by 99 percent, we should look at additional cuts to the general fund.”
At Monday’s forum, Golinski said he thought city leaders also should further explore refinancing the debt.
Monday, March 28
Reminder: Grace Period Registration Ends Tomorrow
If you missed the regular deadline to register to vote in the April 5 election, you can still vote through grace period registration through 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. People can update their voter registration at the Kendall County clerk’s registration office, 111 W. Fox Road, Room 103, during regular business hours, according to the clerk’s website. Those people need to vote at the clerk’s office but may do so before Election Day.
Meanwhile, early voting is available through 5 p.m. Thursday in the county clerk's office and at the Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill, Oswego, according to the county clerk's website.
Sunday, March 27
Union Campaign Contributions, Petitions Questioned
Yorkville Patch commenters are questioning a $2,500 donation Mayor Valerie Burd received from the Laborers Local 149 union the day after the City Council voted, 5-3, to place a binding bike trails referendum on the ballot. Union leaders had gathered more than the required number of signatures on a petition to place a non-binding question on the ballot, so they asked aldermen to place a binding referendum on the ballot instead.
Corey Johnson, who is secretary/treasurer of Aurora-based Laborers Local 149, replied that he had requested that the Laborers Political Action & Education League support Burd months earlier.
"I’ll agree the timing looks bad, considering all of the events that have happened since, but I assure you the decision to support Mayor Burd happened long before December 29," Johnson wrote in the Yorkville Patch comments section.
The donation was itemized in the Voters for Val semi-annual report covering July 1 to Dec. 31.
In the same string of comments, another commenter questioned whether all the people who signed the referendum petition (which was never formally submitted in light of the city council's vote on the binding referendum) were Yorkville residents. That petition is attached to this post; click on "view gallery" in the upper right corner of this page to view the PDF file of the petition.
Friday, March 11
Comparing Sales Tax Rates
If the sales tax referendum passes, would purchasing sports equipment at, say, the Dicks Sporting Goods store in Oswego be cheaper than shopping at Dicks in Yorkville?
Yes. There presently is no difference in the sales tax rates charged at Dicks in Oswego and Yorkville. Oswego's sales tax rate is 7.75 percent, while Yorkville's is 7.25 percent in most of the city and 7.75 percent in the Kendall Marketplace business district, which includes Dicks Sporting Goods.
If the referendum passes, Yorkville's sales tax rates will increase by one percentage point to 8.25 percent and 8.75 percent in the business district. City leaders have estimated that the additional percentage point in sales tax revenue would generate about $2 million.
(One might question, as someone did at a forum on this topic, whether one is willing to drive to another store to save a dollar or two on sales taxes.)
Here's a chart detailing how Yorkville's sales taxes compare with other communities'. The rate information came from a chart City Administrator Bart Olson gave City Council members, while the payment calculations are mine.
|Town||Sales Tax Rate||Cost of $100 of merchadise|
|Yorkville (Kendall Marketplace business district, if increased)||8.75||$108.75|
|Yorkville (if increased)||8.25||$108.25|
|Plainfield (portion in Kendall County)||8.25||$108.25|
|Plainfield (portion in Will County)||8||$108.00|
|St. Charles (portion in DuPage County)||8||$108.00|
|Yorkville (Kendall Marketplace business district)||7.75||$107.75|
Ward 4 Alderman Candidate Q&A's Postponed
Yorkville Patch has been posting questionnaire responses by local candidates daily this week. The Ward 4 alderman questionnaires were set to post today, but I've bumped them back to Monday to provide extra time to ensure the candidate responses adhered to the 85-word limit. So, check Yorkville Patch on Monday morning to see what Rose Spears and Marty Michalisko had to say.
Tueday, March 8
Yorkville city council amid budget discussion
Many of the Yorkville City Council candidates are discussing the city's financial health throughout their candidate questionnaires. The current City Council is working on the budget for the fiscal year that starts May 1. If you're interested in learning more about the budget proposal, see this article or check out the city website here.
The city's proposed budget document includes cover sheets for each fund with historical data, as well as future projections. I boiled that down a bit into a PDF spreadsheet attached to this article. If you click on it, you'll see several numbers encased in parentheses, indicating a deficit or negative fund balance.
Some might find the General Fund figures particularly noteworthy. It ran a deficit in Fiscal Year 2010 and is projected to run a small deficit this fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2011) but the proposed budget for next year calls for a surplus of $765,882, which would increase the fund balance to $260,636.
Voter Registration Deadline Looming
Today is the last day to register to vote in normal voter's registration. Local places to register include:
• Yorkville City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road
• Yorkville Public Library, 902 Game Farm Road
• Yorkville Middle School, 920 Prairie Crossing
For a complete list of registrars, see the Kendall County Clerk's website.
Not going to make it out to register today? Never fear: Grace period registration starts tomorrow. People can update their voter registration at the Kendall County clerk’s registration office, 111 W. Fox Road, Room 103, during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday), according to the clerk’s website. Those people need to vote at the clerk’s office but may do so before Election Day. The grace period is March 9 through March 29; after that, you won’t be able to register until April 7.
And early voting is right around the corner. Registered voters with government-issued photo identification can vote during specific hours between March 14 and March 31 at the county clerk’s office. Separate early voting hours are available between March 21 and March 31 at Oswego Village Hall, according to the clerk’s website. More information is available by going to this website and clicking on “Voting in Kendall County.”
Friday, March 4
WPSY and Kendall County Record to Host Forum
Two local media organizations will host a candidate forum for both aldermanic and mayoral candidates from 7 to 9 p.m. March 28, according to an article in the Kendall County Record.
All candidates will be allowed a minute each for an opening and a closing statement, with aldermen candidates answering questions for 15 minutes and mayoral candidates for 27 minutes, according to the article. Reporters from WSPY and the Kendall County Record will read questions submitted by the public, and WSPY will broadcast the forum, according to the article.
The forum will be held at Yorkville City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road.
Tuesday, March 1
It turns out the candidates forum sponsored by the Raintree Homeowners Association tonight is private and for subdivision residents only, according to an e-mail I just received from association president Al Zamora. I apologize for any confusion my confusion/mistake might have caused.
Monday, Feb. 28
Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs
Elections signs have popped up around Yorkville, so I figured it was time to start an election blog for the local races. This blog will supplement full news articles and the candidate questionnaires as a place for quick updates.
Tomorrow (March 1), the Raintree Homeowners Association will host a forum for mayoral candidates Gary Golinski and Valerie Burd and for Ward 1 Alderman candidates Carlo Colosimo and Robert Allen. The event starts at 7 p.m. in the subdivison's clubhouse.
Don't be afraid to join the conversation
There's been no shortage of election-related comments on articles on Yorkville Patch, but readers also can share their thoughts in Letters to the Editor.
There's only been one or two letters to the editor posted on Yorkville Patch, but we do accept them. Letters to the editor must be signed with a full name and should not exceed 300 words. They are posted in an "article spot" with a little letter graphic and clearly labeled as a letter to the editor and opinion. If you wish to submit a letter to the editor, just e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're going to cut off election-related letters on April 3.