With nearly two weeks left until the primary election in Logan County, candidates are gearing up for the final phase.  Last week Lincoln Daily News presented candidates for state’s attorney and coroner.  Today, candidates who responded to our call and are seeking election for the Logan County Board make a statement in their own words.

Editor’s Note:  If you want to meet the candidates in person, the Logan County Voters Association is sponsoring a Meet the Candidates Night on Tuesday, March 14, 2000.  This event is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. at Adams School, 1311 Nicholson Road in Lincoln.  All candidates for state’s attorney, circuit court clerk, coroner, county board, 18th Congressional District representative, 45th Legislative District state’s attorney and 90th Representative District General Assembly representative have been invited to attend.


(Candidates for each office are listed in alphabetical order.)

Logan County Board


State's attorney




Paul Gleason -- candidate for Logan County Board

"A lifetime of dedicated public service to the citizens of Logan County" could be used to describe the life of Paul E. Gleason, a Republican candidate seeking reelection to the Logan County Board. In his life he has served as a 4-H leader, church leader and 15-year Sunday School teacher. He held a position as an instructor of American history and American constitutional government for 37 years in Logan County.

Currently Gleason is a Logan County historian and a writer, researcher and lecturer as well as U.S. Heritage Consultant. Since 1973 he has collected artifacts and other materials on the American presidency which have been utilized in displays throughout the county. This latter work is done when he is not attending to county business.

Gleason chairs the county's Insurance/Legislation Committee and also serves on the Liquor Committee. He also represents the board on the following committees and boards: Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau, chairman of the Community Action Board, Job Training Partnership Act (Job Training Board), Land of Lincoln Workforce Investment Area #20 board, Logan County Historic Preservation Commission, Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust board, United Counties Council of Illinois, Governmental Inter-Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee, chairman of the Illinois Coalition of Community Action Agencies and is on the Illinois Community Action Association board.

In addition to those committees Gleason is active in the Knapp, Chesnut, Becker Historical Society (Middletown), Elkhart Historical Society, Friends of Historic Atlanta, Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society, Main Street Lincoln board, government/education committee of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Route 66 Association board. Other organizations include the U.S. Capitol Historical Association and the White House Historical Association.

Being a lifelong resident of Logan County has helped Gleason to develop a knowledge about the concerns of the citizens of the county. Through his years of public service he has been able to develop a rapport with the citizens. Prior experience on the board has allowed Gleason to understand the functions of each of the committees and to extend his leadership beyond the county.

There are several issues which face the Logan County Board. First, there is a need to continue to maintain a balanced budget and yet continue county services for the citizens. Second, there is a need to encourage protection of the county's farmland and wetland areas. Third, Logan County has even greater tourism potential than is being developed at this time. Fourth, economic development continues to be an issue, and a well-equipped labor force to meet the new technology being developed in this new century will be an issue. Fifth, environmental concerns, pollution, and further recycling programs will be topics of concern.

County board candidate Gleason is seeking your vote and support as he seeks reelection to the Logan County Board. As in the past, his promise to the citizens of Logan County is to do his best to enhance the quality of life in the county. During his tenure on the board he has witnessed lean years financially speaking. Then, too, there have been years of prosperity. His goal has been and will continue to be getting the best services for the citizens for the tax dollar spent. To provide government services costs money. Thus it is essential that the board always strive to get the best services for the money spent.

Gleason stated to his constituents in his first election campaign for the board, "My promise to you is to listen to your concerns and do my best to resolve them, and in the meantime spend county resources wisely." During the 2000 campaign it remains the same: "To do my best."


Jim Griffin -- candidate for Logan County Board

I am often asked for my position on government issues. (And have been asked on occasion, will I say one thing to get votes and become like some elected officials and vote with the "good old boys.") My positions or planks are as follows.

For the last five years or so I have written many letters to papers, attended numerous school board, city council and county board meetings for the purpose of reducing the spending habits of government. Then property taxes could be lowered. One way to help would be for the county board to let contracts for any amount over $2,500. The county board should also encourage taxpayers to attend official meetings. I also feel the Logan County Board must adhere closely with the state statutes for Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

I have successfully run a small business for the last 12 years. I need to know how to spend money in a fashion to receive a good return on my investment. If I don’t have it, I don’t spend it. If I don’t need it, I don’t buy it. We need people who have good business sense to run government. Government should be a business and should be run so that there is a good use of the money (tax dollars). Then taxes do not have to continuously go up and we can have a real balanced budget.

Another thing that has bothered me for some time is the financial position we are leaving our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We have all heard the phrase, "spending our children’s future." A recent article in the Bloomington Pantagraph stated that 11 surrounding counties had gained from six percent to 35 percent voter registration from 1996 to 2000, except for Logan County, which had lost 12 percent. We need to turn this around and make Logan County an active, growing place for ourselves and generations to come.


Lloyd Hellman -- candidate for Logan County Board

I am a candidate for a second term on the Logan County Board. I am presently chairman of the Road and Bridge Committee and also a member of the Airport-Farm, Law Enforcement-ESDA, Building and Grounds and Finance committees.

I am a native of Logan County, a veteran and a member of various organizations including the American Legion and Logan County Farm Bureau. My wife and I are members of the St. Peter Lutheran Church located in Emden.

I believe in a responsible county board that spends our tax dollars carefully, resulting in a balanced budget. If elected, I would continue to work to limit expenses and tax increases.

Logan County needs more industry and businesses. It is a complex issue, though. Perhaps the city government, county board and enterprise groups will see some success in this area before long.

My qualifications are based on past experiences on the board, and I will always consider any issues brought before the board.


Tim Huyett -- candidate for state's attorney

Tim Huyett, the former Logan County State’s Attorney, authored his goals for the office of state’s attorney in the upcoming March 21, 2000, Republican primary election. As a challenger to the incumbent, he intends to demonstrate to Logan County citizens why their county needs a change in the office of state’s attorney.

Huyett’s background includes more than courtroom battles. He served in the Army National Guard from 1983 to 1989. He counseled troubled youth at the Dixon Group Home and has spent time in a teaching capacity at Lincoln College and Lincoln Correctional Center.

In 1988, Huyett came to the Logan County State’s Attorney’s Office, joining then State’s Attorney John Turner. Huyett served as Turner’s assistant until 1995, when the Logan County Board appointed him to fill the remainder of Turner’s unexpired term.

Since leaving office, Huyett has worked as a special prosecutor for the State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. In that position, he has been entrusted with and successfully prosecuted many high-profile cases. He is called into these cases because special expertise is needed.

His successful jury convictions and sentences include the following:

  • Death penalty for triple murder

  • 100-year sentence for rape

  • 95-year sentence for rape

  • 75-year sentence for murder

Huyett’s platform for change includes the following:

  • Make charging decisions on a timely basis instead of months after the crime was committed

  • Make a priority of returning phone calls to victims to advise them of the status of their cases and to county board members to help them address the needs of our constituents

  • Provide factual and truthful information to victims of proposed dispositions of cases involving their rights and restitution

  • Try cases on time and not lose them because of speedy trial violations

  • Restore confidence in the Logan County prosecutor’s office with police officers and the general public

  • Improve the current conviction rate for felony jury cases from 36 percent to above the statewide average of 70 percent

  • Protect seniors and other citizens from white collar crime

  • Reestablish and coordinate efforts to work with DCFS and the Department of Mental Health

Huyett concluded by saying, "I am humbly requesting the voters of Logan County to consider my candidacy. I offer in return my best effort. I fully recognize the challenges and demands of the state’s attorney’s office. My absolute and solemn commitment is to provide the best service possible to the citizens of Logan County."


Bill Workman -- candidate for state's attorney

Logan County State’s Attorney Bill Workman is proud of the achievements of his office in his first term of service to the people of Logan County as their chief law enforcement officer. Workman believes his proactive approach to his job has enhanced his office’s effectiveness, not only in the prosecution of criminal cases, but in all aspects of his job.

"As state’s attorney, I am committed to continue working closely with the law enforcement officers of our community and to continue our relationship of mutual respect and trust," Workman said. Workman is known for participating directly with the police on a regular basis, as demonstrated by frequently going on "ride-alongs" with officers during their duty shifts.

"I view our roles as a team effort in controlling crime in Logan County," Workman said. "I always have my pager or cell phone close by, and the police officers know that no matter the time of day or night, they can reach me to answer a question, help solve a problem or obtain a needed search warrant from a judge," Workman stated.

"In my 1996 campaign, I told the people of Logan County that it was my intention to establish a victim/witness advocate as a full-time staff member in the state’s attorney’s office to assist those in need. Within the first year in office, we were successful in doing just that, through a grant funded by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office," Workman said. "That first year, the position was funded only as part time. Through continued work, we gained further funding from the state, and the position is now full time. Without cost to the citizens of Logan County, we are providing services to victims of crime.

"Any domestic violence victim can now receive assistance in my office. This was one of our priorities early on, and it is now available to anyone who is in need of services. My office also works closely with the Sojourn Center advocate for Logan County. The Sojourn Center is a safe house for victims of domestic violence. We stand as an available resource to assist anyone requiring help in obtaining an order of protection when the Sojourn representative is unavailable," Workman explained.

"As state’s attorney, I believe it is important to be open-minded and receptive to new ideas and approaches. Two other examples of our newly created programs addressing needs in Logan County are Teen Court and Traffic Safety School.

"Early in my term I was approached by the American Legion Auxiliary to help establish a ‘Teen Court’ program in Logan County. After a great deal of preparation, work and coordination, Logan County now has Teen Court, which serves the youth of Logan County," Workman said. Teen Court is a diversion program for first-time offenders.

Another new program that has been in operation since December of 1999 was developed in collaboration with the clerk of the circuit court, Carla Bender, and Judges David Coogan and Don Behle. A Traffic Safety School, developed and run by Northwestern Illinois University, has been providing traffic safety instruction as an alternative method of dealing with traffic cases.

"This Traffic Safety Program will deter minor traffic offenders out of the courtroom, thereby allowing prosecutors, judges and court personnel to direct more court time toward the more serious offenders, and refer them instead to a four-hour traffic safety course," Workman said.

"When I was elected state’s attorney, I made some commitments to the citizens of this county, and that has meant treating every case with the same fairness and thorough consideration. However, I recognize the state’s attorney’s job does not end in the courtroom or in the courthouse. I have attended the majority of the county board working sessions. As part of my job, I provide advice and counsel to the board and other entities and municipalities on a very regular basis," Workman stated. "In the course of my first term in office, I have gone to literally every community in Logan County to attend various municipal, township and agency meetings when a question has arisen that involves my office or the county’s relationship with that community," Workman said.

Looking into the future, Workman said he looks forward to continuing to serve the people of this county as their state’s attorney. "I want to continue preserving and protecting citizen’s rights, improving the services we provide to the law-abiding people of Logan County, and making Logan County a safe place to live by prosecuting those who choose to violate the law," Workman concluded.


Chuck Fricke -- candidate for coroner

The trauma of losing a loved one can happen to anyone. Having a professional coroner who operates the office with integrity is essential in reducing the anxiety families encounter in these situations.

I have the experience and the leadership to be that kind of coroner. I graduated from the Chicago School of Mortuary Science with high honors and I have been a funeral director in Logan County for 27 years. I also received high honors in my business management degree from the University of Illinois and served as the youngest president of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association.

The coroner must have a good working relationship with local medical and law enforcement personnel. In the last four months I have talked with the Logan County Paramedics, the Lincoln Rural Fire Department, area doctors, fire and rescue squads from rural communities, law enforcement, county board members and ESDA to learn how the coroner can be of better service to the public and the professionals. The following goals are a result of those discussions:

Office in Public Facility

1. I will move all coroner records from a private business to the Logan County Courthouse. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, I intend to move the coroner’s office from a private business to a public facility as well. Negotiations are underway to determine the best location.

Quicker Response Time

2. Rescue squads in outlying areas would like quicker response time to the scene of an accident. Sometimes they have to wait two or three hours at an accident before the coroner arrives. Having to wait adds to the stress of the families in these tragic situations. It also ties up the volunteer rescue squads at the scene and the law enforcement agencies that must wait and protect the accident scene until the coroner arrives. My solution would be to deputize qualified key personnel in the areas of ambulance, rescue, law and ESDA.

These deputy coroners, when they are already on site, would act in my place until I arrive.

Coroner’s Medical Advisory Board

3. I plan to establish a Coroner’s Medical Advisory Board. Doctors Dru and Marcia Hauter have agreed to serve as co-chairmen. The cause of an individual’s death is recorded on either a medical certificate or the coroner’s certificate of death. Consulting with the family physician in determining whether an autopsy is necessary may result in alleviating unnecessary work. These will also keep the coroner’s budget more realistic.

Public Notification of Inquests

4. I would conduct all inquests in the Logan County Courthouse with proper notification to the public. If a public hearing is to be conducted, then an announcement through the local media is essential.

Local Transportation of Victims

5. I would seek to arrange transportation of victims by local providers.

Currently the Lincoln Rural Fire Protection District personnel transport from the scene of an accident to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. However, when an autopsy is required, Mason City Ambulance Service is employed to transport to Springfield. In accordance with my discussions with them, Lincoln Rural’s Board of Directors have tentatively agreed to provide that service. This would keep the money in Logan County.

Sharing ideas for improving the office of coroner make the office more responsive to the needs of the public and the agencies that deal with the coroner. I encourage anyone interested in this race to attend the March 14 “Meet the Candidates” night at Adams School to ask me questions and share their ideas.

I pledge to operate the coroner’s office with integrity. I would appreciate your vote.


Paul Hennessy -- candidate for coroner

Paul Hennessy, Republican candidate for Logan County coroner, announced today his plans for operating the office if elected. The first issue to be addressed will involve relocating the office from its current location at Holland & Barry Funeral Home to a location of the county board’s choosing. " I don’t own a funeral home," stated Hennessy, "so the office will be moved to a public building which will house all of the records and equipment that are needed to carry out the duties of the office."

Hennessy, currently a deputy in the Logan County Circuit Clerk’s Office, will leave his position in the child support division in order to serve as a full-time coroner. He will perform all of the duties of the office, from going to the death scene to conducting the inquests. "I am currently a deputy coroner in Logan County, so I know the job from start to finish. I will appoint two experienced deputy coroners, Rick Bacon and Steve Dahm, to assist me," Hennessy stated. Hennessy feels that his own experience as a deputy coroner combined with that of trained deputies will ensure that the citizens of Logan County will have a the quality of service that they need.

The coroner’s inquests, which have been held at the courthouse for several years, will continue to be conducted there. "I see no reason to move the inquest proceeding to another location. The courthouse is the logical and appropriate place for inquests to be held," said Hennessy.

Transporting the deceased from the location of death was also addressed by Hennessy. "I will continue to call on the Lincoln Rural Fire Department to perform this duty for the coroner’s office.

"The crew that is dispatched has always been prompt and very professional in what are sometimes difficult circumstances," Hennessy stated.

Hennessy feels that his experience as a Lincoln city alderman and a county employee gives him a decided advantage over his opponent when it comes to dealing with budget issues." As an alderman, I had the opportunity to sit on the other side of the table listening to budget requests. As an employee of the county, I have known the members of the county board in a working relationship for some time. I feel that this experience will help make the budget process go smoothly from both the coroner’s and county board’s perspective."

Hennessy also stated that he will work within his budget. He does not see the need for creating committees to advise the coroner. "Logan County has had the good fortune of having a working relationship with a board-certified forensic pathologist, Dr. Travis Hindman, who has years of experience in his field. Dr. Hindman’s reports are clear, concise and he is always available to answer questions or appear at an inquest if the need arises."

Hennessy is the only candidate in the coroner’s race with actual experience in the coroner’s office. "As a deputy coroner I have been involved in virtually every aspect of the coroner’s duties. I will make the job of coroner my full-time, primary responsibility," Hennessy said.



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