em space, Where They Stand,
How We Stack Up,
Up With That?
A nobody or nobody at all
3, 2001] We
no sooner got over the rumors, stories, and twists and turns of
discovering who would replace our state representative, John Turner,
than we were met with another revelation, that Lincolnís own
senator, Bob Madigan, was resigning the Senate to fill a lucrative
position in the stateís hierarchy.
a neighbor of Madigan, I personally was delighted to see the man not
only get a better-paying job but also get out of the dog-eat-dog
Illinois Legislature. This is a terrible thing to say, but Bob Madigan
is too nice a guy to have to spend his time with some of the
individuals who work the machinery of Illinois law.
many of you were starting anew the rumors, stories, twists and turns
of who would replace Madigan, I was spinning my own scenario.
have been saying that no one will. No one past the redistricting
determination, that is, will take the senatorís seat. Now it seems,
the State Journal-Registerís Doug Finke is stating the same
possibility out loud. Hey, Doug, wait for me.
idea is basic. Illinois must lose a downstate senator due to the
latest census information showing there are fewer Illinoisans in this
area. I donít know why we had to spend millions to prove that, but
with Madiganís district centered in a part of the state that fields
Republican senators who think the sun rises and sets on the governorís
backside, who should be sacrificed as the one senator asked to bid
fond adieu to the likes of Ryan, Philip, Mike Madigan and the others?
Could it be a senator who had the guts and intestinal fortitude to
vote "no" to the governorís Illinois FIRST program and may
still be in Georgeís doghouse? It is only conjecture on my part, but
rumors to the effect that Gov. Ryan keeps a list in his breast pocket
of who said "the heck with him" concerning the $12 billion
bilking of Illinois taxpayers are as common as flies during the county
[to top of second
column in this commentary]
a good, honest man with 14 years of service to his constituents,
couldnít just be sent to pasture without screams from constituents
that even the deaf ears of the governor would hear. So what does Ryan
do? How about appointing Madigan to an important job with higher pay
and no need to worry about oneís own political backside.
makes this possible situation all the more interesting is that
regardless of the possibly shady reasons for moving Bob Madigan out of
the Senate, Illinois residents will still be the winners. Time will
show Madigan as a champion of the residents of Illinois. In his new
capacity, it is possible he will have a potentially greater positive
effect on our way of life then he ever could have as a senator who
rubbed Ryan the wrong way.
the event this situation comes to pass ó and realize this is just my
opinion ó someone will need to temporarily fill the senatorís
seat. That is, until redistricting says that the chair is now being
folded up and placed in the legislative closet. To accept a political
appointment that has the same duration of life as a mayfly is not an
enviable position. The individual will show by his or her interest
that the good of this area is at heart. I will remember that, in the
event the person decides to run again someday for a seat that hasnít
had three of its legs already sawed off.
know, somehow, although I am truly happy for both Turner and Madigan,
I find myself grimacing at the future of Logan County residents.
have lost two exceptionally honest representatives. Jonathan Wright
and somebody, or perhaps nobody at all, will have a tough time filling
(not for publication) to Mike Fak:
as a letter to the editor:
We get what we wished for
30, 2001] So
there you have it. For the first time in the storied history of
Logan County, those few of us who vote for county board members will
see our options dwindle even further in future races.
was never too excited about picking six out of seven candidates. I
look forward with even less anticipation to picking two out of three.
For good or bad I enjoyed knowing that everyone on the board had my
endorsement over others. Well, most of the time, that is. I find no
serving of the public good with a new system that allows 10 members of
the board to care little if any as to how I feel they are voting on
issues that affect me as well as all of you.
June 21, the board changed our system of representation from at large
to districts. It was the proper thing for the board to do since it was
mandated by the voters in this county. Well, it was mandated by the 20
percent of the voters who got off their kiesters on Election Day, that
is. I fear we all now get what we wished for.
districts with two representatives each is how the ballots in Logan
County will be prepared for at least the next decade. I have serious
doubts if that will be a good thing.
of going to districts are quick to point out that nearly all of
Illinoisí counties already are districted. My Irish grandmother used
to tell me: "If everyone jumps off a cliff, it doesnít mean you
need to." I wonder what wisdom she would tell me if still alive
new board setup will mean a little more rural representation, but will
it be a mandate from the people or simply more "pick me or
nobody" as we just saw in the last Lincoln City Council election
that presented five candidates to fill five district seats?
have stated repeatedly that in the last 20 years, 82 percent of the
rural candidates have been elected to the county compared to 74
percent of the urban candidates. Those statistics are indisputable and
irrevocable. To date, no one who supports districts has debated these
findings. Instead, like a federal politician, they ignore these facts
and go on with their own diatribe of how rural Logan County is being
left out in the cold.
at the last several elections and notice if you can a candidate
running from Mount Pulaski.
about an Atlantan running after Darrel Deverman decided to retire? How
many New Hollanders besides Rod White have been a part of the
selection process? Until Roger Bock, who initially was appointed, how
many Elkhart residents have we seen on the ballot?
[to top of second
column in this commentary]
Hellman from the tiny town of Emden was the top vote-getter in the
last election, but still I hear that rural residents donít think
they have a chance to be elected.
can all pretend this isnít the truth if we want to, but the aim of
districting was promoted by rural proponents to get a larger foothold
on the board. That isnít a bad thing, but it could be in the event
rural members become increasingly negative to urban initiatives and
are not answerable to a full 50 percent of the constituents. The coin
can also become reversed, with rural residents feeling they are still
being left out of the process with no future chance of voting rural
candidates into offices held by urban members.
board, I believe, was required to adopt this initiative because the
voters of this county said so. In a democracy you have to follow the
will of the people, regardless if it is the best thing to do or not.
one wants to say it out loud, but the board is breaking into rural and
urban factions. With a 12-member board, split evenly between rural and
urban, I fear a great deal of deadlock on important issues is just
over the horizon. I hope I am wrong.
will also tell if a field of candidates worthy of spending a minute in
a polling place will be available to voters. I stand on record that in
the event every district has more than two choices to pick from, I
will apologize in this forum. In the event I do not see failures to
progress due to where a board member lives, I will again apologize.
Fair warning: In the event my fears on what will happen does occur, I
will not be afraid to tell you: I told you so.
(not for publication) to Mike Fak:
as a letter to the editor:
space is a staff writer's commentary section with observations about life experiences in Logan County and
A presidentís Fourth
Declaration of Independence has been around longer than any of us, so we
have plenty of historical precedents to select from as we decide how to
observe its 225th anniversary. The earliest celebrations included readings
of the Declaration, parades, music, dinners and fireworks.
Independence Day is firmly entrenched as an American summer holiday, I
thought it might be instructive to see what American presidents have done
on the Fourth. After all, as people who have assumed leadership of the
country, they naturally would have a heightened awareness of our
philosophy of government and a vested interest in it. Displays of
patriotic conviction are to some extent politically expedient on the
Fourth and also heartfelt, we hope.
On the other
hand, itís likely that since the regular duties of the office are more
directly related to the nationís governing than most American jobs are,
the president, of all people, could use a holiday from national concerns.
If we as individuals often fail to appreciate and use responsibly the
freedoms handed down to us, how much more challenging it must be to
provide patriotic leadership for millions of such constituents every day
of the year, including the Fourth.
James R. Heintze has compiled information about Fourth
of July events, including activities of the American presidents over the
years. His list at http://gurukul.american.edu/heintze/FourthPres.htm
mentions predictable presidential engagements such as attending public
ceremonies, laying cornerstones, giving and listening to speeches,
reviewing military parades, receiving guests, and viewing fireworks.
Presidents have also marked the Fourth by attending church services.
Others have played golf, gone for a drive in the country, looked over
their mail, signed bills, gone to car races, or spent time on the water,
whether on a steamboat, yacht or aircraft carrier.
times a president or family member has been ill on the Fourth.
of interest that President Coolidge was born on July 4 (1872), and that
three former presidents died on July 4: James Monroe in 1831 and John
Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1826.
had been invited to speak that year at a 50th anniversary observance of
the Declaration of Independence he drafted. Declining because of ill
health, he noted that the document expressed a choice between submission
and the sword. He was happy that "our fellow citizens, after half a
century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we
made." He said it was a "bold and doubtful" one at the
choices such as that have been part of the American record in war and
peace, but political decisions fail to control all of what happens in the
pages of history.
example the Fourth of July in 1850. Abraham Lincoln had returned to
Illinois to practice law after a term in Congress, and the Civil War was
still a decade in the future. Secession had been threatened, however, and
the current president, Zachary Taylor, said he would use his full
authority to quell any such rebellion. He spoke as a hero of the recent
Mexican War, a 40-year military man who had also served in the War of
1812, the Black Hawk War and the Second Seminole War. He also was a
slaveholder but favored admitting California as a free state without any
compromise on related matters. In addition, he faced an ethics crisis in
critical time, on a hot July 4, he attended ceremonies at the site of the
Washington Monument, became severely ill and died on July 9. His death is
attributed to acute gastroenteritis, commonly known then as cholera morbus
or summer cholera. (A suspicion of arsenic poisoning was laid to rest 10
years ago with testing of his remains.)
Creators of historical fiction
could speculate on what might have been if events had occurred otherwise,
but no one can say for sure. Certainly, more than the presidential trivia
listings were affected when, in the course of human events, illness struck
on a hot Fourth of July and ultimately claimed a presidentís life.
They Stand is a commentary section that poses a question about a
specific issue in the community. Informed individuals present their
position with facts, opinions or insights on the issue. The
following commentaries have been printed, unedited, in their
entirety, as they were received. If you have further comment on the
issue, please send an e-mail message, complete with your name,
address and telephone number to email@example.com.
vs. at large
April 3 ballot proposition:
"Shall Logan County be divided into districts equal in
population for the purpose of electing County Board members to serve
on the Logan County Board commencing in the year 2002?"
January of this year, citizens throughout Logan County circulated
petitions to place this issue on the ballot. That effort was
successful with more than 10% of registered voters signing within a
two-week period (2569 total/2000 needed). The referendum has been
certified by the Logan County Clerk and will be on the April 3rd
ballot throughout the county. The citizens were successful and will
be able to voice their opinion on this matter for the first time in
law states that every ten years each county in Illinois with a
township form of government shall determine whether board members
shall be elected "at large" from the county or by county
"YES" vote on this issue will indicate that residents of
Logan County want to have their County Board members representing
all areas of the county. Each district must be divided equally in
population and will guarantee that all areas are represented! The
present "at large" system allows for all 13 County Board
members to be elected from one area, while the remainder of the
county could end up with no one. In fact, the east side of our
county (from Mt. Pulaski to Atlanta) does not have representation at
the present time! All of the counties surrounding Logan are in
districts. Menard recently changed from "at large" to
"districts" with an overwhelming vote. The greater
majority of counties in Illinois are in districts and have been for
several years. We are not the only county with this issue on the
ballot. Bureau County recently passed a referendum to go to single
member districts. Champaign County has a similar question, as does
that this question asks how the make-up of the County Board should
be for the next ten years. Under a district system the voter is more
likely to know the person they are voting for. This is your
opportunity to voice your opinion and let your county governing body
know how you feel. If the referendum produces a result in FAVOR
of district representation, then measures will be introduced on the
floor of the Logan County Board to accomplish that goal.
White is a member of the Logan County Board.)
rather interesting and enlightening to note the places of residence
of people appointed to the Logan County Board to fill terms of
members who have died, moved away, or resigned.
Robert "Bud" Behrends was appointed to the Logan County
Board March 18, 1975, to finish out the term of Robert E. Downing,
and Lloyd Hellman was appointed November 15, 1994, to finish out
Robert "Bud" Behrends term on the board. Mr. Behrends grew
up in the Hartsburg area, and spent most of his life in Lincoln, and
Mr. Hellman, who replaced "Bud" has spent most of his life
in the rural Emden area. Mr. Downing was a rural Beason farmer.
emphasis on appointments was the type of person needed to
effectively function on the board; not where they resided. A Beason
resident (Mr. Downing) was replaced by a Hartsburg/Lincoln resident
(Mr. Behrends), who was replaced by Mr. Hellman, an Emden resident.
above appointments donít look like "district"
representation. It looks like desire on the part of the replacements
and their ability to effectively function on the Logan County Board.
H. Werth resigned from the board December 31, 1988. L. Buckles was
appointed to replace Mr. Werth, February 20, 1989. Both were from
rural areas -- Mr. Werth, rural area north of Mt. Pulaski, and Mr.
Buckles, rural area south of Mt. Pulaski.
Earl Madigan, who lived southeast of Lincoln, was replaced by Dwight
Zimmerman, who farmed for years just east of San Jose and later
lived in Lincoln. That certainly wasnít a "district"
appointment. That was an appointment based on the desire of the
person to serve and his ability to serve.
Edward L. Spellman, resigned from the board March 18, 1976, and Mr.
Don Smith was appointed to take his place. both came from Lincoln,
Both were successful business people and served well on the board.
Robert Welch died in office November 18, 1998. He was a resident of
rural Beason. Mr. Roger Bock of rural Williamsville was appointed to
replace him. Again, not a "district" appointment, but one
based on desire and ability.
my knowledge, no proponent of the district plan for electing members
of the Logan County Board has ever submitted a plan, so my question
is: If the at large system of electing county board members is not
flawed, why fix it?
the system is working well and the members are getting the work of
county government done, why change?
a district election plan, which apparently is only floating around
in the minds of a few people and has not been committed to paper,
better serve all the people of all the county?? I think not!!!
Hurley is a former member of the Logan County Board.)
fuel taxes paid in August 2000
figures are as follows:
County = $44,078.23
receive an allocation on the basis of motor vehicle registration fees, with the
exception of Cook County, which has a percentage allocation set by law.)
and road districts = $90,973.85
and road districts are allocated an amount computed on the basis of mileage in
of Lincoln = $38,003.84
receive an allocation based on population.)
Economic Development report]
estimates in Logan County
||Rural population -
||Urban population -
||Persons below poverty
level - 11.8 %
||Average marriages per
||Average deaths per
County high schools: 1960-2000
High School consolidated with New Holland
High School became part of Olympia School District
High School consolidated with Mount Pulaski
High School became Warrensburg-Latham
High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School
Jose High School consolidated with Illini Central (Mason City)
Lincoln High School history
School buildings in
school" in 1859
High school teacher,
Mr. January, in 1859
Central School opened
High school building
High school dedicated,
Cost of new high
community high school District #404
Dedication of new
Lincoln Community High School, 1000 Primm Road, in auditorium, on
in Logan County
in Lincoln City Police Department
in Logan County Police Department
in the Lincoln City Fire Department
Fire Departments in County
of Logan County Board
of Lincoln City Council
in Lincoln Public Library
in Lincoln College Library
in Lincoln Christian College Library
We Stack Up
This feature of the
Daily News compares Lincoln and Logan County to similar cities
and counties on a variety of issues in a succinct manner, using
charts and graphs for illustration.
makeup of selected Illinois counties
Up With That?
[Road construction is taking place up and down
Back to top
Review | Teaching
& Learning | Home
and Family | Obituaries
Community | Perspectives | Law
& Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual
Life | Health
& Fitness | Letters
to the Editor