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Voting brings election season to close

Ballots being cast for those who will spend local property tax money

Deputy Clerks LeAnn Strama, left, and Debbie Hanley check a touch-screen voting machine as they set up a polling place in the Grundy County Administration Center Monday afternoon.
Deputy Clerks LeAnn Strama, left, and Debbie Hanley check a touch-screen voting machine as they set up a polling place in the Grundy County Administration Center Monday afternoon.

In what some call the “property tax election,” voters throughout Grundy County are going to the polls today to decide who will run their towns, schools and various other taxing bodies.

The polls opened at various locations throughout the county at 6 a.m. today, Tuesday, April 9, and will remain open until 7 p.m.

This year’s elections include a number of contested races, including mayoral contests in Morris, Carbon Hill and Minooka.

In Morris, incumbent Richard Kopczick, a Democrat who has held the office since 2001, is being challenged by Republican Drew Muffler and independent John T. Brooks in a race that’s been fierce to the wire.

One final point of contention in a race that has been, at times, acrimonious, came Monday, when the Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District released a statement refuting a mailer from the Muffler campaign that the first district says contained misinformation.

Noting it does not take positions with regard to local politics, the district indicated the mailer “provides an inaccurate assertion” the district is raising its taxes 22.5 percent because of the new 911 building and operations.

“The 2012-2013 levy was increased for only the Ambulance Fund by about four cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to cover additional personnel and other costs to provide services for the district,” the statement attributed to David Bonomo, president of the fire district board of trustees said.

The race for village president in Minooka has also been hard fought, as current President Patrick J. Brennan and former Grundy County Board Member Jacqueline C. McKinney vie for the job.

In Carbon Hill, Michael A. Cerney is challenging incumbent Edward M. Pacchetti for mayor.

Additionally, school districts throughout the county, including Morris Elementary School District 54, Morris Community High School District 101, and both school districts in Minooka, could see new boards form as a result of today’s voting.

In one voting precinct in the county — Felix Dist. 4 in Coal City — voters will be casting their votes in a new polling place. Instead of County Meadows, voting Tuesday will take place at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Coal City, Grundy County Clerk Lana Philips said.

That will be the only change in polling location.

This year’s election is expected to have a higher turnout than the last round of local voting. Four years ago, overall turnout was 13.79 percent, Philips said.

But this year, she is expecting around a 30-percent turnout.

“We had a very small turnout last time,” said Philips. “This year we’re expecting a much higher volume.”

By midday Monday, 441 people had participated in early voting.

Twenty-six people cast grace period ballots.

There were 177 absentee ballots requested, 104 of which had been returned by Monday afternoon. Forty-three were returned in person.

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