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RANTOUL — A sure sign of approaching spring: campaign signs are sprouting in yards throughout Rantoul touting candidates in the April 4 election.
Local residents will get an opportunity to hear what the candidates for several offices have to say at a forum set this week. The assembly begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the J.W. Eater Junior High School Annex.
Races have stacked up for Rantoul mayor, village board and library board while three candidates have filed for as many positions on the park board.
Running for mayor are incumbent Chuck Smith, former mayor Neal Williams and current village trustee Gary Wilson.
Candidates for three four-year terms on the village board are John Gaffney, Sam Hall, Rich Medlen, Ken Turner, Merle Wilson and Terry Workman.
Four candidates have filed for three open seats with six-year terms while one person has filed for a four-year term on the Rantoul Public Library Board.
Filing for six-year terms are Michael Flanagan, William Wagner Jr., Anita Hochberger and Jessica Holmes.
Filing for a four-year term (for which two seats are open) is Lynne Larkin.
Three candidates will run for three seats on the park board. They are Gary Hardin and Debbie Schmidt for four-year terms and Rich Thomas to complete the unexpired two-year term of Ron Luna.
Each candidate will have the opportunity to give a one-minute opening statement as well as a one-minute closing statement.
Questions will be asked of each candidate, who will have one minute to respond.
Candidates will be seated in alphabetical order.
No campaigning will be allowed in the school during the forum.
Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio will serve as moderator, and Exchange Club member Jim Nelson will be timekeeper.
Prepared questions will be asked of all the candidates. The public will be able to speak with candidates after the forum.
WPXN radio, Paxton, will broadcast the forum live, and there will be live streaming of the event through Rantoul City Schools. Rantoul Press will follow up with stories on the event.
The forum is sponsored by Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce, Rantoul Exchange Club and Rantoul Rotary.