Current form of Rantoul village government doesn’t need change
To the editor:
Who is aggrieved by the current form of village government? Only those of us who choose not to participate.
Are we disenfranchised currently. No. We have the right to vote for all village board members and the mayor for action.
Are we underserved? No. The good women and men who work for the village provide for the daily needs for our benefit. The village board does not. We can express our concern and requests for services to our mayor, village administrator, department heads and employees daily.
Are we under represented? No. The current government form allows us to choose six village board members. We can have board members from different age, gender, racial, religious and other groups. A single representative from a district would represent with only one cohort in a given group or without some groups, not at all for a district.
Each district could experience representative change only once every four years. Currently, we may change up to half of our board members every two years.
All citizens or groups of citizens may go to six board members now and may have more possibilities. A single representative may not be attentive or understanding of our concerns.
Rantoul is small enough in area for all board member to examine local neighborhood problems as well as the larger village picture.
What do we really need? We need to be assured that the same citizens that do not participate in current village affairs do not just sit at home. There is no guarantee that people who don’t participate now will participate under a new form of government. We need to be more inclusionary.
Citizens now have the right to review proposed budgets, board agendas, plans, audits, zoning etc. One entire program, Community Development funding from HUD, must show how the village will target the needs of low- and moderate-income citizens which citizens must have the opportunities to review. If people do not feel included in the processes of reviews, then all the rest of us should reach out to them.
People can talk to the mayor, village administrator and the board. If, as others indicate, we have advanced over 40 years in technology, citizens can also text, tweet, email, etc. There is no excuse, folks.
The proponents of change are spending time, effort and money arguing for a new form of government.
The answer is for all of us to inform each other how to use the current one.
Retired Rantoul community development director
Vote 'yes' on six-trustee districts
To the editor:
This election year we are seeing a blending of Halloween and the mid-term elections.
There are a few ghosts in our midst who are trying to scare us out of voting for what is best for Rantoul. With a closer look we discover that like real ghosts they have little substance and we can see right through them.
Rantoul’s voters have an opportunity to improve our community by voting "yes" and changing how we elect our village’s six-trustees, by district rather than at-large.
Once approved, Rantoul can realize better representation and better accountability from our trustees along with greater community participation.
Some ghosts have been moaning about how electing trustees by districts is not a good idea. However, they lack supporting facts, so they resort to scare tactics. For example, the ghosts claim electing trustees by districts will result in division, competition for resources and identify politics. Those claims are nothing more than chain rattling.
No doubt you have noticed that the ghosts using these scare tactics never once pointed to a single community that elects their representatives by district saying, this is what could happen to Rantoul, because that would just be silly.
To dispel their chain-rattling let’s take a look at some of our closest neighbors who elect their representatives by district such as Paxton, Gibson City, Urbana and Champaign. Of varying sizes these are vibrant communities where their district representatives are active in the community and engaging their constituents.
If you search, you won’t find any evidence that these communities suffer from internal division, fighting over resources or identify politics. On the contrary, they are all pleasant places to live, their governments operate successfully and they are economically thriving.
Don’t let the ghosts scare you, for a better Rantoul tomorrow vote "yes" for six-trustee districts.
Urge you to vote 'no'
To the editor:
In two weeks the citizens of the village of Rantoul will have a referendum before them regarding a six-trustee district form of government. This is being promoted as an opportunity for the citizens to have better representation for their needs and their areas.
If passed, this type of government will actually give the citizens less representation. As it is now, I have the opportunity to vote for six trustees. These are elected officials that I can go to with concerns about village issues. Under the proposed districts, I would have only one representative who would address concerns about my district only.
Currently we have six trustees who represent the village as a whole and who work together to meet the needs of the village as a whole with the resources available.
With districts each trustee would represent their area and their concerns. Six different districts would be competing for the same resources to meet the goals of their district and not necessarily for the village as a whole.
I urge you to vote "no" on Nov. 6 on the referendum for the six-trustee district.
Rantoul needs to work together as a whole to address and resolve all issues and concerns of its citizens.