BLOOMINGTON — Two newcomers have created a race for two incumbents seeking re-election in McLean County Board District 4.
Democrats Sally Pyne, 54, 216 Cambridge Drive, and Steven Campbell, 60, 10 Marvin Gardens, are challenging Republican incumbents William T. Caisley, 72, 401 W. Summit St., and Ed McKibbin, 41, 1601 Tompkins Drive. All live in Normal.
District 4 covers west Normal. The election is Nov. 6.
Caisley, a farmer and retired circuit judge who has served five years on the board, wants more cooperation among the county, Bloomington and Normal, including possibly joint hiring of a structural engineer for bridge projects. Currently, each entity hires an outside firm.
Caisley also supports shaving some expenses from the 2013 fiscal year budget but not at the sacrifice of a proposed 1.5 percent merit increase for non-union workers or amenities such as Comlara Park or the McLean County Museum of History.
“I’m a firm supporter of keeping wages competitive,” he said. “I don’t support at this time cutting things we don’t have to do but make a huge contribution to the quality of life.”
McKibbin, a students’ attorney at Illinois State University, wants to make sure the county’s financial resources are spent appropriately and with an eye toward future vitality.
He’s optimistic $350,000 can be cut from the proposed budget to maintain the tax rate and said the county “has done a pretty good job” with its budget despite the uncertainty in the state’s budget, which is responsible for contributing to the salaries of some county departments.
He supports amenities such as the Route 66 bike trail.
Pyne, academic advisor for Lincoln College-Normal’s Center for Adult Learning and its Adult Bridge to Education program, would like to see education at the forefront in the county.
She thinks the county is on the right track doing research on fracking but said it would “take a lot of convincing to make me think it would be safe for our water supply. At first blush I don’t think it’s worth it.”
While the proposed eastside highway doesn’t affect her district, Pyne said she wants to know the issues.
“I like to be forward thinking; to look at what it will mean for McLean County in the next 50 years,” she said.
Campbell, a process control engineer at Caterpillar Inc., said he would bring his training in analyzing benefits versus costs and using data and facts for decision making.
He would like to look at consolidating some county offices “if it makes sense” and would still maintain the same service level.
Campbell said the county needs to be careful of the ground water when considering fracking and needs to be mindful of long-term effects and risks to the environment.
He is supportive of the proposed eastside highway as an efficient way to move people.
“Bloomington-Normal is expanding to the east at a significant rate,” he said. “We need to plan ahead.”