DANVILLE — Taxes are the concentration for three candidates vying for seats in Vermilion County Board District 4 in this year’s election.
Incumbent Democrats Joe Tamalunis and Ed Barney are facing off against Republican challenger Cathy Jenkins. A fourth candidate, Democrat Terry Stal of Georgetown, is running for a seat in District 4.
Cooperation is the focus for Barney and Tamalunis attempting to hold off a property tax increase for the county. The county has not had a tax increase in six years.
For Tamalunis, the cooperation begins at the board level.
“My solution would be to continue the operation of the county board as is,” he said in a survey distributed to candidates. “We are a group who go beyond the political boundaries in order to ensure that the county will continue to operate within its means.”
Barney agrees, but notes an effort to assist the county should also come from the state government in Springfield.
“In a perfect world, it would be easier to maintain this run if the state would improve its financial situation and pay the county its money that it is due and owing and pay it on time,” he said, noting that cuts will still need to be made by the county “in appropriate places.”
A raise in taxes should always be the last option, according to Jenkins, but is one that includes a variety of factors.
“To project a plan to maintain the county’s no tax increases is not representative of the many areas that must be taken into consideration,” she said, adding that every alternative — including cuts — must be considered as well as “innovative/creative ideas examined.”
District 4 is in the southeast corner of the county, taking in Georgetown and extending as far north as Westville.
Incumbent Democratic board member Terry Stal of Georgetown did not return a candidate survey with his comments on the issues.