Decatur Vote Illinois
Feb 15, 2024: Decatur Vote is Temporarily Closed. See the announcement.

City Manager Retiring, Property Taxes go up, Garbage Rates increase Dec 8, 2023 Weekly Recap

Meta Report written by Reed Sutman on . Updated .

City Manager Scot Wrighton is retiring. Garbage rates will increase slightly. Property taxes up 3%.

Macon County Elections (H&R) - There is little competition for Macon County elections this year. Three Republican Coroner candidates face-off in the March 19 Primaries, then the winner faces Democrat challenger Tiffany Hall for the general election on November 5th.

Other County seats are uncontested. It is possible for some candidates to be slated to run in vacant seats after the March 19th primaries.

I have not reviewed the precinct commiteeperson races. Certified candidate lists for Macon County voters will be available after January 11th.

View all the candidates who file with the Macon County Clerk.

City Manager Retiring (WAND) - "Decatur City Manager Scot Wrighton announced his plans to retire in May 2024." See more coverage from Herald & Review.

Garbage (H&R) - Garbage rates will increase from $19 per month to $23.50 in 2024, with annual 4% increases thereafter. $4 tote rental fees are eliminated. See the City's Facebook Announcement for other changes.

Personal Note: I recently tried to dump a mattress at Waste Management, for a friend who didn't have any free bulk pickups left. They were going to charge $150 to dump. The new garbage haul deal includes 5 free bulk pickups per year from your house.

City Budget (H&R) - $90.6 million general fund budget approved 6-1. David Horn voted no. A 3% property tax increase will be voted on later this month. Other fees & taxes are still undecided.

Mock Elections at Muffley (H&R) - Muffley kids voted Grace for President, because "A human makes a better president than a duck," says one student. Personally, I'd pick the duck. County Clerk Josh Tanner & two of his staff assisted.

American Dreamer students visit new Dansby Magnet School (H&R) - A mostly feel-good piece, with some details of the issues at the current American Dreamer, and details about the "elder Dansby, a Decatur native and Millikin University graduate, [who] was only the second Black aviator to be accepted ..."

Department of Corrections (WAND) - The Illinois Department of Corrections released a Facility Master Plan that was just shared by WAND. The text "Decatur" appears 33 times in the Document. I have not reviewed it.

Champaign Coroner Resigns (WAND) - Elected GOP Precinct Committeepersons will choose a new coroner, who will be confirmed by the full Champaign County Board on Jan 18, 2024.

Election Interference (WAND) - "FBI Director Christopher Wray warned members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday of possible election interference by foreign adversaries in the 2024 elections." Read the article for more.

Champaign County Board (H&R) - Shelby County Board member Teresa Boehm is being prosecuted by Shelby County State’s Attorney Robert Hanlon for serving on the Shelby County Board and as a Rose Township Cemetery trustee at the same time, which may be a Class 4 felony. Read the article for more details.

Sponsor this work monthly on Patreon or send one-time contributions on PayPal.


Correction: Last week, I wrote that David Horn's letter was "in support of Heritage's move," but this was not explicitly stated in his letter. I've updated the article to say he wrote a letter "opposing stigmatization around mental health, writing [a quote from his letter]".

Champaign News: I covered the Coronor resignation & the County Board issue because these have to do with political processes. If you read those articles, you may get some more insight into the process and politics of local government, even though these are not Decatur stories.

Note: You may have noticed I'm only giving limited information in the recaps. My hope is to provide you with an overview of issues (mostly political) in Decatur, but leave it to you to read the original articles if you're interested.

I am thoughtful about what & how much information I share, in part, because I'm referencing copyrwritten works. I don't want to take advantage of anyone else's work or steer you away from visiting WAND or Herald & Review because my meta-review is too comprehensive. I'm more detailed when I have original reporting available, such as with the election coverage.

I also just want these recaps to be quick & easy, both to read & to write. If you have any feedback, leave it at the bottom of the page.

DFTA Contract

I previously reported on the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants union contract & began a DFTA Contract Topic page to follow the story, but failed to keep this page up-to-date until this week.

Below are summaries of reporting since my last update to that topic. You've probably already seen this news.

DFTA Approves Contract (WAND) - DFTA members voted to approve the new contract, the week of September 26th, 2023.

School Board Approves Contract (H&R) - Contract is effective retroactively from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025. Approved by the School Board on October 10th, 2023.

Download the 2023-2025 agreement.

Other Stuff

Conflicts of Interest: I'm working on a database to track public officials, their affiliations & conflicts of interest, and to track significant actions, such as the 6-1 vote on the 2024 City Budget. The data and code will be open source, eventually. It's a work in progress with no due-date.

Local News Database: I'm working on an open-source news scraper to collect all the news from local outlets, to build a unified feed from all the local outlets, and make all the local news searchable. No due-date. Code & some data is already open source.

Declassified U.S. Documents: Did you know you can read declassified U.S. Government documents? This week, I read a 1969 document primarily discussing political power in South Korea.

Long story short: Students, Veterans, intellectuals, and opposition political parties didn't have much power. South Korea rigged elections, created political parties to split votes, and had ROK CIA operatives running companies. Read for yourself. Honestly, this is one of the most fascinating things I've ever read.

My favorite quotes:

  • "While [President Park] has developed and demonstrated his adeptness for political manipulation, he has not appeared comfortable in the role of a democratic leader."
  • "Discharged veterans have been a problem in the past but are now kept under control through the ROK Veterans' Administration"

This is an article about the topic Weekly Decatur News Recap.