Sunday, December 17, 2006

Will Bill Cellini Be Crystal Lake Election Issue?

A close observer of Crystal Lake city politics told me today that it looked like the election for Crystal Lake City Council race was going to be a real race.

There are three incumbents up for re-election:

Ellen Brady- Mueller,

Cathy Ferguson and

Howie Christensen.
All have filed for re-election. (The relative size of the photos indicates nothing more than I have not mastered the technique to make them the same size.)

Two challengers also have already filed:
Carolyn Schofield, 1580 W. Crandon Court, and

Brett Hopkins, 689 Tomahawk Lane.
But “word on the street,” to put in the words of the person I talked to, is that more are circulating petitions.

No official word on whether anyone will challenge 2-term Mayor Aaron Shepley.

Except for his enthusiastic support of the Gay Games, Shepley has pretty much managed to avoid controversy until last Friday.

That's when the Northwest Herald gave him (and, by extension, the sitting council members) for having picked the team headed by Springfield’s successful businessman and backroom Republican politician Bill Cellini to handle the $100-plus million Vulcan Lakes Tax Increment Financing District.

If you were running for office, how would you like to have that story on the front page of your home town newspaper the morning of the 5th day of an 8-day filing period?

I’m told that Cellini was the main man in his group’s presentation to the city council.

Friday, I observed that this pretty enormous TIF district has become intensely political…as one might expect with so much money at stake.

Will there be enough candidates to require a primary election?

If so, it will be a very light turnout, so the best-organized candidates will come out on top.

But, with controversy comes opportunity for challengers.

And with political insiders from afar being favored on such a large project, it is likely that word-of-mouth is working overtime among Crystal Lakers.

Not a good sign for incumbents when there is a negative twist.

Published 1st at McHenry County Blog.


Patrick McDonough 12:35 AM  

The TIFs started in Chicago and like a VD, spread to the outlying areas. Time to take a second look at TIFs. Vote the tubbies out now!

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