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posted: 2/29/2012 5:00 AM

No on Winfield voting districts

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

There's no doubt that the politics on the Winfield village board are just as heated -- and just as counterproductive -- as those we can witness on a national scale. Charges of political insiders catering to the donors to the political action committee that supports their campaign are coupled with public arguments, village meeting agendas left incomplete and even a police report over a perceived threat. First-term Trustee Tim Allen argues that the solution to the shenanigans lies in carving the town of about 10,000 residents into six voting districts. Districts would ensure geographic representation, reduce campaign costs and candidates' dependence on donations from the Winfield United organization, and encourage trustees to prioritize the needs and interests of their district, Allen says. However, we believe the answer for Winfield is not to create further divisions within the small town. Independent candidates can -- and do -- run effective, affordable campaigns for at-large seats in much larger towns. Meanwhile, districting encourages trustees to hold to positions popular in their districts even if it's not in the best interest of the village as a whole. Winfield residents would do better to elect representatives willing to work together rather than to vote to further divide the community. We recommend residents vote no on the proposal to create voting districts in Winfield.

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