Four 4-year terms are available in the race for Elgin City Council. Incumbents Richard Dunne, Terry L. Gavin, John Prigge, and Carol J. Rauschenberger are joined in the race by newcomers Corey Dixon, Brenda Rodgers and Brandon Yaniz.
On the topic of funding the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA), Dunne, Gavin, Rauschenberger and Rodgers all express interest in supporting the creation of a Special Services Area of taxation downtown. Prigge, Dixon and Yaniz do not support requesting such a tax.
Of note, Gavin and Prigge urge caution on moving forward on any initiatives until a successor or plan is made for the replacement for the recently departed DNA executive director.
Every one of the candidates demonstrates knowledge of the issues based on research and contact with the community.
Every one of the candidates offers constructive and useful ideas for improving the funding model for the DNA moving forward with or without a new tax.
On the matter of a task force recommendation for expansion of the Hemmens Cultural Center, Dunne, Gavin, Rauschenberger and Rodgers all express interest in maintaining the iconic venue and keeping it viable in its present state while seeking private funding to make incremental improvements.
Prigge is not in favor of expanding the venue. Dixon would favor doing a cost-benefit analysis, and Yaniz would like to see expansion of the venue as part of a broader economic development plan focused on attracting clientele for Elgin's small businesses.
Incumbents Dunne, Gavin, Prigge, and Rauschenberger continue to demonstrate a knowledge of the intricate details of municipal government as well as an ability to see the ripple effects of critical decisions. For his part, Prigge offers the council a healthy dose of dissenting opinion. He would be well advised to select his platforms wisely, but otherwise we're confident the incumbents are best prepared to serve the city for the next four years, and they are endorsed.