DuPage County's biggest local races, ballot questions

Updated 3/14/2016 9:25 PM

DuPage County voters in Tuesday's primary will pick their party's nominees for several seats on the county and forest preserve boards.

Meanwhile, voters in Roselle Elementary District 12 and the Winfield Fire Protection District will decide whether to support two proposed property tax increases.


Here's a look at those local races and referendums:

County District 4

The most contentious local race in DuPage is the Republican primary for a county board District 4 seat sought by attorneys Tim Elliott and Michelle Moore.

Elliott, a Glen Ellyn village trustee, says the county board needs "independent voices." Moore, of Wheaton, works as a municipal prosecutor and is backed by board Chairman Dan Cronin.

The candidates offer starkly different views on the board's oversight of the sheriff's department and the future of the county fairgrounds in Wheaton.

Moore said she would consider relocating the fair and bringing a "community farm or sustainable gardens" to the fairgrounds. Elliott aims to keep the fair where it is and would consider a plan to re-invest in the fairgrounds to "allow us to have conventions, meetings, receptions."

The GOP nominee will face Khizar Jafri, a Wheaton Democrat, in November.

District 4 covers all or parts of Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Lombard, Wheaton and Winfield.

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County District 2

Four Republicans are vying for the opportunity to challenge Democratic incumbent Elizabeth "Liz" Chaplin in the general election for a District 2 county board seat.

Richard Blass of Elmhurst, Elaine Zannis of Oak Brook, Zachary Wilson of Lombard and Anna Manzo of Oak Brook are making a bid for the 2-year term.

Blass, who retired in 2012 as the deputy police chief of Bellwood, is an attorney. Zannis is a former Oak Brook trustee, and Wilson is a former Lombard trustee. Manzo is a small-business owner and coordinator for a freight company.

District 2 includes all or parts of Addison, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Westmont and Woodridge.

Forest District 5

Republican voters in parts of Aurora, Lisle, Naperville and Warrenville will choose either incumbent Mary Lou Wehrli or former commissioner Carl Schultz to be the GOP nominee for the District 5 seat on the DuPage County Forest Preserve District board.


Wehrli, a Naperville resident who has held the seat since 2012, calls herself a "citizen advocate" who wants to make sure the district maintains its assets and listens to the public's desires.

Schultz, an Aurora resident who held the seat from 2002 to 2012, is a horticulturist who says he'll work collaboratively with other commissioners to keep district land in top shape and ensure residents can have quality outdoor experiences.

Roselle District 12

The financially strapped Roselle elementary school district is asking voters to dig deep to pay for a property tax hike.

If approved, the increase would cost about $500 more a year for the owner of a $250,000 market-value home.

District officials plan to make budget cuts -- offering only half-day kindergarten next year, prime among them -- to plug a deficit initially forecast at roughly $844,000. However, Superintendent Melissa Kaczkowski says the district's financial concerns go deeper.

The proposed tax increase would generate nearly $1.5 million more a year, money that would allow the district to began repairs at its two schools, which are both more than 50 years old.

If voters reject the tax increase, District 12 would face additional cuts that could eliminate extracurricular programs for its 725 students.

Fire Protection

The Winfield Fire Protection District is looking to improve response times south of the train tracks that divide its coverage area by staffing a vacant firehouse along Winfield Road, just north of Roosevelt Road.

The district is asking voters to approve a property tax increase to raise roughly $650,000 to hire and train six full-time firefighters. That would allow it to always have a two-person paramedic unit assigned to the fire station.

If the tax increase is approved, the owner of a $300,000 house would pay about $122 more in annual property taxes to the district.

The district includes nearly all of Winfield, as well as unincorporated areas near West Chicago, Wheaton, Carol Stream and Warrenville.

• Daily Herald staff writers Katlyn Smith and Marie Wilson contributed to this report.

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