Campton Hills hopefuls united on 'rural' goals, differ on gambling

  • Darlene Bakk

    Darlene Bakk

  • Rich Becker

    Rich Becker

  • Susan George

    Susan George

  • Wendy Kay White-Eagle

    Wendy Kay White-Eagle

 
 

Four people running for three 4-year Campton Hills trustee seats in the April 2 election have similar goals for the village, such as preserving its rural character, but have differing views on whether the village should allow video gambling.

Incumbents Susan George and Wendy K. White Eagle are seeking re-election, while newcomers Darlene Bakk and Rich Becker hope for a chance to serve on the village board.

All candidates believe preserving the rural character of the village, which was incorporated in 2007, should be a priority. They all want to ensure the village can operate without levying a property tax, which was a promise made 12 years ago.

But the candidates differ on whether the village should move forward on allowing video gambling.

That matter also is up for a nonbinding, advisory vote on the April 2 ballot.

George, who has served as a trustee since 2008, said she is undecided on video gambling. "It's not a simple decision. We also need to hear the voice of residents," said George, who added if residents favored gambling in the referendum, that would be just one factor in her decision. "There's many facets of this."

Bakk said she does not support video gambling and added that even if voters supported it, "it's not an absolute. I'm prepared to listen and help make a decision."

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Becker said he supports video gambling and would vote in favor of it if voters gave it the green light.

"I don't think it's going to be disruptive or destructive," he said.

White-Eagle said she has supported video gambling in the past and said results from the ballot question would "weigh very heavily" on her choice.

In 2012, nearly 70 percent of Campton Hills voters were against video gambling, but proponents of the measure say times have changed.

Supporters will host an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Old Towne Pub Wasco, 40W290 La Fox Road, for people to learn more. A presentation will begin at 7 p.m. The Lodge on 64 also is a sponsor of the open house. Surrounding towns have enacted video gambling and the option is needed for restaurants in Campton Hills to be competitive, proponents argue.

Village officials also note that nearby towns such as St. Charles. Elburn, South Elgin and Huntley have not had a spike in police calls since they legalized video gambling.

Last year, St. Charles expected to receive more than $140,000 in revenue from video gambling.

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