Next month, on March 17th, Champaign County and the rest of the State of Illinois will have their primary election. Though the Presidential election is obviously important to focus on, it’s equally pressing to consider our options at the local level. If you’re not one that pays attention to politics in general, you probably have a tendency to overlook these races until there are a bunch of names on a ballot, some of which you might recognize from yard signs. I was once this person. We don’t want you to be that person, so we’ll spend the next couple of weeks highlighting a few of the races that you should be paying attention to. Smile Politely does not do endorsements, so it’s up to you to sort out who you feel should represent you in these county level offices.
Connie Dillard-Myers is a Democrat running against Mary King for Champaign County Board District 10.
Connie Dillard-Myers: The county board governs Champaign County and, in some cases, is the only governing body for the unincorporated areas outside of villages, towns, or cities within the county. The county is also responsible for collecting and disbursing tax dollars to drainage districts, school districts, and municipalities within the county. Working with regional, state and federal agencies to take care of our infrastructures like facilities, roads, bridges, and highways. We oversee land use, planning and zoning issues as well. The county’s court and jail systems are also overseen by the county board. Early childhood learning, utility assistance for the poor, mental health board as well as emergency management are all areas of oversight for the Champaign County Board. The county has a wide array of responsibilities; too much to describe here. I would like to refer readers to the county’s website for detailed information.
I also currently serve as the precinct committeeperson for Cunningham 19 which is within Champaign County Board District 10. I was appointed to the board in October 2019 to fill 14 months of the 4-year term. Based on the statute regarding un-filled term on the Champaign County Board, I still must run for the last two remaining years that are left.
- The current state of the Champaign County Jail is being addressed. It has been a looming issue from the poor conditions at the old facility downtown to not ideal conditions at either facility. The jail issue needs to be studied and a solution needs to be found to this problem. The current monetary figure stems from an old short-term study by a consultant that is no longer accurate. We need an updated professional needs assessment of our jail situation that would include dealing with societal issues such as gangs, people dying in the county jail, mental illness, and homelessness.
- The resolution on the county’s position of the retail sales, growing, and transporting marijuana has yet to be decided. That will be coming up next month in committee and it may go to the full board as well.
Dillard-Myers: Besides the fact that I am a lifelong VOTING DEMOCRAT; as were my parents and my grandparents (both maternal and paternal)…
I exceed the minimum qualifications to serve on the Champaign County Board. The minimum requirements are that you must be:
- at least 18 years of age
- a US Citizen
- a resident of Champaign County
- a resident in the District you are seeking the seat
- have a voting history in either of the 2 major parties (Democrat or Republican)
Beyond those qualifications, I have a:
- Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Gies College of Business with a major concentration in Management Information Systems and a minor in African American Studies
- Master of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University’s School of Technology in Training and Development with a certification in Workplace Improvement.
- I retired from the University of Illinois Library after 30 years in information management.
- Since then I’ve been employed as a business analyst, a project manager, an information management specialist, an accounting assistant, helpdesk coordinator, and currently I work part-time as an administrative assistant. My work history, as well as my educational background, can be found on my LinkedIn Profile.
- I feel my life and work experiences, my educational background, along with my willingness to use my skills to further the values, vision, and mission of the county makes me the best candidate and the most qualified candidate to sit on the Champaign County Board representing District 10.
Not sure which county board district you are in? You can find out here. Photo from Champaign County Democrats website.