Smile Politely

Who’s on your ballot: Connie Dillard-Myers for County Board District 10

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.

Smile Politely: For readers who have no concept of what the county board is responsible for, can you give me a quick rundown, in your words? What do voters need to know?

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. 

SP: Why did you decide to run for re-election?
Dillard-Myers: My interest comes from living and working in Champaign County community for over 45 years. The Champaign County Board Seat for District 10 had been vacated twice prior to the member completing their full 4-year term in the past 3-4 years. The most recent being a U of I Ph.D. student, who was seeking employment outside of the community while running for office. That candidate only served 6 months before vacating the seat. This should not be the norm; therefore, I’m running to bring stability to Champaign County Board District 10.

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. 

SPWhat do you feel are the top 2-3 issues facing the county board right now?


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
SP: The current primary races have been contentious, to say the least, and there’s a history of tension and infighting within the board. If you receive the nomination and are elected to the board, what steps will you take to mitigate the current tensions while working to advance your vision?
Dillard-Myers: This tension you speak of existed on the board before my arrival. I will not engage negative people, negative places, or anything negative. Therefore, I keep to the business of the county by attending the required meetings, engaging those who are willing to be engaged, and cooperate as a team player. I will always strive to be respectful in any given situation and will carry out my duties as a board member to the best of my ability. I remain focused on the task at hand, using my knowledge and skills to carry out the values, mission, and vision of the county board. I have no control over other county board members; Democrat or Republican, nor will I speak for them. 
SP: What makes you most qualified to be the Democratic nominee?

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.

Staff writer

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