Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

October 23, 2012

Teutopolis-area residents vie for Effingham County Board seat

EFFINGHAM — Gobczynski, Thoele up for District I County Board seat

    Two Teutopolis-area residents with familiar last names are vying for the District I seat on the Effingham County Board.

    Democrat Rebecca Gobczynski and Republican Joseph Thoele are competing for the opportunity to succeed the retiring Larry Vahling on the board.

    Neither candidate is any stranger to the board. Gobczynski’s husband Leon was County Board chairman in the early 2000s, while Thoele has been to most of the board’s meetings in the past year.

    Gobczynski is a retired French teacher at Altamont High School, while Thoele is a farmer.

    District I includes the Teutopolis and Montrose areas.


Rebecca Gobczynski

 While Gobczynski is not a particularly common last name in Effingham County, it’s instantly recognizable among basketball fans and followers of county government.

    That’s because former Teutopolis High School basketball standout Leon Gobczynski chaired the Effingham County Board for several years before resigning in 2002 to devote more time to his insurance business.

    While Leon Gobczynski has stayed out of elected office since his resignation, wife Rebecca is trying to win Leon’s old seat on the County Board.

    Mrs. Gobczynski, 59, touts her education and life experience as a plus.

    “I feel my education certainly helps,” she said. “I have been around Effingham County government since the mid 90s.”

    Gobczynski, who retired earlier this year after 27 years as a French and English teacher at Altamont High School, said she would draw on her teaching experience as a board member.

    “Working as a teacher has broadened my horizons,” she said. “I also believe living overseas enables me to deal with people from various backgrounds.”

    The fact that she is retired, Gobczynski said, means she can devote as much time as needed to the board.

    The Gobczynskis spent several years in Europe while Leon played professional basketball.

    Like other candidates, Gobczynski believes the budget is the single most important issue. She believes that more than $400,000 in “wasteful spending” can be cut from the budget.

    “Taxpayers are very concerned about how their money is being spent,” she said.

    Not only should the county have a balanced budget, Gobczynski said, but she believed there should be a comprehensive plan to guide officials into the future.

    “The plan should have long and short-term goals,” she said.

    Gobczynski said improvements to the 911 system should be included in any comprehensive plan. Like many others, she is looking forward to a proposed study that may lead to consolidation of the county’s two dispatch centers. She said consolidation could save millions of dollars over a 10-year period.

    Gobczynski added that she would like to see more government transparency.

    “We need easier access to government information and topics,” she said. “There are ways to get much of this information on the Internet.”

    Gobczynski is a St. Anthony High School graduate and has a bachelor’s degree from Quincy College (now University) and a master’s in educational administration from Eastern Illinois University.

    She is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Teutopolis, Daughters of the American Revolution and National Society of Mayflower Descendants.

    Gobczynski lives in Teutopolis with husband Leon. The couple has two children and three grandchildren.


 Joseph Thoele

Text Only
Local News
  • No Headline Provided SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Here are the winning numbers selected Wednesday in the Illinois State Lottery:My 3-Midday6-2-4My 3-Evening4-7-5Pick Three-Midday4-8-0Fireball: 3Pick Three-Evening5-6-0Fireball: 4Pick Four-Midday3-5-5-1Fireball: 2Pick Four-Evening6-

    July 31, 2014

  • tony- dieterich app maker pic Dieterich grad markets word game application TONY HUFFMANDaily NewsDalton Hinterscher is something of a Renaissance man in the making.A former standout basketball player at Dieterich High School, Hinterscher followed his intellectual pursuits into college. Entering his second year as a Software

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.