Candidate forums are planned in the next several days to give area voters a chance to learn more about the topics in the community and those seeking election before the polls open April 2.
• On Tuesday, March 19, the Effingham Classroom Teachers Association and the Effingham Education Support Professionals will sponsor an Effingham Unit 40 School Board Candidate Forum.
The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Effingham Elks Lodge, 2102 South Banker St., Effingham. The candidates have been invited to attend. They are Robin Klosterman, Dannielle Kingery Harden, Jill Wendling, Jane Willenborg, and Bradley J. Waldhoff.
Only Willenborg is an incumbent. Long-time Unit 40 board members Todd Schaefer, Jeff Michael and Carol Ruffner are not seeking re-election. Four will be elected.
In a press release, Shannon Hall-Nanini said the forum is being held to educate the community-at-large and to encourage involvement and voting at the upcoming election. Hall-Nanini said the unions advocate for quality public education in safe, positive and constructive learning.
“We believe that the members of the Unit 40 School Board of Education are an integral part to insuring that happens for all of our students and staff,” said Hall-Nanini.
• On Thursday, March 21, three candidates for Effingham mayor will be present during a forum at 6 p.m. This will be followed by a second forum for Effingham city commissioners at 7 p.m. Both candidate forums will be held at the Effingham Elks Lodge as well.
Three vying for mayor are incumbent Mayor Jeff Bloemker, former Effingham Chief of Police Mike Schutzbach and local attorney Scott Ealy.
Vying for city commissioners in Effingham are incumbents Don Althoff, Kevin Willis, Kevin Esker and Merv Gillenwater. Also seeking seats are Jayne Miller, who had served the city as a technical assistant in the city's engineering department before her recent retirement; Libby Moeller, who now serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission; Larry Micenheimer, a former city commissioner; and Henry J. "Hank" Stephens, a former city attorney.
There are four seats available in this at-large, majority vote election.
• On Monday, March 25, The Ruritan's “Meet the Candidates” will be held. It will begin at 7 p.m. at the Beecher City Area Kluthe Center.
All Unit 20 Board of Education candidates and Beecher City Village Board candidates are invited.
Two Beecher City school board candidates will be elected for unexpired two-year terms. Those candidates are Jacob Shane Burks and Craig Anderson. Four will be elected to four-year terms. Those candidates are Lee Roadarmel, Jordan Shields, David Doty and Ryan Schaefer.
For the Beecher City village trustees, three will be elected out of a pool of six candidates, all which are independents. They are Dail A. Schonschack, Leslie C. Wood, Philip Childress, Louis V. Haslett, Christopher Haslett and Stacey Bowlin.
• On Wednesday, March 27, a Meet the Candidates night is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Altamont City Hall for mayor and city council candidates.
Running for mayor are Jason Rippetoe and Clarence J. Pagel. Running for city commissioner are Terry D. White, Todd V. Slingerland, Michael R. Walker, Dan Milleville, and Tayler Polk.
Dawn Schabbing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-347-7151, ext. 138