The McLean County Republican Executive Board voted unanimously earlier this week to support the Districting Normal effort. A grass-roots bipartisan effort of Citizens for a Districting Normal, a petition calling for the partitioning of Normal into six districts, with one trustee elected from each district, was delivered to the Normal Clerk’s office on August 8. Normal resident Patrick Dullard subsequently challenged the petition.
Following a public hearing, the Normal Election Board consisting of Mayor Chris Koos, Trustee Kevin McCarthy, and Clerk Angelia Huonker, denied the request of 2,193 voters to put the question of districting Normal on the November 8 ballot. The referendum would provide better representation and greater accountability, according to the petition's proponents. It appears that more than two thousand signatories agreed.
According to one of the petition’s proponents, GOP Normal Precinct 3 Committeeman Carl Wenning stated, “This issue will become a political albatross around the necks of anyone who opposes it. Voters with a stake in the outcome will long remember decisions to prevent citizens of Normal from having a vote on the matter.”
MCGOP Chairman Connie Beard stated, “To have tax dollars used to fight against the voice of the people is alarming. As Republicans, we believe all voters should have a voice in how they are governed. I encourage those who wish to have this come to the ballot box to support this work by sending a check to Citizens for Districting Normal, 21 Grandview Drive, Normal, IL 61761-4071.”
Citizens for Districting Normal has retained attorney David Shestokas to defend their petition. Mr. Shestokas affirms that Mr. Dullard’s objections to the petition are null and void. Dullard claimed that the petition was invalid for reasons dealing with whether Normal is a town according to the Illinois Municipal Code and the validity of signatures. The Election Board rejected Dullard's claim of the latter. The issue is headed to court and will be heard on September 16. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved in time for the November 8 General Election. You can read more about this effort at https://betternormal-il.com/.