By Steve Robinson | April 2, 2019 - 10:43 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – Campaigning for tax incentives that benefit the community rather than to be considered useful to lure big name businesses to town, Stan Nord appears to have struck a chord with Normal residents if unofficial results from Tuesday’s Town Council election was any indication. Nord placed first in balloting in the election for a seat on the Normal Town Council. Results showed Nord received 2,873 votes, or 20 percent of the vote, leading all competitors.

And he wasn’t the only newcomer now with a seat on the dais in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station. Karyn Smith finished third in the race which had two incumbents, six declared challengers, and a write-in candidate. Smith had 2,043 votes, or 14.22 percent of the vote. Incumbent Kathleen Lorenz placed second in the results with 2,087, or 14.53 percent of the vote.

Incumbent R. C. McBride placed fourth in his quest for a second term on the Council, receiving 1,849 votes, or 12.87 percent of the vote. Challenger Dave Shields placed fifth receiving 1,558 votes or 10.85 percent of the vote. Challenger Pat Turner placed sixth with 1,425 votes, or 9.92 percent of the vote; Joel Studebaker placed seventh with 902 votes, or 6.28 percent; and ISU student Alex Campbell landed eighth with 616 votes, or 4.29 percent of the vote. Write-in candidate Karl Sila received no ballots, however there were 1,011 write-in votes submitted, accounting for 7.04 percent of ballots counted, unofficially.

However, there are still 350 mailed ballots yet to be counted by the County Clerk’s Office before the race results will be declared official.

Candidates were in two camps within walking distance of each other in Uptown to await results. One camp, comprised of Normal Town Council members and supporters and Shields checked results in the banquet room on the second floor of Medici Restaurant, while Turner, Studebaker, and Campbell were in the lounge of the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center with supporters. While Smith’s whereabouts Tuesday were not known, Nord, who had attended the Normal Town Council meeting Monday, said he planned to spend the evening gathering his campaign signs that had been distributed.

“I’m really disappointed R. C. didn’t prevail,” Mayor Chris Koos said afterward. “He has been a stalwart as a supporter of the community. But we have a new council and we have to move forward, and we have to be collegial and work together.” He said it will be up to the five members currently seated on the Council to set that trend for the new members.

Jeff Fritzen, who announced last fall after three terms on the Council recently, and had three terms on the Council in the 1980s and 1990s with one four-year hiatus in-between, said afterward, “I can’t say I’m shocked. I can say I’m disappointed. So many people have loved what’s been going on in the Town of Normal for the last 20 years, and then somebody who decided to be negative was the best way to run a campaign comes out as a leading vote-getter, and that’s a disappointment to me.”

Nord and Smith will take the oath of office along with Lorenz at the Council’s May 6 meeting.

Roser, Pyle, Kalitzky Win First Terms On Unit 5 Board: The last year for Normal-based Unit 5 School Board has been one of abrupt change. Within months of each other, three Board members submitted resignations, all the result of job transfers or job changes that had those members exiting the community. Three citizens stepped into to fill the posts knowing they would have to run for elected office in this election to keep their seats. All of them would be on the Board for four years.

Amy Roser assumed a seat on the Board last July filling a seat following the resignation of Jim Hayek, Jr. Hayek, a State Farm employee, left the area due to a job transfer in Phoenix, Ariz. last spring. Unofficial results show Roser was the leading vote recipient among the five contenders for the four-year term positions. The unofficial tally she received was 3,655 votes, or 23.62 percent of the vote.

Audiologist Dr. Kelly Pyle assumed a seat on the Board in August, filling a vacancy left by Joe Cleary, who departed for a job in California last summer. Pyle placed second among the four contenders seeking a Board seat. She got 3,319 votes, or 21.45 percent of the vote.

Barry Hitchins currently serves as Board President and came in third in the balloting to win his four-year term, with 3,004 votes, or 19.42 percent of the vote.

Alan Kalitzky is running for a first full term, coming in after applying for the position after David W. Fortner resigned last spring to take a job in Chicago. As a result of Tuesday’s balloting, Kalitzky placed fourth with 2,867 votes, or 18.53 percent of the vote.

LaNell Greenberg, prior to establishing a career as a consultant, worked for Unit 5 for 12 years. In Tuesday’s balloting, unofficial totals show she came in fifth registering 2,627 votes, or 16.98 percent of the vote.

Board members Mike Trask and Meta Mickens-Baker were up for reelection this time around for two-year stints on the Board, Mickens-Baker garnered 4,146 votes, or 50.05 percent of the vote while Trask garnered 41.38, or 49.95 percent of the vote.

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