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Christensen elected schools superintendent

Christensen elected schools superintendent

Amanda Christensen already has begun preparing to be DeKalb County’s next regional superintendent.

The 40-year-old DeKalb Democrat beat Republican Derek Avery, who was appointed to the position in July.

With all precincts reporting Tuesday, Christensen, of DeKalb, had 20,360 votes while Avery, 39, of Sandwich, had 17,249 votes. Christensen received about 54 percent of the votes cast, according to unofficial vote totals.

Christensen, who is pursuing a doctorate in education administration from NIU, promised to advocate to state leaders on behalf of schools facing budget cuts, and serve as a resource for local residents and school districts. Avery was assistant regional superintendent for a year before replacing Regional Superintendent Gil Morrison.

Somonauk school tax referendum fails

Voters in Somonauk Community School District 432 rejected a property-tax increase referendum Tuesday expected to generate about $900,000 a year.

About 58 percent, or 1,282 voters, opposed the increase, while 931 voters supported it, according to unofficial vote totals from LaSalle and DeKalb counties.

The measure would have increased the district’s tax rate from 3.05 percent to 3.95 percent. Without that revenue, school administrators faced with plummeting property values expect they will have to cut academic programs and allow class sizes to increase.

Sandwich library bond passes; burning ban fails

Sandwich voters approved funding for a new library building Tuesday and rejected a measure that would have prohibited leaf burning.

With a vote of 1,979 to 1,029, voters approved a referendum seeking permission to borrow $3.4 million to replace the 71-year-old, three-story library, according to unofficial vote totals. The bond sale, plus a $1.6 million state grant, will fund a new one-story library building on South Main Street in Sandwich. The current library building is inaccessible to people with disabilities and has multiple structural issues and leaks.

Officials estimated the borrowing measure would cost the owner of a $150,000 home would pay about $64 more a year in property tax.

By a vote of 1,584 to 966, voters rejected a proposal to ban “the open burning of landscape waste upon the premises where it’s produced.”

Two area towns pass electrical aggregation

Voters in Hinckley and Somonauk approved referendums Tuesday allowing electrical aggregation while voters in Sandwich rejected it.

The measure passed 522 to 369, or by a 59 percent majority, in Hinckley and by 445 to 326 for a 58 percent majority in Somonauk, according to unofficial vote totals. The measure was rejected 1,399 to 1,082, or by a 56 percent majority, in Sandwich. Voters in DeKalb, Cortland and Genoa approved electrical aggregation programs this spring.

Under electrical aggregation, municipal leaders negotiate for lower electrical rates on behalf of all residents who do not opt out of the program.

The power supplier uses ComEd power lines and ComEd continues to bill customers who participate in the municipal program, but the rate is based on the agreement developed by municipal leaders.

– Jillian Duchnowski

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