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Veteran McLean County Board Member Wants To Accomplish More

Charlie Schlenker
McLean County Board Member George Gordon faces Democratic primary opposition for a new term.

Longtime McLean County Board member George Gordon said he remains interested and engaged with public policy. He said he is running for another term to see certain projects through, such as the county's creation of several behavioral health initiatives.

Gordon said county government faces increasing pressure that will not diminish soon.

Gordon said during a WGLT Sound Ideas candidate interview those demands might force property tax increases.

"As we continue down the road with new problems emerging, new dimensions of continuing problems, emerging, we may have to think seriously about not holding the line absolutely (on property tax rates)," said Gordon.

Gordon said it would be a tough lift for him to support an increase of six cents per $100 of assessed valuation or more. But he said he would at least listen to an argument for a modest increase of one to three cents, depending on what it would fund.

"The sheriff's department faces some challenges in having enough deputies and enough cars to adequately cover the rural areas of the county. Behavioral health! With behavioral health it seems to me the burden is being redefined. What wasn't called a problem 10 years ago is now regarded as at least a public policy challenge," said Gordon.

Gordon said he supported efforts to enact recommendations of a blue ribbon panel of experts who studied the county nursing home in an effort to reduce its dependence on tax dollars. Gordon said the facility is important for McLean County because it is the single largest care option for Medicaid patients in the area.

He said he opposed a proposal to create partisan caucuses for county board. Gordon said he resists the increasing partisanship of political life that is happening even at the local level.

"Basically trying to continue to operate in a bipartisan manner, talking and listening carefully to other members of the board, and playing things straight," said Gordon.

Gordon's opponent in the March 17 Democratic primary for McLean County Board in District 6 covering much of Normal is ISU student Hannah Beer. Beer has stopped responding to WLGT requests for an interview about her priorities if elected.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.