I have known Sid Mathias, District 59 candidate for State Representative, for over 20 years, but due to redistricting, this is the first time I have been able to vote for him. As a long-term member of the Stevenson High School Board, I know that Sid has represented well other parts of the community within the Stevenson district. He has been a strong supporter of what's right for local education, both as a legislator and as a parent.
The State Legislature has been considering a bill to force schools to pick up the costs that are currently the State's responsibility for pension payments, without allowing schools to seek additional money for those payments. Sid has strongly opposed this, while his opponent, Carol Sente advocates its passage.
Last year when I met with Carol Sente, she gave me her cell phone number. I asked her about the inconsistencies of her campaign literature in the preceding election campaign. One of her mailing pieces promoted the "good news that parents could have their children tested for autism at no cost to the parents or the state." The fine print said that the schools would pay for it. Her next mailing protested that "property taxes are too high" she immediately understood my point that property taxes are high, because the state keeps mandating schools to spend money on programs that raise both costs and property taxes. Her response was that she should have given me Michael Madigan's cell phone number. In other words, she was saying that speaker Madigan designed her mailing pieces, and paid for the printing and mailing costs. In return, she would be expected to support his programs.
What we need in Springfield, is a state legislator that understands and supports the needs of the district 59 residents, and not those of speaker Madigan. The candidate who can best do that is a proven leader, Sid Mathias.