Punke endorses Whitaker for re-election

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Citing experience, a record of addressing city concerns, and a desire that Eureka continues to have a strong voice and advocate, Eureka Mayor Scott Punke has endorsed Woodford County Board member Larry Whitaker for re-election in the March 20th primary. Whitaker is one of six candidates running for the five positions up for election.

Punke points to recent changes in the county’s animal control agreement with cities and villages as just one example of Whitaker’s leadership benefiting Eureka residents. The county recently started charging cities a fee for sending animal control inside the corporate limits to pick up a stray dog, a fee not charged in unincorporated areas. In the Eureka Zip Code city residents pay approximately 80 percent of the dog registration fees, fees that are used to pay for the county’s animal control expenses.

“Mr. Whitaker agreed with us that it was unfair to charge Eureka residents twice and he spearheaded a yearlong effort to change the county’s agreement, eliminating the pick-up fee. Larry was the only county board member willing to pick up the issue and lead this project. Our discussion with other board members fell on deaf ears.”

Punke also points to Whitaker’s 14 year experience on the board and his record of leadership and vision as other important considerations for his re-election endorsement. “Whitaker’s leadership, knowledge and vision that must continue,” he said, adding “I am equally concerned about the balance of our county board representation from cities and rural, unincorporated areas. Mr. Whitaker is one of a shrinking number of board members living inside a city limit. That number needs to grow in the future.”

According to the 2010 census 77 percent of Woodford County Board District 3 residents lives inside  city limits. That also means city residents are paying approximately 77 percent of the district’s taxes supporting county government. District 3 includes Eureka, Metamora, Goodfield and Congerville.

“In District 3 Larry Whitaker is the only county board member who lives inside a city. Hopefully we can get that number increased in the future, but for now we need to keep the one voice and advocate we know we can count on, that is Larry Whitaker. He should be the first name we pick on March 20th,” Punke said.