Better Rackauskus is the lone returner in the District 7 race. (photo courtesy of Bette Rackauskus)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - The only incumbent in the race for the 7th McLean County Board is ready to defend her territory.
Republican Bette Rackauskus is finishing her tenth year on the board. The chairman of the justice committee prides herself as a representative of and for the people of the seventh.
"I am voted by the people to represent them," said Rackauskus. "I can bring the information to them hopefully and then I listen to what they have to say and vote as a reflection of them."
Rackauskus said McLean County doesn't suffer from the same prison cost worries as the state of Illinois due to a different focus from her committee.
"We've been proactive with a very large push for not only punative but restorative justice," said Rackauskus. "By that I mean we are trying to rehabilitate the offender."
She has seen the development of the Eastside Highway talks.
"A lot of other points have not been brought up yet and that's including trying still to determine exact location," said Rackauskus. "The problem with it is that the didn't have as much public input the first time."
She believes more public discussion will still be needed before a consensus can be reached.
Rackauskus says finding $350,000 for board increases is a vicious circle that will definitely make a difference on people.
"We are bound and determined to do everything in our power not to raise taxes," said Rackauskus. "I'm still behind us finding everything we can cut, but at the same time we have to be realistic."
She added that taxes will likely go up even in all the funds for pay raises and supply costs are covered.
Rackauskus also says the water supply will be a key focus soon.
"It got sidetracked when we did the Coliseum," said Rackauskus. "It's funny because other issues come forward and things get pushed aside. When we have a drought, everyone talks about it and then we get rain."
She said addressing the issue is a high priority on the board and will be deeply investigated soon.
Bette Rackauskus is running against Democrat Victoria Harris and Republican Rich Buchanan for two open seats.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.