Ed McKibbin was first elected to the McLean County Board in 2010. (WJBC file photo)
By Eric Stock
NORMAL - A first-term McLean County Board member says he's had to make some difficult decisions in his first two years on the board and the county has more touch choices ahead.
Ed McKibbin, 41, is an attorney who has been representing students at Illinois State University since 2005. He and his wife Jennifer have three children.
McKibbin, along with William Caisley are the two Republican incumbents seeking election in District 4, running against Democrats Steve Campbell and Sally Pyne.
Below you'll find where McKibbin stands on some of the key issues facing the McLean County Board.
McKibbin said his skill in listening has helped prepare him for tough votes, such as paying for a new safety ramp at Evergreen Lake and appointing Ron Dozier as interim McLean County State's Attorney. But he added the county must remain cost-conscious in everything it does.
"We don't want to have to cut vital services, but at the same time we don't want to have to keep raising the tax levy to the extent that people are being tagged, especially in this economy. It hasn't been easy," McKibbin said.
McKibbin said he wants to find out if hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can be done safely before he would give it the green light.
"Is there a problem with groundwater, water pollution, earthquakes and certainly you don't want to do anything artificially that's going to mess with the environment. But at the same time, are those just concerns, are they based upon evidence, based upon fact? Those are things we need to find out," McKibbin said.
McKibbin said he's willing to see the county play a role in discussing the county's water needs, even though it's more of a municipal matter.
"I don't think it's specifically a county issue, I think it's something certainly we can look into and work with other municipalities. But there's definitely a concern there and it's something that I don't think it's something we can turn our back on," McKibbin said.
East Side Highway
McKibbin said the county's infrastucture seems to demonstrate a need for the proposed east-side highway, though it's still far from becoming reality.
"You see the repairs over a five-year plan that need to be made on Towanda-Barnes Road. If you look at that you see it's becoming increasingly more traveled and so there becomes a point when for safety, cost-efficiency, that type of thing, is it something that's going to be inevitable? I'm not saying that it is, but we need to look at that," McKibbin said.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.