2012 in politics: Election battles, budget cuts - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

2012 in politics: Election battles, budget cuts

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Illinois smokers were hit with $1 per pack increase to cigarettes after the Illinois General Assembly approved the hike in May. (H-W File Photo) Illinois smokers were hit with $1 per pack increase to cigarettes after the Illinois General Assembly approved the hike in May. (H-W File Photo)
Mayor John Spring announced in November that he would seek a third term in the April 2013 municipal election. (H-W File Photo) Mayor John Spring announced in November that he would seek a third term in the April 2013 municipal election. (H-W File Photo)
State Sen. John Sullivan State Sen. John Sullivan
Democrat Lori Geschwandner waits to be interviewed by the media on Election night. She defeated Laura Kent Donahue in the Adams County circuit clerk's race. (H-W File Photo) Democrat Lori Geschwandner waits to be interviewed by the media on Election night. She defeated Laura Kent Donahue in the Adams County circuit clerk's race. (H-W File Photo)
Les Post Les Post

By MATT HOPF
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

While most Quincy aldermen made it clear they did not want the city to spend any more money pursuing permits to build hydropower facilities on the Mississippi River, they voted in April to reapply for preliminary permits at Lock and Dam 24 in Clarksville, Mo., and Lock and Dam 25 in Winfield, Mo. While no details were released, the City Council met with representatives of Canadian-based Coastal Hydropower in closed session. Officials hope the city can recoup some of the $5 million it spent attempting to obtain a license for Lock and Dam 21 in Quincy. The city submitted its permit applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 1. Also applying for the permits was Free Flow Power of Boston. FERC has yet to make a decision.

The Quincy City Council approved a $30.8 million general fund budget in April after Republican aldermen pushed through more than $350,000 in cuts. One of the biggest changes was the phasing out of subsidies to nine local nonprofit organizations. The organizations will receive a 20 percent cut over five years to provide enough time to develop fundraising efforts. Among the agencies cut was the Great River Economic Development Foundation, which saw its funding reduced to $49,900 from $68,500.

Illinois smokers were hit with $1 per pack increase to cigarettes after the Illinois General Assembly approved the hike in May in an effort to generate $700 million to help shore up Medicaid spending. Along with the tax increase, Medicaid spending was cut by $1.6 billion. Area legislators voted against the increase. The $1.98 per pack tax towers over the 17-cent per pack tax in Missouri.

In July, the Adams County Ambulance Board learned that its billing service, Intermedix, had failed $221,000 in accounts more than 361 days old. This led to members opting to bring billing in-house by April 1, 2013. The department is working Medical Business Resources, a Colorado-based health care financial services with an office in Quincy, during the transition. Department officials expect to bring in an additional $200,000 in revenue by making the change.

Mayor John Spring announced in November that he would seek a third term in the April 2013 municipal election. Only two other men have been elected to three consecutive terms as mayor. Spring is being challenged by first-term Republican 3rd Ward Alderman Kyle Moore.

Quincy Township Supervisor Steve Schrage, a Democrat, announced in August that he would not seek a seventh term. Schrage had been with the township since 1978 and was first elected supervisor in 1989. His deputy, Cindy Brink, filed to run for supervisor as a Republican.

In November, Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, was elected to a fourth term over Republican Adams County Circuit Clerk Randy Frese of Paloma and voters selected Democrat Lori Geschwandner to replace Frese as circuit clerk. While Frese won Adams County by more than 3,000 votes, Sullivan was able to win the other 10 counties that comprise the district to collect 56 percent of the overall vote. Sullivan was absent for nearly a month of the campaign as he underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Geschwandner collected 54 percent of the vote to defeat former state Sen. Laura Kent Donahue. In addition Republicans increased their majority to 16-5 on the Adams County Board in the November election.

In December, Adams County Board member Les Post, R-7, was elected as chairman, replacing Mike McLaughlin, R-3, who served as chairman for 16 years. Post, a farmer from Golden, has been on the County Board since 2010 and previously served as the chairman of the Transportation, Building and Technology Committee for two years. McLaughlin was elected as vice chairman.

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