SGA funds election party

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SGA funds election party

Superintendent of Macomb Community unit School District 185 Patrick Twomey speaks to SGA Tuesday night

Superintendent of Macomb Community unit School District 185 Patrick Twomey speaks to SGA Tuesday night

Mike Frederiksen

Superintendent of Macomb Community unit School District 185 Patrick Twomey speaks to SGA Tuesday night

Mike Frederiksen

Mike Frederiksen

Superintendent of Macomb Community unit School District 185 Patrick Twomey speaks to SGA Tuesday night

Kayla Trail

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Western Illinois University’s Student Government Association (SGA) met Tuesday night to discuss donating money to the Political Science Department for a party that they will be hosting on election night.

The Bill of Appropriation states that SGA will be donating $75 to help the Political Science Department fund an election party that they are hosting at the Multicultural Center on the night of the election. The bill passed unanimously.

In other new business, an SGA Senate Rules Amendment was withdrawn by Patrick Quinlan.

Guest speaker and superintendent of Macomb Community Unit School District 185 Patrick Twomey talked with the members of SGA about a one-cent sales tax that they can vote on in this upcoming election.

Twomey, an alumnus of Western, began the presentation by handing out brochures to the members that went into detail about what this one-cent sales tax would do for McDonough County.

“I asked to speak to this group because, as you know, Nov. 8 is the big election,” Twomey said. “A lot of stuff is going to happen, and I think that it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle that you’re on, the country is going to be significantly different one way or another. We’re asking the local voters if they would agree to a one-cent sales tax per dollar spent to go strictly to school facilities in town.”

In the brochure Twomey handed out, it said, “39 counties across the State have passed referendums to employ the tax to fund local school facility needs.”

“It’s a new approach for Illinois schools to fund their local buildings,” Twomey said. “It’s to update our buildings or build new facilities. I knew as a school superintendent there was no chance of going to the voters and asking for a property tax increase in order to take care of our school facilities.”

The tax will also be imposed on the same general merchandise as the State sales tax and will not be imposed on any product or service that is not currently taxed, according to the brochure.

Items that are exempted from the tax will be: unprepared food intended for home consumption, prescription and non-prescription medicine and vitamins, licensed and titled vehicles, boats, RVS and farm equipment, parts, and inputs, including fertilizer and seed.

Twomey wanted voters to realize however that: property taxes will not increase, revenue will fund local projects, revenue will fund school facility purposes exclusively, by making qualifying purchases in the County, residents and visitors alike will help pay for school facilities, 21st century learning supports student success and that an estimated $2,289,878 will be generated annually to fund improvements and upgrades of school facilities attended by McDonough county residents.

In other SGA news, SGA President Dovile Svirupskaite addressed the room and said that she had attended the Mayors Roundtable last Wednesday and had the police chief come in to meet with them.

“The police chief came in and we talked about police in the community and what they are doing to work with students here,” Svirupskaite said. “It seems like they’re working more towards building better relationships with the students here on campus.”

Senator at-Large Kori McElroy seconded Svirupskaite.

“One of the biggest things that I think all of us can agree on is that (the police chief said) ‘we’re not out to get you in trouble’,” McElroy said. “Their main goal is to keep us safe and after talking to him it definitely made that more clear. They’re not trying to see how many tickets they can write or how much money they can bring in, they’re literally just trying to do what’s best for the community.”

Svirupskaite also mentioned that if students are having issues with their tenants, there is an office in City Hall where you can go to and they will help you with your issues.

“If you’re renting from someone and they aren’t providing the stuff that you need to live in a healthy, safe environment, you can reach out to City Hall and they can help you deal with that issue,” Svirupskaite said.

Svirupskaite is also having a meeting next week to discuss an issue that was brought to her attention last semester when she was campaigning.

“I’ve been working With the bust stop right outside of Linc-Wash Grote that was heading away from campus,” Svirupskaite said. “(Students) told me that because there’s not a crosswalk there students don’t feel safe crossing the street. It’s taken a very long time but I finally got a date set for next week to meet and talk about the issue.”

SGA Vice President Garret Covington told the room that he was working on getting a video put together to share on campus to show students what SGA is and what they’re about.

Student Member of the Board of Trustess Wil Gradle encouraged members to vote and that students can vote on campus.

“Voting is going to be available in the Union,” Gradle said. “I believe through the 4 and they have same day registration as well as early voting so be sure to get out there and vote. That issue we just learned about is on the ballot in this district so vote on that whichever way you want to go.”