A Message Regarding Flyers Being Circulated
June 13, 2022
Sangamon Valley Public Water District has received several calls and emails with questions regarding flyers asking for a “yes” vote that are being circulated in the District.
Please be aware that these flyers did NOT come from Sangamon Valley Public Water District. In order to clarify, we would like to share a list of facts with respect to the flyer and the upcoming referenda question.
- On June 28th, voting residents of SVPWD will have a referenda question on their ballot that states: “Shall the trustees of the Sangamon Valley Public Water District be elected, rather than appointed?”.
- Two current (Mike Melton & Robert Buchanan) and two former board members (Mike Larson & Bud Parkhill), with combined tenures of 130+ years, formed and circulated a petition to have this question on the ballot. They did this without the full board’s knowledge, in March of 2022.
- This petition received the required number of signatures to post the referenda question on this upcoming ballot, and it was turned in by the deadline required, to the County Election Authority.
- The flyer that is being circulated that says “VOTE YES” was paid for and sent by the “Committee To Keep Our Water Local”.
- This committee was formed in May of 2022 and is registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections under Committee ID #37450. Link Here!
- This committee lists Bud Parkhill as the Chair and Constance Musick as the Treasurer.
- This committee’s registered address 808 N. Prairieview Rd Mahomet, IL. This is the main office of Candlewood Mobile Home Park.
- Bud Parkhill had served on the District Board since its creation in 1966, until he was not re-appointed in 2021 (55 years). The county board denied Parkhill’s reappointment application citing conflicts of interest between Parkhill’s personal businesses and holdings and the SVPWD.
- Mike Larson had served on the District Board since 2012, until he was not re-appointed in 2022 (10 years). The county board denied Larson’s reappointment application based on input from district employees indicating work environment issues. (See the County Board meeting for details)
- Mike Melton is currently serving on the District Board and has since 1982 (40 years).
- Robert Buchanan is currently serving on the District Board and has since 1994 (28 years).
SVPWD's standard practice has been APPOINTING board members since it's inception in 1966.
- Champaign County goes through an application and full screening process before the County Executive recommends an appointment.
- The County Executive’s recommendation is then voted on by the Champaign County Committee of the Whole, and if that passes it goes to the whole Champaign County Board for full approval. This is a vital part of the vetting process that ensures qualified trustees are placed on the board.
This process ensures that community and employee voices are heard through public comment and can impact the appointment of trustees. Appointment minimizes the situation where those with money and/or influence run campaigns that result in those special interests or groups filling trustee seats. When it comes to SVPWD’s mission, there should be no room for those who seek to serve priorities other than ensuring safe and secure delivery of water and wastewater services fairly and equally to the community.