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Emails for August 2005
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FREE GRADUATION & PARADE OF LIGHTS VHS TAPES AVAILABLE | Response to raceway development agreement | Response to Mr. Buchanan's response | Looking for volunteers for 4th July Committee | Reply to editorial on councilmen | Appreciates new walkway on Moran Street | Editorial Response | Thank you from Dean Miles family | Looking for inline hockey program | Rutherford to announce run for Secretary of State | Update on cost of carnival tickets and armbands | Don't park in front of house by SMF | Fieldcrest High School Soccer Program wanted | Thank you from St.Paul's Youth Fellowship | Volunteering for farmers market | Carnival tickets available at downtown stores | City needs master plan for downtown | Free freezer and dryer | Free ferrets | Carpets free for the taking | Looking for 1965 classmate | Fieldcrest football 'Midnight Practice' |

Response to raceway development agreement

I agree that everyone should be treated fairly in this agreement. I am not sure how it would work for revenue, but Joliet charges a $1.00 head tax on each ticket sale. Now I don't know what kind of fee Minonk can put on the concessions sales other than an increase in the sales tax rate or maybe a vendor's annual fee. The only thing I can agree with you about the TIF district is that residential development should not be included in the TIF. But why limit the only commercial development to the racetrack? It isn't like the other businesses will be getting a free ride. They still have to buy the land and make a sizable investment to build a business there, which should only increase the revenue for Minonk. I am confident that this whole deal should be an asset to the whole area, so I suggest that both sides come prepared with numbers and projections so this project can move forward in a fair manner.

Jeff Spierling

Looking for volunteers for 4th July Committee

Would you please let folks know that the 4th of July Committee is always looking for new volunteers and we have a meeting this next Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30 p.m. at Sutton's Park if anyone is interested.

In case of rain we will be meeting at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Cathy McKay

Appreciates new walkway on Moran Street


Thank you to all who helped develop and create the new sidewalk along the newly surfaced Moran Street. My wife and I discovered it for the first this week as we were out for a walk. What a nice addition to our community!

Improvements like this show that our community is looking for new ways to keep Minonk recognized as a "good place." –

Craig Swenson

Thank you from Dean Miles family

Dear Dave, Minonktalk, and especially the citizens of Minonk and the surrounding area,

Thank you for all of your kindness and support following the death of my father (Dean Miles). I did want to correct the obituary: my father was not the daughter of John and Vera Miles (the same typo was in the Pantagraph).

My family (mother Carmen, brothers Larry and Jim, and sisters Nancy and Peggy) greatly appreciates all of the time, energy, and monetary contributions made by members of our community.


Don Miles

Rutherford to announce run for Secretary of State

Dear Dave,

I appreciate your support and wanted to keep you up to speed on what has been happening on the political front. I recently did an interview on WJBC Radio Bloomington. Following is a reprint of the Pantagraph newspaper story on the interview.

We have not announced for Secretary of State, but will likely do so right after Labor Day. I will keep you informed.

Senator Dan Rutherford

Don't park in front of house by SMF

I just wanted, once again, to let people know that the house (also known as "the barn house") next door to SMF on Chestnut St. is a HOME, not a parking lot. People CANNOT park here in my driveway nor my yard at any time especially when the carnival is going on across the street this weekend. I still tend to have problems with people thinking they can park here so I want to clear this up ahead of time. I will be watching and asking people to move their vehicles if they park here.


Carrie Lindley

Thank you from St.Paul's Youth Fellowship

Thank you from St.Paul's United Church of Christ Youth Fellowship!!

Yes, it may be belated, but it is heartfelt. Thank you sooo much for the support that the community and businesses showed our youth group in our very first Chicken Fry.

Without Paul Steinhilber, Brian Decker, Dee and Don Ragusa, Don Schmillen, Jim Fewell, Bill Knack, Jess's Pub, Third Base Tap, (anyone else I forgot) and everyone who purchased chicken dinners it would not have been possible.

We leave on on our trip to South Dakota on Thursday, June 2nd. Because of your kindness and support we will be able to help many children who have very little.
We will post a picture when we return from our trip!

Thanks again,
Suzie Schertz
St.Paul's United Church of Christ
Youth Leader

Carnival tickets available at downtown stores

Advanced tickets for the carnival coming to Minonk on August 18 can be purchased at the following locations until August 18:

Alpha Community Bank
Pop's Sweet Shop
Meyer-Jochums Agency
Visions Video
Dollar General

The tickets are 7 for $10.00.

Kim Sullivan

Free freezer and dryer

I have a upright freezer and a gas dryer to give away. Both work. Contact me at 309-432-3307. Thanks.

Don Marshall

Carpets free for the taking

I have 2 sections of carpeting free for the taking. It appears to be fairly new. The section with the inlay is approximately 16x12, the solid color piece is 16x16.

It will be outside at 535 W. 4th Street until Friday, at which time we will have to cut it down into small strips for trash pickup. This is nice carpeting and I hope someone will find a use for it.

Sarah Gullery

Fieldcrest football 'Midnight Practice'

To Fieldcrest Football fans,

In the state of Illinois, high school football practice officially starts on August 10, 2005. This year, Fieldcrest Football will be holding their second annual "Midnight Practice" to get the season off to a great start. The practice will be held at the football field, under the lights, on August 10th from 12:01 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. I hope that this does not inconvenience anyone living in the area around the football field. Thank you for all your support over the years and I hope that you will be able to see the Knights in action when the games begin on August 26th.


Jim DeMay
Head Coach
Fieldcrest Football

Response to Mr. Buchanan's response

There are a lot of things I am not comfortable with in your response Mr. Buchanan, too many to mention here. But the one that made me the most uncomfortable was how unimportant you feel voting on a part-time officer is.

You said and I quote "And if I recall the last two council meetings there was only one thing that had to be voted on and that was a part-time officer. Hardly something that was going to change the future of the City."

Well I disagree, my kids are this cities future and I want them to live where it is safe. I want all councilmen to have a say in who protects this town. There are more than 24 kids who are counting on you...enough voted on you to give you the honor to serve your community. Please respect that honor.

Lisa Zimmerman

Reply to editorial on councilmen

Please bear with me as I will try to reply to two of your editorial topics in this email. First of all I will have to confess that I am not a regular visitor to your site due to all of the petty bickering back and forth that took place on your site last spring regarding the mayoral election. A friend of mine came up to me Tuesday night and was giving me some grief about your editorial. After reading it, I thought long and hard about what I should do next; should I blow it off as armchair quarterbacking or do I dignify it with a response. After two nights of deliberation, I have decided to give you my opinions as I am sure some of the other council members will also.

I am unsure of your level of familiarity with city government and the processes that take place therein, so forgive me if I seem patronizing in any of my answers to your suggestions. Honestly, that is not my intent.
Every Friday afternoon before a city council meeting the on-duty patrol officer drops off a packet at each council member's residence. The city administrator has put together this packet with all of the information available at that time on the upcoming meeting: meeting agendas, relevant documentation, budget reports and things of that nature. From this packet each council member can prepare for discussion on topics of interest to that particular council member. They can also decide if their attendance is required to vote for or against any items on the agenda. Meeting attendance is a choice each council member makes for themselves. I have only missed one meeting since being sworn in May ninth. Apparently that was the meeting you were appointed to decide what is acceptable and what is unacceptable for the 2200 people represented by the council. The term is public servant not public slave. I am not aware of any issue that affects this town's future that we have not been able to vote on due to poor council attendance. I would also point out that towards the end of every council meeting the mayor opens the floor for public comments. I am curious as to why this matter was not brought up then? Was it because the council had just voted unanimously to apply for a grant that we would apply to the very web site we are getting bashed on? Timing is everything.

Next, I would like to say I can appreciate your generation's affinity for proper formal attire; however, this is not 1955. Men don't wear fedoras anymore and women are allowed to wear pants if they so choose. I would ask you to produce any documentation or university study results that support your implied suggestion a pressed shirt + slacks + a Windsor knotted tie = the best decision-making attire. Before running for public office there is a mountain of paperwork that is filled out, signed and notarized. There was not one single document addressing a city council's dress code. If a councilman or councilwoman wants to wear a tank top and bunny slippers to a meeting, there is no legal action that can or should be taken.
The other editorial topic dealt with the raceway agreement(s). Do you honestly think the city is going to run blindly to the table and sign whatever document is thrown down in front of us; this is the reason that our former city councils have retained qualified legal council. Every member of this council has nothing but the city's best interest on their mind. No one ran for city council with the intention of running this place into the ground in order to watch some racing down the street. The local pizza establishments and other businesses have been thought of and discussed with the developers and at council meetings. Let's also try not to go down the road of bashing Wenona for what they have done in the past with their TIF district. The Wenona council did what they thought was best for their city at that time, let’s leave it at that. As much as anyone wants to believe that the race track development is going to be this big golden goose that is going to pour all of this new money into our town and ask nothing in return, we are all very cognizant of the fact that nothing this good is without some cost. The Economic Development, Finance, and Public Works committees will all be working together and with the raceway developers to come to do what is fair and necessary for the City and the Raceway to coexist and prosper together.

One last issue I would like to address is the fact that three of the four recently elected council members ran unopposed. So to all of those armchair alderman who think they have all of the answers to current city issues, I would like to extend an invitation to throw your hats in the ring during the next election. We may not be everyone's ideal collection of public leaders, but we all had the stones to step up and do what no one else wanted to do. There is more to being a good alderman or woman than just putting on a tie and showing up to a couple of meetings a month.

Alderman Larry Fortner
Ward I

Editorial response


FIRST OFF I AM SPEAKING ON MY BEHALF AND NOT THE REST OF THE COUNCILS. I am one of those that have not been at the last 2 council meetings due to VOLUNTEERING my time to the local JFL program and High School Football Program. Now I realize my constituents elected me to be there for every council meeting but I do not know one Councilmen that has not had something come up or had to be gone due to other commitments at one point or another over the past 2 and half years I have sat on the council. I could understand if the councilmen were out at a local bar or staying at home doing nothing. However volunteering my time to other things in town to help the local kids with something to do and stay out of trouble I would consider a little bit of slack. The city administrator, mayor and some council members still know what is going on within the city. We do communicate with each other and it is not just 2 times a month. And if I recall the last two council meetings there was only one thing that had to be voted on and that was a part-time officer. Hardly something that was going to change the future of the City. As for the special meeting held last Wednesday that was to inform the city people of the TIF III in section 6. What you should be concerned about is the lack of the community not showing up to a special session on the Race Track issue. I agree not all the Councilmen know about the TIF III but I do know what is going on out there at Section 6 being the Economic Chair so I felt as if I could continue my responsibilities to 24 7th and 8th graders that night. Maybe I spread myself too thin during the fall. However I like helping the community in as many ways I can and not just by sitting on City Council but volunteering and doing something instead of complaining. If that is a crime and people don't like that then my chair is up for grabs in May of 2007.

As for the dressing up comments. There has been only 1 time I have worn raggy cloths and that was when I came directly from Football Camp to the Council Meeting. This isn't the 1950's anymore casual dress is in. I feel during the summer a good pair of shorts and a nice polo shirt will do and in the winter pants and a polo shirt. But I am not going to get into a fashion debate with anyone. It's not the cloths you wear that makes you vote a certain way on the council it is how you as a person feel will benefit the city.

Jason E Buchanan
Alderman Ward 3

Alderman Jason E Buchanan

Looking for inline hockey program

I have a three year old that loves to play hockey, we
live in El Paso and are looking for any hockey
programs he could participate in. Does Minonk offer

Thank you for your time.

Donald Whitman

Update on cost of carnival tickets and armbands

Dear Dave:

Thanks for keeping folks updated on what is happening with the Minonk Days Festival. An update on the carnival tickets, Advance Tickets will be available until the carnival starts up Thursday and they can be purchased at Pop’s and Visions. A strip of 7 is $10.

The armbands are for Thursday night 6-10 p.m. and the cost is $12 for unlimited rides during that time. The second armband is for Saturday afternoon from 1-5 p.m. and the cost is $12 for unlimited rides during that time as well.

Three lucky people will be given bicycles on Saturday. To be entered for a chance on the bicycles you have to purchase a SATURDAY armband and the drawing will occur at 5 p.m. You must be present to win.

If anyone has any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks very much.
Cathy McKay

Fieldcrest High School Soccer Program wanted

For many years, many of the Fieldcrest students have been participating in the Rec soccer program in El Paso. Of which, many of the players moving up to the traveling program; successfully competing at this higher level against towns like Pekin, Morton, Washington, East Peoria, Olympia, Glasford, Roanoke, and Eureka. After reaching the High School level, they haven't had the opportunity to play a sport that they excel in.

It is time to consider a High School Program at Fieldcrest, or possibly a Co-Op with El Paso. The Co-Op would undoubtedly put the soccer program into AA status, but our children have been playing together with the El Paso youth at this level for least 6 years.

We currently have a full size soccer field with goals at Millennium Park; which with the right guidance could become a great playing surface. The cost of up keep should be minimal. I am currently canvassing Central Illinois High School Athletic Directors and Soccer Coaches for their yearly soccer budgets. Initial start-up cost would naturally be higher the first year due to uniforms; but on the whole I have so far seem from $4000 - $6000 budgets. A well managed program could be much less. I will finalize these numbers as more data comes in.

The point is that we have many young experienced soccer players with college talent, and many on the sidelines that would join in to play if we had a program at the High School Level. The cost for a soccer program is much less than most football and basketball programs.

The state of Illinois does allow a coed junior varsity team for two years. Depending on the participation level, both boys and girls could have their own teams to begin with.

Currently, Olympia School district has recently formed a soccer program. They have been in much worse financial stress than Fieldcrest, but still offer a soccer program. The desire to play and participate is there in their children.

Heyworth is currently considering a soccer program, either a Co-Op or on there own. Roanoke and Eureka are currently holding a Co-Op soccer program.

With the advent of sport fees at Fieldcrest many mixed emotions have surfaced, but it still shows that the interest is there in organized High School sports.

If anyone is interested in seeing a High School Soccer Program at Fieldcrest, please contact myself with your support.

Thank you,

Mike Zimmerman
631 Oak Street
Minonk, Illinois 61760

Volunteering for farmers market


The City of Minonk is very lucky to have you as one of its loyal residents. I just read your editorial and I think having a monthly Farmer’s Market is just what we need!

I would like volunteer to complete all design work for newspaper ads, interstate signage, roadside signs, flyers, website, vendor applications, and so on as well as being the main point of contact for vendors. With the upcoming racetrack’s proposed weekly events in the near future, I agree that Saturday would be a great day to hold it! I noticed on Raceway Park Minonk’s website that 6,500,000 vehicles pass right by us every year…let’s all get together and pull them in and show them what a great town we have here!

I was so excited when I read your editorial that I started playing around with a logo design in PhotoShop. It’s in no way a completed design, but perhaps a little something to get everyone else excited and ready to get this off the ground!

Kindest regards,

Sarah J. Gullery

City needs master plan for downtown

Having moved away from Minonk over forty years ago, but always returning for visits, at least twice a year, I have always felt that downtown Minonk had the potential to be more than it is. There have been two significant changes in the last twenty some years, consisting of the removal of the railroad tracks and the grain elevators. Several building have been constructed in their place, without much though to the over all appearance to downtown, and unfortunately, we cannot go back and have a second chance, but Dave, painting and the renovation of the facades is an excellent idea, but it does not go far enough.

The city council should consider some type of tax incentives for facade renovations, along with a master plan for downtown, including modifications to the current zoning, sign ordinances, and a land scope plan, along with several other issues.

Something else that should be addressed is alternative uses for existing buildings, for example converting them to housing, as well as the constructions of some apartments downtown.

Ed Malinoski

Free ferrets

I have a pair of cute, friendly ferrets named Bill & Hillary to give away to a good home. They are small, adorable, have wonderful personalities, require minimal care and their free standing, tierd cage and accessories are included. You can call me @ 432-3601, evenings.

Thanks, Mike Gebhards

Looking for 1965 classmate

The Class of 1965 is looking for a former classmate Carol Miller (Naugle) whose last known address was the Houston, Texas area. If any Minonktalk readers would know her present address or the address of her brother Don Miller Class of 1962 could you please email Nancy Esposito at If there are any classmates out there that we have missed the committee apologizes and would like to hear from you so we can get a reservation form mailed to you as soon as possible.

Nancy Esposito