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Emails for March 2005
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Clarification on quote from Mr. Horwich | Wants to race again | Who is Jeff Horwich? | More racetrack comments | Raceway opinion | Thanks to all for racetrack | Congratulations Minonk | Drag racer applauds approval of race track | "Meet the candidates" night very informative | Not in favor of Raceway | Let's not gag the internet | Thanks for approval | Get Educated on the Issues | Get educated on the issues | Response to Christina Jenkins | Thank you from the raceway developers | Still waiting for answers to email questions | Support for mayoral candidate | Questions for mayoral candidate | Racetrack great opportunity for Minonk | Memories of Kent Lumber and Coal | Response to answers from mayoral candidates | Wants answers from mayoral candidates | Opinions on several issues | No mud here!!! | Woodford County Tobacco Coalition invites members | Minonk community needs to get involved | Reply for signs, ordinances, etc. | Reply to vandals sign removal | Glad sign vandals are caught | Cat email appalling | Fieldcrest students want racetrack | Explanation for pulled signs | Stray cat problem | Racetrack will provide jobs for young people | Greetings from Holland | Supports racetrack | Missing signs | Both candidate's signs ripped up | Ripping up campaign signs an immature act |

Wants to race again

After reading your editorial about the goldrush we are in for I wanted to confirm something. Before I moved to Minonk (in my younger years) I belonged to the Mustang Club of America. My local Chapter (near Joliet) would go to Indiana to find a raceway to run our cars on. There are specialty clubs of all sorts for many cars that use race tracks around the country. I enjoyed my time with that organization and hope to have a Mustang again someday. Maybe I'll even be able to drag it right here in my own community.

Thanks for all your hard work, especially hard recently as there has been a lot for you to post.

Jeffrey S. Carver

More racetrack comments

In response to Mr. Horwich's comments on Byron Dragway and the noise, Byron Dragway was built in the early to mid 60's when there was nothing but farmland around it. All the new housing developments that have been built over the last few decades near the track were fully aware that the track was there. So if they complain about noise, Who's fault is it? You also have to realize that there have been many advances in the way tracks have been designed so that they reduce noise levels. I would be more concerned about the Nuclear power plant in Byron,s back yard having a problem that could kill and cause major problems for hundreds of thousands of people.

As a parent of teenagers I know how hard it is to find employment for them, this track is a god sent. Just the fact of knowing there will be jobs available for those who want them outshines any small problems that could arise.

It's about time that Minonk moves away from being a bedroom community towards being self sufficent.

I further believe Bob Hakes should be honored for being brave enough to get the ball rolling. His foresight has opened a new page in Minonk's history.

Thank you,
Chris Oakley

Thanks to all for racetrack

Dave, first of all I would like to thank you for your great website that gives everyone an opportunity to voice their opinions and views. Next I would like to voice my appreciation to the Mayor, City Council, and Bob Hakes who made this an exciting and hopeful future for Minonk. Our small community was in dire need of new businesses and I'm sure this will put us on the map as a town of success and prosperity. And a HUGE THANK YOU to the Racetrack Developers who believed in our town. The next step will be to all work together and make this dream a reality! Like the developers stated at the informational meeting last Thursday, this will not happen overnight. So we will need to be patient and give our support when is needed. Once again THANK YOU Randy Hellyer and your fine group of developers of RPM.

Susan Skaggs

Drag racer applauds approval of race track

I want to commend the Mayor and City Council of Minonk with their approval of the new racing facility.Your decision shows a very positive approach to promoting growth in your area. As this project progresses, other businesses will come because they realize the economic gain that they can realize by being located near this facility. To the citizens of Minonk, I am thankful for your support of this facility. I personally am a drag racer and I would say that the vast majority of my fellow participants are very professional and friendly people. Many of us tend to support the people who support us by allowing us a place to compete. Many of the competitors have mufflers on their vehicles already and with the prevailing winds and the talk of the racetrack trying to control the sound, noise shouldn't be a problem. If you havent experienced a drag race yet, travel to one of the tracks such as Cordova, Gateway, Byron or Route66 and check out the action. I wish this track WAS in my backyard but I am happy that it is located within 25 miles of me.

Jeff Spierling,Streator,IL

Not in favor of Raceway

Not me! I use to love to go out at night and enjoy the peace and quiet and then came I-39. Have you listened lately? Now I am not saying I-39 is not a good thing, it is! But you all need to go outside some night and listen and then imagine the noise of 20 no exhausts hi performance stock cars on top of what you hear, don't miss the big picture. I was against the landfill too but at least it would have generated a lot of jobs, I like the races too but like the landfill in someone else's back yard, we would be giving up the smell and gaining a lot of noise, please don't jump too quick. How about a golf course, a movie theater or even a hi tech. racing simulator or maybe all three? It would give the younger people a lot more to choose from. That's all I felt it needed said. Thanks Dave

Dave Howell

Editor's note: This letter was received last week but was without a name until now. That is why it was not printed last week.

Thanks for approval


I just have one quick feeling I need to express after last night's City Council Vote:

WOO HOO!!! It's Approved!!!

Thanks everyone!!!

Joe Spence - Operations Manager
RPM - "Home of the Jumbo"

Thank you from the raceway developers

Dave Uphoff and Minonk Residents...

Your city name is correct! This really is a "good place".

Ever since we met with Bob Hakes and others on New Years Eve day, we have been excited about the possibility of locating our racing facility in your community.

After the warm welcome we (and the IHRA) received on the public information meeting on March 17th, we can't imagine finding a better community to locate a major development of any type.

Since the Thursday meeting, we have already received 2 informal inquiries about the proposed commercial lots. So it looks like our idea of more jobs and more taxes for the community will more than likely be a big "WIN-WIN" for us, Minonk, the school district, etc.

The development team of R.P.M. wishes to thank everyone that attended the Thursday night meeting! Also, thanks for all the supportive emails generated from Minonk Talk and those submitting emails directly through our website.

Our goal is to help Minonk maintain and expand its status as a "GOOD PLACE!"

Joe Spence - Operations Manager
of the proposed
I-39 Raceway Park Minonk
"Home of the Jumbo"

Support for mayoral candidate

I am giving my support to Bill Koos. The reason for this is simple. Last December I was given a ticket for violating the automotive ordinance here. I paid the $194.00 fine and was given till Jan.17th. to have the van up to date. On Jan. 3rd I had legal plates on the van. In Feb. I was given a summons to appear in court on contempt of court. I called Bill Koos and asked him what I was doing wrong, the summons did not say. He said he did not know but would get back to me. Let me say I have never met him or talked to him before this. I then called the mayor and left him a message. The next day he had not called back so I called him again. He said he did not know what the ordinance was and did not offer to help find out what I was doing wrong. In fact he told me that it was basicly only enforced if someone complained. I told him of a yard right behind me that has had several cars in there yard for YEARS WITH NO PLATES ON THEM and they are still there. So I guess with him it is who you know. Back to Mr.Koos. He called me back three different times to check on progress. Bill will listen to the little fish in town. He not only listened to me but checked back. By the way, after taking off a day from work to go to court the charge was thrown out. Thank you Bill for checking in with someone you did not even know.

Larry Tasker

Racetrack great opportunity for Minonk


I've been reading about the proposed race track in Minonk, and although I don't live there anymore, I'm putting my 2-cents in anyway.

I see both sides of the issue, but I have to go with growth. I think that the track would be a good thing for the city. Isn't economic progress what you need there? I do know that down here, we have several tracks, one in Austin, another in Waco, plus others.

Sure, there are draw backs like noise, but the money is there. All tracks down here do very well. Plus, they bring in other businesses like food services and shops with racing items to sell, plus jobs for local people. I have to agree with Sherry Willis when she wrote that Minonk should welcome these developers, and get on with doing something positive about new businesses coming into the city. Lately, I've seen more buildings being torn down there, so I think it’s time to build something positive.

In my opinion, this is a great opportunity for Minonk and I think it will benefit the entire community once it is in place. Go for it!

Art Kettelhut

Round Rock, Texas

Response to answers from mayoral candidates

Dear Dave:

This is in response to Christina Jenkins' questions which she recently posted here.

Christina first asks the candidates to state their positions on the proposed racetrack. I am strongly in favor of this development. I am proud to say that with the help of others I help convince the developers that Minonk was the right place to build a racetrack.

The track would have a significate positive impact on Minonk. All the taxing bodies would benefit. It would make Minonk a destination for people to come and enjoy the racing and also spend their money at our current businesses and also businesses it would attract.

In addition it would end the threat of a landfill on that property for all time.

I have been trying to think about what in Minonk's history to compare this to, but this is so big there is nothing to compare it to.

I encourage everyone to come to the official announcement this Thursday, March 17 at 7:15 p.m. in the Fieldcrest High School gym to get more information about this development.

I know the city, both the city government and the people of the city will work hard to see this become a reality.

Christina also asks whether the candidates are in favor of maintaining a full time ambulance staff.

Yes, I am strongly in favor of maintaining a full time ambulance staff. We owe it to the people to ensure that medical help is not far away. Also maintaining a quality ambulance staff with full time and volunteer staff is an economic development issue. No business wants to come to a city that cannot provide quality emergency medical services in a timely

That is why I was so proud of all the people who helped to resolve this issue last year. Working together we made it possible to hire a full-time staff.

As Chairman of the Public Safety Committee for 6 of the 7 1/2 years I served as an Alderman I have had a up close and personally look at the quality people we have on the ambulance staff. Not many of us can do or want to do what they sometimes have to do many times a day. We need to support them in every way possible. I think and I hope I have done that as an Alderman and now as Mayor.

And just a brief note on how it is going, response time are down, membership in the squad is up and the ambulance is paying for itself. You can't hardly beat that.

I look forward to seeing how Mr. Koos answers this question since he was the only alderman to vote against hiring a full time staff.

Thanks again Christine for your questions and thank you Dave for providing this forum for discussion. These are the issues I always hoped this campaign would be about.

Mark Spencer
Candidate for Re-Election for Mayor

Opinions on several issues

Dave, I've been sitting silent for too long. I'm offering my opinions for several issues that have been addressed recently...


An editorial IS a person's opinion. I did not see anywhere in Mr.
Buchanan's editorial that he was speaking for the entire council. He was expressing how he feels as a council member. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm so glad to have the option of having a venue to express our opinions (thanks Dave for all your hard work).

I'm guessing (just a guess) that Mr. Buchanan offered an editorial writeup...maybe more people should step up to the plate and offer one.

I'd like to see Editorials from Mayor Spencer and Mr Koos (in their own words and submitted to Dave). I want to hear what their plan is for the future of Minonk. Most of what we've seen in writeups/flyers is what they've done. What do they want to do and how do they expect to do
it? Tell us why we should cast our vote for you?

Sign removal/vandalism:

On the sign/vandal issues...this has been going on here for a very long time (as well as every town). This is NOT due to any lack of parenting or parental political views. The bottom line is that there is nothing for our kids to do here (not every kid skateboards). These kids are bored. Yeah, it still doesn't give them a right to do this stuff. We cannot keep our eyes on them 24/7. We need to allow our children to be independant and eventually make their own decisions, whether right or wrong. These teens responsible for the recent activities will learn their lesson and unfortunately will learn the hard way. The charges from this recent incident will haunt these teens the rest of their lives. We try the best we can to lead our children in the right direction. Unfortunately, it's not real easy these days as there's all the outside influences trying to work against you. All this comes from a parent of a 14 year old boy and 11 year old girl. Our 14 year old has recently decided what direction he wants to go. He had to come up to this decision on his own. We're proud of the decision he made.

Race Track opportunity:

Our Son has expressed his excitement over the possibility of the race track and hopes to be able to get jobs up there over the summers. The track will give our boys something to do (not to single out boys, but there are more things for girls to do here than boys). Most boys don't enjoy babysitting or working food serviced based jobs. I sure hope we don't pull a Brimfield here and not accept these developers into our community. We need this! Let's welcome the developers into our community!!!

My Husband and I heard a comment about Woodford County having it's say over this race track development. We heard a comment that since it's not being developed in Eureka, the county will probably not accept it.
Does anyone know how much influence the county has if we all except this as a community? Can they knock it down? Why would they if it would benefit the county too? I'd like to hear responses from what others think on this.

Sherry Willis

Woodford County Tobacco Coalition invites members

The Woodford County Health Department would like to invite two or three community members from Minonk to be a part of the Woodford County Tobacco Coalition. We are a group that plans and implements anti tobacco policies in Woodford county. BE HEARD! Please join us, it is a minimal time commitment. We meet at the Eureka Woodford County Health Department four times a year for approximately an hour and a half. If you are interested and passionate about tobacco issues in your community that apply to all age groups, PLEASE call Jill Hageman at 309-467-2371 x4709 to find out how to attend our April meeting. Just think, you could help save a life!!

Jill Hageman

Reply for signs, ordinances, etc.

When people are having signs put in their yard, and they are not being asked if this is ok, then it is the owners right to pull the signs and do what he or she feels fit to do. Some people say they wait for the whole story before putting anything down. Well, we know that this is not true. I myself believe that everyone has a right to support whoever they want and that the childish games of the signs being removed should stop. It is also easy to say that everything is ok now, and let the two candidates get on with other more important things. That is difficult to do, while one candidates signs are still all over town , and the other candidate has to start over again because almost all of his signs were taken down. I will not lie. I am for Mayor Spencer, as you can tell, but I would also stop someone from tearing down a Koos sign, because I believe that everyone has a right to their opinion.

Now on another note. Mr Buchanan said that we have the worst looking town around, or something to that effect. Mr Buchanan also said we have one of the best ordinance laws that you can have. Well, the part about the town I do not agree with. About the best law, we might. But what Mr Buchanan, and alot of other people, do not understand is just because you think there is a violation does not make it so. Also, there are many things that you have to go through to get something fixed. It is not like you can just go up to a house and say fix it or else. Fixing things take time. Some people do not want to hear that, but many more understand it. There are proper processes and procedures to go through, before the time for a ticket comes. (Other actions are taken prior to a ticket being issued.) So, Mr Buchanan, when you state that nothing is being done, maybe you should find out the facts before you state your opinion.

I believe that Mr Buchanan stated something about the vandlism being done in Minonk. Well, guess what? We are not alone. Every town has it, and you will never fix it all the way. I do not care if you have one policeman on duty, or you have twenty officers on duty, no one can be everywhere at all times. I also do not know of anyone that is going to do something, stand there, and wait for an officer to show up before doing it. Also there are many times when an arrest has been made, and the officer has to take someone to jail. Now the officer has to leave town to do this, because the officer can not just have that person drive themself to jail. So I again say find out your facts before you decide to put people down. If you want to help the problem start neighborhood watch programs and get involved. Mr. Jackson had some good ideals. Maybe you should re-read what he wrote.

David Jenkins

Glad sign vandals are caught

I am glad to hear that the individuals responsible for the sign vandalism were finally caught and admitted to what they had done. Now all the finger pointing and accusations can be put to rest and Mayor Spencer and Candidate Koos can concentrate on the real issues facing Minonk. It is really unfortunate that something like this caused several peoples names to be drug through the mud and accused of something before anyone really knew what happened. Talk about "dark ages"!!! I am glad I waited to get the whole story and waited to see who was responsible for the vandalism before I posted anything on this website or discussed it in public. This whole ordeal has reinforced to me that I have made the right decision of who I am backing for Mayor.

Jason Buchanan

Explanation for pulled signs

To Whom May Be Concerned,

This is regarding particular political signs that were placed in our deceased parents yard.

Recently political signs were posted at this location without the permission from the owner, which now happens to be the daughters of the deceased Minonk couple. Upon arriving to start a dreaded task of cleaning out our parent's house, we noticed some political signs in the yard. We pulled the signs and disposed of them. We felt that there was no need to put the signs in the yard since there was no one in this house to support either party. All three of us daughters live outside the Minonk voting area. This was not an immature act or an act to support one or the other parties running for mayor, simply a removal of signs due to lack of permission by the owners to put them there.

Not only did we hear the uproar over the missing signs, but our spouses and children came under attack also. I really think that the people of Minonk should focus on more important issues that need to be dealt with than a few missing signs from a residence where people no longer live.

We three surviving children have had an extremely difficult time these past months with losing two beloved parents in such a short time. We find your sign problem very insignificant in light of other matters.

We were asked to send this note on Minonk Talk by a resident so that all would know the REAL reason the signs were pulled.

The daughters of Bob & Geneveive Walls... Jill, Brenda & Karen

Stray cat problem


Is it just me or are others in town having a problem with stray cats? The day I found the pile of red feathers was the last straw............they had killed a cardinal! Actually, the cat owners in my neighborhood are very responsible and I have called all around the surrounding couple of blocks to find out who these cats belong to and no one seems to know. So where are they coming from? I've heard there might be a problem over on 10th Street at the trailer court. When I called the city I was pretty much told to kill them or dump them, and when I called the animal control in Eureka I was told that they don't do cats! (maybe they should change their name to Dog Control then instead of Animal Control). I don't want to hurt these animals, I just want them out of my yard. I love to feed the birds and I have a pond with fish and I feel that it is my right to have these things in my yard without having to worry about irresponsible pet owners letting their cats come into my yard and destroy them.

Joanie Miller

Racetrack will provide jobs for young people


I've just read your editorial regarding the possibility of the racetrack development. While I have some mild concerns about the noise having come from a city with a 1/4 mile dirt track with races every Friday night, I agree with you that it is a wonderful opportunity for the city of Minonk.
One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is the opportunity for the young people of Minonk. Since moving here in 2002, my wife and I have heard people talk about the lack of jobs for the teenagers, particularly the young men. The seasonal jobs that are being talked about with this racetrack will be exactly the types of jobs that can be filled by the teenage workforce, ticket takers, parking, concessions, custodial, etc... If this community is really as concerned about their youth as they seem to be from all the talks about the schools, I would think that the decision in the community would be unanimously for the development of this racetrack.

Keep up the good work with the website


Jeffrey Carver

Missing signs

I just read the letter from Sherry Stalter. I was about to email you about the two signs missing from my own yard.
This is the acts of a few people who are not adult enough to conduct themselves as such. This is not only the actions of losers but shows me that I have made the right choice in who's sign I decided to place in my yard. My neighbor has an opposing sign in his yard yet it remains, Huh! What does that tell you? I will protect his right to have his sign and report anyone I see tampering with it. Like I said in my original letter to you, " if the choice is going back to the dark ages of Minonk politics or moving forward I choose Mark Spencer".

Bob Jackson

Ripping up campaign signs an immature act


Your site is hopping lately with all of the latest school happenings and the city of Minonk happenings. I would like to commend you for doing a great job.

On another note, as I was getting ready this morning for work, my husband came home after taking our daughter to the bus stop to tell me about "Mark Spencer" signs ripped out of peoples yards during the night. Some were laying in the middle of the road and others were completely missing. I know the community is aware that this is not going to be a very pretty election, but sometimes that is the democratic way. We do not need to act like immature people. How poor of someone to do this. "Shame on you!!" to whoever did this act. It makes a person mad and the first reaction is to do the same back to the opponent, but that is not the answer. I hope this was not an act of Bill Koos or his supporters, but maybe a kid doing it as a joke. I also hope that Mark Spencer and his supporters do not do the same to Mr. Koos's signs. This was an issue on the news several nights ago regarding signs being taken out of yard and ripped in half down in Peoria. Does one not realize the cost and time put into these signs? Think about this before you do it again.

Once again this touches on the issue that Jason Buchanan mentioned regarding the vandalism happening in our community. We do need to crack down on this issue and if some parents or kids get mad, so be it!! People need to take pride in their community and be proud enough to do so.

In closing I just ask that both sides have the maturity not to do such acts of destruction. We need to be proud of where we live - so "Show It and Prove It"!!!

Sherry Stalter

Clarification on quote from Mr. Horwich

I believe there is a misunderstanding concerning my prior post. I was the one who posted, not Mr. Horwich. Please see the bottom of the letter for my name.

I was simply quoting him. Also, please note that the quote from Mr. Horwich's show was not regarding the Byron racetrack. The point of my prior post was and remains: I am concerned about the noise level for myself and for others.

Again, thank you for your time.
Karen Jones

Who is Jeff Horwich?

Who is Jeff Horwich from Minnesota Public Radio to be commenting on Minonk's decisions?

Martha Eikenmeyer Owens

Raceway opinion

I am surprised by the number of people in favor of this raceway. Are the citizens of Minonk unaware of the noise level this project will generate? There are quite a few houses south of the athletic field that will be affected, as well as those further away. My step-brother attests that the drag strip in Byron can be heard for miles away, so you can bet all of Minonk should be privy to weekend events. The owner of the development by the new Millenium Park might lose out as well. I realize this may be an opportunity for Minonk, economically. However, how many people in Minonk choose to live here based on econmonic development? Will people want to purchase homes, knowing that 6 mos out of the year, every weekend they will have to deal w/noise, dust and increased pollution? I personally purchased our home here because I love the small quiet town. Here's an excerpt from Minnesota public radio to think about.....

By Jeff Horwich
Minnesota Public Radio

If it's Thursday in the summer, that means it's race-day in Willmar. The city features stock car races every week at the Kandiyohi Racing Association Speedway, just blocks from downtown. But the thrill of one of the Minnesota's hottest summer sports is wearing thin for some who live close to the track.
Even if you don't have a ticket, you can still get a good dose of stock car action from Jeff Peterson's front yard.

The retired science teacher lives just across the road and perhaps 100 feet from the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds. The smell, the grit, the roar of the race: Peterson says he's got it all. On race night, his house at first looks deserted; every window is shut, with the shades drawn tight.

"We're gonna feel the windows shake, sometimes we might feel the house shake a little bit," he says. "A few years ago we had somebody with a decibel meter go out in the street here and it was over 100 decibels, which is unacceptable according to the pollution control people."

Racing here has grown in frequency and popularity over the past decade. This summer it happens every Thursday night for 15 weeks.

"In the morning," Peterson says, "you can go out there and there's dust all over the car. You can't hang out laundry."

Thank you for your time.
Karen Jones

Editor's note: There will be no dirt tracks in this raceway.

Congratulations Minonk


Wow, I can't tell you how excited I am that Minonk is going to get the race track! This will be a huge stepping stone for future growth. At last, some progress for Minonk's future, and a wonderful outlet for family fun!

As a former resident, I am vitally interested in Minonk. I've always had, and will have a special place in my heart for this town. After all, it's where I was raised, and I still have many friends around the area.

That's all I wanted to say. Just a little note of congratulations for the city. Keep on growing!

Best wishes to all,

Art Kettelhut.

"Meet the candidates" night very informative


I attended the "meet the candidates night" at city hall this evening. I can say that the voters who did not attend this meeting missed a very well organized and informative meeting. I still stand firm in my support of Mayor Spencer, although I would like to thank Mr. Koos for responding to the questions I had posted on Minonk Talk which could have been easily addressed on Minonk Talk without fear of harming the political process or casting Minonk in an unfavorable light. Thanks

Bob Jackson

Let's not gag the internet

With exception of the importance of every single vote, I couldn't disagree with Mr. Ruestman more. I believe that with the advent of the internet and sites like Minonk Talk, it gives the voters an open avenue to ask and receive answers to the many questions that this or any other communities residents might be seriously concerned about. Not every citizen is able to attend these open meetings or able to get an unbiased answer second hand. They are then left with hearsay, innuendos and half truths which by the way are still half true. I think coddling Mr. Hellyer or worrying about newcomers to the community is a copout. I would think that Mr. Hellyer or families looking to locate in this area would welcome a place where their thoughts or opinions could be voiced and not sequestered because there is no mediator. As an American I do not take my right to speak out or vote for granted. I believe that all avenues aimed at getting educated on the issues whether internet, open forum or one on one are very important to this community and it's voters, and if MY questions of any alderman or candidate in this race are perceived as slanted, biased, negative, political bomb shells or harming the political process then I apologize for wanting to uncover the truth. I think all the questions I posted earlier are important to me and do merit a response.

Bob Jackson

Get Educated on the Issues

Dear Residents of Minonk,

Obviously there is a very contested mayors race in the City of Minonk. Good debate and dialogue is an excellent way to choose a candidate for any office. Although I do not think the Minonk Talk e-mail is the proper place. It appears to me that a lot of innuendos and half truths are beginning to be slung in this forum. One of my main concerns is that this ugly type of political lambasting may in fact be harmful to the future of Minonk and it's possibility of development. Obviously, Randy Hellyer and his fine group of people read Minonk Talk. We do not want them or anyone else interested in Minonk to think we are a community of people that can't debate both sides of the issues in a civilized way. If a family is thinking about relocating to Minonk and visit Minonk Talk the negativity may in fact influence their choice to a different city.

The best and most effective way of choosing a political candidate for any office, from the President of the United States to Mayor of Minonk, is to public debate. The fairest and most efficient way to do this is the candidates each answer the same set of questions from an impartial moderator. Simply hurling slanted and biased questions at a candidate does not tell you anything about how he or she will serve their constituents. Some questions may be designed to favor a particular candidate while some very important issues may never be addressed.

I think the people who are truly undecided about their choice for mayor should personally contact both candidates and make their decision or attend the public forum on Tuesday, March 22nd where both candidates will be present. Airing negativity and launching political bombs on the internet will do nothing but harm the political process that we as Americans have come to take for granted.

Make your choice for mayor based upon what you personally have obtained yourself, not what someone else tells you. Remember your single vote may be the one that decides the result of the race. Be sure you are well educated on the issues, the past service of each candidate, and the political philosophies of each. But most important be sure to vote.

Rodney Ruestman
Former Woodford County Sheriff and
Former Woodford County Board Member

Editor's note: It is this website's policy to print all letters that are signed, have no profanity, and are less than 500 words in length. I believe in the First Amendment right of free speech and do not want to manage the news. However, I urge letter writers to refrain from using innuendos and non-verifiable statements. I wish this to remain a respectable website that provides a forum for civil discourse.

Response to Christina Jenkins

First off I am glad I gave you a laugh today. But to call me a liar is showing what kind of person you might be. I was talking from a true experience. Just because Mr.Koos may not want to respond to MinonkTalk does not mean anything. Maybe he figures even with a full page on this site he cannot explain his views. Reading something you can read what you want. To the PEOPLE OF MINONK if you base your vote based on if he responds to this site or not, that is your decision but first try giving him a call or going to the Meet the Mayoral candidates on Tuesday. I believe if he blows you off then, by all means vote for Spencer if you want. In a small town like this I base my decison on personal experience over views by the candidates, not saying I agree or disagree with some on both sides. He is only one vote. This is not a dictatorship. If he is for something you are against, the whole council has to vote on it. So for him to get his way the others would have to agree with him. So I would want someone who would listen instead of talk over you. Again I was just showing my support for someone other than yours. Maybe this letter can bring you another laugh. Have a nice day.

Larry Tasker

Still waiting for answers to email questions

It has been nearly a week since I submitted an email to Minonk Talk with questions for both mayoral candidates. To my surprise, only one candidate has bothered to address my concerns. This bothers me. How much time is needed to answer two simple questions, questions that are the meat and potatoes of this election?!?

Today I read an email from Larry Tasker who states, "Bill will listen to the little fish in town." I laughed when I read this statement because it is apparent from the lack of response to my email by Bill Koos that this statement is false.

If I am not important enough to have my concerns addressed (and they are valid concerns)- then citizens of Minonk should question whether this candidate is the best choice for their town because it is quite possible that someday you could be deemed "unimportant" too. Then your concerns would then be ignored, just like mine have been.

And if Bill Koos would like to pointlessly argue that he is justified in ignoring me because I am not a citizen of Minonk, fine, what is his excuse for ignoring the email questions from Sherry Willis? Unless she moved this morning, she IS a citizen of Minonk! Her email has been ignored as well.

There you go Minonk voters---what a wonderful example this candidate is showing you. Bill Koos, why are you afraid to address my concerns? What are you hiding? The clock is ticking.......I'm waiting.

Christina Jenkins

PS. Thank you Mayor Spencer for taking the time to answer my questions. The fact that you see the importance of responding to email on this site shows the citizens of Minonk that YOU are at least interested in people's concerns------no matter who the concerns come from.

Questions for mayoral candidate


I read the emails from Christina Jenkens and Sherry Willis. Like them I have many questions about this mayoral race. I have seen the accomplishments of our incumbent mayor, so now let me ask some pointed questions of his challenger Mr. Koos. You are the only alderman to oppose the hiring of a full time ambulance squad, is this correct? With a high school, grade school, nursing home facility, factories, baby sitters and a constituency ranging from infants to seniors, why on earth would you vote against something this crucial to our community? What was your premeditation? I have heard that you were initially against the race track locating in Minonk. Is this true? Are you currently opposed to this development? I have heard that you are running your campaign with the sole intent of re-staffing the Minonk police department. Is this true? If so how do you intend to accomplish that and with whom? I have also heard that as recently as last year 2004 you were seeking employment outside the state of Illinois. Is this true? If so are you currently seeking employment that would take you away from your commitment to the citizens and voters of Minonk? Except for the ambulance vote, these are just a few of the rumors that can be heard around town, or are they? I honestly would like to see a reply.

Bob Jackson

Memories of Kent Lumber and Coal

Hello Dave,

It was interesting in watching the progress of the tearing down of Kent Lumber. I remember when it was called Kent Lumber And Coal (I believe), because we used to have our coal delivered from them at home.

The truck would pull up to the side of our house, and load it down through a chute into the basement. It was my job to see that the furnace bin was kept full, so it could feed into the furnace.

As always, it’s sad to see old landmarks come down, but in these days and times, changes come fast.

Well, I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your story on Kent Lumber, and the pictures. It’s great to keep up with Minonk with your site.

Thanks again,

Art Kettelhut

Wants answers from mayoral candidates

I have been reading, with much interest, the opinions in this email section concerning the city of Minonk Mayoral race. Although I do not live in the city of Minonk, I would like to ask a few questions because ultimately, I am affected by the answer.

I think the candidates should answer the following questions on this website. Voters need to know without a doubt where each candidate stands on these issues. Answering on this website is crucial, because those who do not buy the paper, or attend council meetings read this site. This would also combat the "grapevine" problem that Minonk seems to be plagued with as of late. I have always been one who believes people should "put it in writing," so I would like to see the candidates do just that and answer the following questions.

1.) I would like to know how each candidate feels about the proposed racetrack, and whether they will work with the developers and welcome this racetrack to town. If the racetrack is not supported, I would like to know WHY that candidate feels the way they do.

2.) What is the opinion of each candidate concerning maintaining a full-time ambulance personnel in Minonk? Will the ambulance ever be in jeopardy of being cut due to costs, with ElPaso EMS hired out to cover the district?

Should I ever need an ambulance, I would call Minonk. I have many reasons for doing so, but the most important are the skill of the personnel, and the speed with which calls are responded to. My son attends school in Minonk, and I have many extended family members who live in Minonk. Should any of them need an ambulance, it comforts me to know that emergency personnel are less than 5 minutes away, as opposed to an average of 20. I should think Minonk residents would be concerned about this as well, which I am sure was why the full-time crew was designed in the first place. Therefore, electing a mayor that will realize and protect the Minonk EMS is a must.

As far as a racetrack is concerned, it is my opinion that if a mayoral candidate cannot support economical growth for the community by endorsing the proposed racetrack that would provide said growth, then the citizens need to know. If revenue isn't generated for our schools by economic growth, then it will most likely result in higher taxes (even when property values aren't increasing). I for one do not care to pay higher taxes. I think I know how one candidate feels about the racetrack, but I have never heard the stance of the other. I look forward to reading the responses from each mayoral candidate.

Christina Jenkins

No mud here!!!

I feel that certain phrases from my previous e-mails to you, have been plagiarized as a veiled reprimand for my thoughts and opinions. In my original email to you about the school boards decision, I referred to the board as a whole governing body. I did not use your forum to single out any one individual, nor did I drag anyone's name through the mud. I simply stated my opinion. Which leads me to an issue with a member of our city council who was given an editorial spot on Minonk Talk. "State of Minonk". Correct me if I am wrong , but aren't there six council members and a mayor that govern Minonk? So, how is it that one individual has the power or authority to speak for all those elected officials? I thought the article was rife with platitudes and should never have been given editorial statues, but merely the opinion of one alderman. Referring to the matter of the vandals being caught and it is all over, I take issue with that as well. I was a victim of this crime and yet, I do not know who the perpetrator(s) are because of their minor status. I know I am not allowed to know their names ,but what about their parents names and or parents political slant? What part, if any did parental guidance or misguidance play in this crime? Was it condoned? Who's campaign sign if any are in their parents yards? For me there are many unanswered questions and yet still no mud from me. I stick by all of my original statements as I have yet to make any comments that I feel were inappropriate or disrespectful. Also, I am unable to forget about right and wrong as one would suggest. I think it is wrong to steal signs from yards. I think it is wrong to place signs in the lawns of the deceased. I think it is wrong to use ones position to impose political beliefs or pressure on ones employees or subordinates. I think it is wrong to place signs in unregistered voters lawns. I think it is wrong to place signs in tenants lawns unless requested by the tenant . I think it is wrong for one individual to assume he speaks for the entire city council when in fact he does not. I think it is wrong for Alderman Buchanan to assume that he can intimidate anyone who feels they need to voice their opinion on Minonk Talk. I do know right from wrong. I think it was right that I requested a Re-elect Mark Spencer sign and was not strong-armed by anyone to do so. I think Mark Spencer is the RIGHT man for the job as Mayor of Minonk.

Bob Jackson

Editor's comment: Editorials published on this website by other individuals do not necessarily represent my opinion. This website is a public forum for those who wish to speak their piece whether it is through an editorial or an email.

Minonk community needs to get involved

From what I can tell, Mr. Buchanan is frustrated with the status of our political and governmental situation. I'm not trying speak for him. This is just my understanding and opinion. The point I want to make is that all of us, the entire Minonk community needs to get involved. We need to write our alderman letters. We need to ask for information, we need to participate. I truly believe that our mayor and alderman care about what they are doing. That they are trying and that the system can be improved if the citizens attend the meetings, if the citizens write letters and if the citizens consider their individual needs but also respect the needs and opinions of their neighbors. I think we all need to forget about right and wrong. We need to acknowledge the full nature of a situation by talking about the perceived positives and negatives and then make a decision on what policy to support. There are checks and balances in our system. I think the citizens need to step up more and participate before a single problem that affects them greatly sparks a rare trip to the council meeting. Politics gets depressing when the vocal few only speak of the pros of an issue or only represent their needs. I respect and appreciate the service of our representatives. I don't agree with the procedures and level of communication by all parties. I've made my support of Bill Koos public by allowing the sign in my yard. That being said I fully respect Mr. Spencers right to run and participate. I too offer any service I can provide to help him get his message out.

John Hawk

Reply to vandals sign removal

The only signs that have been accounted for are the signs that were located at 433 E. 7th. The article explained that the property owners removed THOSE signs. There is still no explanation for all of the other stolen signs. The property owners did not give anybody permission to place any signs there.

Mrs. Freeman

Cat email appalling

I think it is appalling that someone would not only write in talking about the possibility of having to resort to killing cats in her neighborhood because she doesn't like them, but including a picture as well. I understand that coming home to a dead bird isn't the most pleasant sight but has it gotten to the point where all cats in the neighborhood are in danger of being killed? Maybe neighbors of Ms. Miller do not appreciate her bird sanctuary which more than likely results in bird droppings all over everything.

I know that people who live on the west edge of town have, in addition to cats, problems with possums, coons, geese and foxes. So I guess a small cat problem doesn't seem so bad.

Have we come to the point where we don't have anything better to complain about than stray cats? Really, there are much bigger issues going on in Minonk that we can be concerned about and involve ourselves in to solve.

Lacy Orabutt

Fieldcrest students want racetrack

I whole-heartedly agree with Martha Eikenmeyer Owens about the racetrack. Being a high schooler doesn't help every time the school wants the community to vote on a referendum. If the racetrack gets built, the NHRA (National HotRod As.) might recgonize the school district and maybe even, if we're lucky, fund the schools in our area.

After doing some research, I found out that the average drag strip alone offers 150 jobs! This is a lot of jobs. Better security would be needed, pushing the police dept. on getting more full-time officers to secure the town. Improved rescue and fire teams would be needed to help out in the event of an accident. Racing channels, such as Speed Channel or Nascar, would bring in publicity that would put this town on the map.

Being a 16-year-old probably means that I can't vote on this decision, but on behalf of most of the students at Fieldcrest High, we would like the racetrack to be built.

Our town is said to be the first town with electric street lights. If that is true, lets keep going with it to Minonk, Illinois to have the first racetrack/dragstrip in the area.

Kelby M. Tarmann

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Jan Kersten

Supports racetrack

I am really impressed with the fact that someone (Randy Hellyer) sees some very positive value in locating in Minonk. The size of the proposed racetrack, the jobs it would create, and the tax money it would generate for both the city and the school district are all very positive factors for Minonk...and it could not come at a better time given the financial state of the school district.

I won't be there to hear all the pros and cons, but, as someone who still pays a healthy tax bill back there, I would like to add my voice to those favoring going forward with this project.

As I told someone, I think Minonk's ship is finally coming in, and I hope the it is allowed to land. I think the potential benefits to Minonk are numerous. This is definitely not an opportunity that happens often in Minonk.

Martha Eikenmeyer Owens

Both candidate's signs ripped up

I totally agree with Sherry on this. However, there were a number of Bill Koos signs either kicked over or stolen as well. Unfortunately it happened to both candidates. This happened back in October for the Presidential Election as well. I just hope we can find out who is doing this and they are punished. It is unfortunate that each Candidate can't put out signs for fear of some kids or whoever knocking them over or tearing them up. It boils down to not having any respect for our City and the people who live in it.

Jason E Buchanan