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Candidates outline their positions at forum


Wednesday's candidate forum shown at OB's in Chenoa (photo by Laurie Sleeter).

Those running for Chenoa mayor and city council had the chance to share information with voters during a candidate forum hosted by Chenoa News at OB’s Cervezaria Wednesday evening.


Mayor candidates were the first to take the stage. Jon Dassow has lived here for over four years and works full-time as a paramedic in the Champaign area. He also works part-time as a local police officer. Dassow acknowledged all three mayoral candidates are willing to serve.


“It’s not about any of us personally. The three of us are willing to take a seat with a $59 a month check or something like that,” he said.


Dassow feels Chenoa is a great community with a strong network of people who watch out for each other.


Incumbent mayor Chris Wilder has been in Chenoa for most of his life and works as the full-time transportation director for the Prairie Central School District, previously serving as a bus driver.


When Wilder first ran, he said it was about water but he has seen plenty of good things in the community during the last eight years.


“We put in a siren and the ESDA department loved it,” explained Wilder. “Many groups stepped forward over the eight years that I’ve been here.”


Wilder noted the downtown decorating started again and he pointed to the formation of the Economic Development Council and Chenoa Revitalization Group.


David Shane called for respect in the community.


“I think we need to respect each other. I’m willing to listen to anybody.”


Shane would like to see more communication from the council, letting residents of Chenoa know what is going on and what they are thinking about. Shane wants a quarterly newsletter released, indicating that outreach would be a big issue should he be elected mayor.


Commissioner candidates spoke following the mayoral panel. Zack Lopeman has lived in Chenoa since he was four, growing up in the community. He is involved with the Fourth of July committee, fire department and is a SELCAS first responder. Lopeman has shared his feelings on city matters with the council in recent years.


“When I bring them a problem, I try to bring them the start of a solution,” said Lopeman. “It may not be the way they want to go but I at least try to start somewhere with it.”


Chad Daiker currently works at the Pontiac prison and has lived in Chenoa for 15 years. He is a member of the VFW and his kids are involved in Boy Scouts. He considers his time on the council fun so far.


“It’s a lot of work. I kind of go out and find the good employees.”


Daiker said he has a good pool manager and staff and they call him with problems which is his style. Many projects Daiker has been involved with have happened due to large groups of volunteers.


Melissa Cooper started the Chenoa Shop ‘n Go and is a bus driver for the Prairie Central School District. Cooper started Shop ‘n Go five years ago to support children in the community.


“I’ve done a lot of work in the community with odds and ends of everything,” noted Cooper.


Dwayne Price is a member of the local VFW and has been involved with the Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor and Fourth of July committee. With the help of the city, Price established the corner of Routes 66 and 24.


“The tourism in this town skyrocketed due to that little landmark out there,” said Price. “That is world-wide.”


Joe Moreland has lived in this area the last 20 years and moved to town five years ago with his wife and children. He works for Stoller Trucking in Gridley and took over as Water Commissioner at the end of July. Moreland is running unopposed for the two-year unexpired term while the rest are seeking a full four-year term.


The Consolidated Election is Tuesday (April 4). You can watch the entire video from Wednesday night's forum on the Chenoa News Facebook page.



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