By Mark Weyermuller -
Republican Kathy Myalls and incumbent State Rep. Laura Fine's battle for the Illinois' 17th House District seat came to a head Saturday with a lively debate. The League of Women Voters sponsored the debate at the Wilmette Village Hall in front of 75 people. The debate will be shown on local cable access television.
One of my questions, not necessarily a state issue, was on the referendum to increase taxes by $89 million dollars to redo the New Trier High School cafeteria along with a couple of other projects. The total cost of the project exceeds $100 million, but the ballot question on November 4 is just for $89 million as a tax increase. I thought this would be a good question (yes or no on support) to get a feel on education funding. My question was ignored.
The debate was fluid with a basic theme if if you like what you got, vote for Laura Fine. If you want change vote for Kathy Myalls.
From my seat in the back, many of the questions had a left leaning prospective. I was told the moderator was a registered Democrat, but have not confirmed that. I asked one of the organizers if next time a Republican could be moderator. That did not go over well.
Both candidates indicated they supported education but differed on pension reform. Fine leaned towards the current pension system - which is unsustainable - going up by billions very year while Myalls wants to "fix and fund" it. One way to do that is IRAs or 401ks for new employees to start a complete phase out of the current system and help present and future government employees, especially teachers.
To sum up the debate in my opinion. Laura Fine appears to want more government services with more taxes, more spending, more borrowing, more regulation. One question involved mandating insurance companies to pay for more pharmaceuticals which Fine supports without much regard to cost and other considerations.
Kathy Myalls differed on the drug mandate question said she wanted less mandates and more freedom. Basically her theme was less spending, less taxes, less regulation and less borrowing.
Ax you guess I'm supporting Kathy Myalls and declared her the winner of the debate. I want less taxes! It's up to the voters now. Do they want more government or less? The choice is Kathy Myalls (Republican) or Laura Fine (democrat). Early voting starts soon or wait to vote like me on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
By the way, I'm voting NO on the $89 million dollar tax increase.
Weyermuller with State Rep. Laura Fine and GOP candidate Kathy Myalls