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Bertino-Tarrant, Peck Talk Education, Pensions at Candidate Night

Candidates are running to represent the 49th District in the Illinois Senate.

The two candidates seeking election to the 49th District State Senate seat may be from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but on Thursday night, they appeared to agree on one thing.

“What we can’t have happen is for the state to put more responsibility on our local taxpayers,” Democrat Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant said of her opposition to a proposal that would shift the state’s nearly $90 billion pension liability onto local school districts.

Republican Garrett Peck, a Plainfield village trustee, also opposes the pension shift.

“I’m tired of watching Illinois bring itself to the verge of bankruptcy,” Peck said. “ … I’ve decided I want to reach out to residents and say, ‘What are your thoughts?’”

Peck went on the offensive, several times linking Bertino-Tarrant, who currently serves as the Will County Regional Superintendent of Schools, to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Referring again to the proposed pension shift, Peck said, “My opponent cannot say no to Mike Madigan when that vote comes up … I can.”

But when quizzed about her allegiance to Madigan, Bertino-Tarrant insisted she would represent her district, not the House speaker, in the State Senate.

“I’m an independent voice,” she said. “I live here and I have to come back to this community. My family built a name and I plan to protect that name.”

Bertino-Tarrant touted her 18 years of experience in education — including dealing with funding cuts.

“Almost every year I’ve been able to give money back to the county,” she said.

“Some think the only solution is to cut,” Bertino-Tarrant added. “We need to prioritize when making cuts.”

Bertino-Tarrant said she plans to stimulate the economy by focusing on small businesses, offering tax credits for hiring unemployed workers and providing job training to those who are out of work.

“I look forward to talking with individuals at their doors and listening to people,” she said. “We need to listen to our voters and I will do that.”

Meanwhile, Peck cited his experience as a small business owner, noting that he launched his first business eight years ago and his second three years ago.

Ernie Knight September 25, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Tim, As a purveyor of illegal substances, your qualifications in the arena of mental health are of interest. You again misuse some knowledge by twisting it to match your perception. I can't imagine an actual mental health professional who would attempt the type of judgement which you are making. Garrett Peck was the trustee pushing for term limits, when no one else wanted to listen. He's so consumed with gaining power, that he wants limits on the number of terms someone can run for. Basing perceptions on one or two votes is ridiculous. But liberals love to blow things out of proportion and call names. Garrett Peck will stand up for what he believes. He doesn't need focus groups to tell him what to do. Nor does he need advice from a left-wing pot advocate.
Skyler Perry September 25, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Ha! Accusing the officers of the Plainfield Police Department of bribery. Apparently desperation really IS a stinky cologne.
Tim September 26, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Public officials are not protected in the same ways that private citizens are. Patch is not above the law in this respect. "When officials are accused of something that involves their behavior in office, they have to prove all of the above elements of defamation and they must also prove that the defendant acted with "actual malice." Absence of evidence does not prove that it is false. Shannon, I really hope you don't travel down the road of censorship that the last editor enjoyed so much.
Tim September 26, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Luckily for the rest of the world Ernie, what you are able to imagine using your limited experiences has no bearing on what is true in the rest of the world. But since YOU brought it up, what was the vote by Peck for the term limits you mentioned? That's right. It was never even brought up for a vote. He couldn't even follow through with what he 'wanted' to even get it to a vote. Not a strong point for him. I don't care what he 'believes', I care what he DOES.
Ernie Knight September 27, 2012 at 01:33 PM
We're still waiting for your mental health professional qualifications, Dr? Tim.

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