October 21, 2005

Straight outta Whiteside

MORRISON, Ill. — Whiteside County State’s Attorney Gary Spencer made a public plea for increasing funding for his department before the Whiteside County Board this week.

In a presentation to the board, Spencer said the Public Safety Committee had recommended that the state’s attorney’s office budget for 2005-06 be set at $795,000. Although this is an increase of about $9,000, or just under 2 percent, from the previous year’s budget, it was $61,000 lower than Spencer had requested.

Spencer’s request for $856,325, an 8.9 percent increase, includes funding for a new investigator’s position and pay raises for existing staff. Fifteen people currently are employed in the attorney’s office, including Spencer.

Spencer noted that the workload for his office is four times larger than when he became state’s attorney in 1981. He said new crimes such as identity theft, online fraud and child pornography have added to that total.

Whiteside board honors retiring county clerk

MORRISON, Ill. — The Whiteside County Board has honored outgoing County Clerk Dan Heusinkveld, who has worked for the county since 1954.

Heusinkveld joined the county clerk’s office in 1954 as a deputy clerk and won election to the top job in 1970. He last won re-election in 2002.

He recalled many of the changes in his career that started with lugging large containers of paper ballots up stairways and ended with electronic voting machines and Internet access.

Deputy clerk Dana Nelson is scheduled to take over Heusinkveld’s position on Nov. 2.

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