Two incumbents, Foster triumph

Champaign City Council candidates Deborah Feinen and Thomas Bruno await election results at the Brookens Administrative Center. Beck Diefenbach

Champaign City Council candidates Deborah Feinen and Thomas Bruno await election results at the Brookens Administrative Center. Beck Diefenbach

Thomas Bruno. Deborah Feinen and Karen Foster were elected to Champaign City Council Tuesday. Mayor Jerry Schweighart and Marci Dodds, who both ran unopposed, will also continue to serve on the council.

“It’s reaffirmation that things we’ve done are appreciated by voters and (they) want us to continue those policies,” Bruno said.

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Council candidates gathered at Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington Street, to await results from the Champaign City Council elections. Around 11 p.m. Tuesday, all the votes had been tallied and the winners were congratulated.

Bruno collected 23 percent of the vote, Feinen took 21 percent and Foster came in with 18.5 percent.

Foster will replace Giraldo Rosales in one of the At-Large council positions. Although Foster has not had any experience with city government, she has worked closely with the County Board as the Child Care Director at the Champaign County Nursing Home.

“There will be so much that I have to learn about each city department,” Foster said. “That’s what I’ll be focusing on. Just learning the departments from the inside out.”

Foster said she thinks the current council is doing “great.”

“They are very knowledgeable about the issues that are presented to them,” Foster said. “I think that they do their homework, that they make their decisions based on the facts presented and I think they’re doing a fine job.”

The council is losing Rosales, a four-year veteran. Rosales currently works as assistant dean of students at the University and led the way toward the citywide smoking ban.

At-large council members Feinen and Bruno are returning to the council – Bruno for his third full term, and Feinen for her first after being appointed to her position.

Bruno says he takes re-election as an affirmation that the voters approve of the policies he has promoted over the last 10 years.

“I probably wouldn’t make any changes in my policy,” Bruno said after Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Feinen developed previous government experience, other than her stint on the council, when she served 14 years on the Champaign County Board.

Schweighart will be serving his third full term as mayor of Champaign. Before becoming mayor in 1999, he served on the council for six years and worked on the Champaign police force for 32 years.

“This is my third term and I notice that I’m not getting any younger,” Schweighart said. “I always said on each election, it depends on how my health is and how I feel.”

Schweighart said he gave some of his campaign contributions to other council candidates that he “was very interested in getting on the council.”