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County Board committee shakeup headed for vote

WOODSTOCK – Committee assignments for a radically changed McHenry County Board are on their way to a formal vote.

The board’s Committee on Committees and new Chairwoman Tina Hill, R-Woodstock, agreed Wednesday to forward committee memberships and chairmanships hashed out last week for full County Board approval.

Nine new members – the largest freshman class in at least 20 years – were elected last month, when all 24 seats were up because of post-census redistricting. And the newly seated board’s first order of business after being sworn in Dec. 3 was to choose Hill as chairwoman over four-term incumbent chairman Ken Koehler, R-Crystal Lake.

The significant changes in leadership and board makeup made for significant changes to the 11 standing committees in which much of county government’s work gets done. Under the proposed roster, all but one of the County Board’s 11 standing committees will have new chairmen. They include three freshmen and, for the first time, a Democrat.

The County Board, which under a temporary roster has canceled many of its December committee meetings, will vote Jan. 3 on committees’ leadership.

Transportation Committee Chairwoman Anna May Miller, R-Cary, will keep her seat under the new roster. Hill, with the Committee on Committees’ approval, recommended Paula Yensen, D-Lake in the Hills, to lead the Management Services Committee that sets county government rules and procedures.

One minor change made Wednesday was to propose making John Hammerand, R-Wonder Lake, vice chairman of Yensen’s committee. Hammerand lost his chairmanship of the Liquor and License Committee in restructuring and was not given another leadership role.

If approved by the full County Board, freshmen Mary McClellan, R-Holiday Hills, will chair the Human Resources committee; Michele Aavang, R-Woodstock, Natural and Environmental Resources; and Joe Gottemoller, R-Crystal Lake, Planning and Development.

The committee last week left the final recommendation on Planning and Development’s chairman to Hill. Committee member Donna Kurtz, R-Crystal Lake, had asked Hill to reconsider making freshman Gottemoller the chairman and instead give the seat to board veteran and proposed vice chairwoman Ersel Schuster, R-Woodstock.

Of the committee chairmen on the old County Board, two did not seek re-election, one lost, and five won re-election but were moved. Two more – Hill and Vice Chairman James Heisler – held chairmanships but have to step down because County Board rules forbid the chairman and vice chairman from holding both posts.

The County Board next month also will vote to approve its representatives and liaisons to more than two dozen boards and commissions, such as the Economic Development Corp. and the McHenry County Conservation District.

What’s next

The McHenry County Board will vote Jan. 3 to approve a new committee structure and committee chairmanships. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the county Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock.

On the Net

Read more about

who won and who lost

in the new County Board committee assignments.

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