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Kane deputy chairman, new committees get support

GENEVA – Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen appears poised to win approval of a plan to change some of the structure of the County Board.

The Kane County Board’s Executive Committee voted Thursday, with little discussion, to send the full County Board a proposal to create the position of deputy chairman.

It also sent to the full board a proposal introduced by Lauzen to create a new County Board committee focused on job creation and a new committee for agricultural issues, and to appoint co-chairmen on some committees.

According to language in the proposal to the committee Thursday, the deputy chairman – an entirely new office – would be appointed by Lauzen and would marshal support for issues and positions supported by the chairman.

The deputy chairman also would “take the place of the county board chairman at official ceremonies” that Lauzen cannot attend, and could work with the board’s vice chairman to oversee County Board operations when the chairman is not present.

At an earlier County Board meeting in December, the deputy chairman proposal had prompted concern among some County Board members, who noted that as presented by Lauzen it did not require the deputy chairman to be a member of the County Board, or even be elected.

Lauzen pledged to add language that would specifically require the deputy chairman be a County Board member, and repeated those assurances Thursday. However, in documents made available before Thursday’s meeting, the language did not include that requirement.

The co-chairmen proposal was questioned by Kane County Board member Jesse Vazquez, D-Aurora, who was selected in December to serve as co-chairman of the county’s Legislative Committee, alongside Maggie Auger, R-Algonquin.

Vazquez questioned how committees with two chairmen could function, should the chairmen disagree on an issue. Lauzen, however, said he believed co-chairmen from different political parties should be able to be “bipartisan” and “get good work done” for the county.

He then announced he had withdrawn Vazquez’s nomination as co-chairman of the Legislative Committee, replacing him with County Board member Jennifer Laesch, D-Aurora.

The matters will return to the full County Board for consideration on Tuesday.

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