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Local

Ron Parrish elected MCC chairman; wants greater transparency

CRYSTAL LAKE – By a 4-3 secret ballot, a new chairman has been selected for the McHenry County College board.

Ron Parrish on Thursday was nominated for and won the chairmanship over Cynthia Kisser. He replaces Mary Miller, who was not nominated.

A largely ceremonial organizational meeting of the board swore in three new members to the college’s governing board.

The three newcomers ousted longtime incumbents after a heated campaign. Molly Walsh, Chris Jenner and Tom Wilbeck all took oaths of office Thursday.

Other officers were selected, including Linda Liddell as the vice chairman over Wilbeck.

Jenner will serve as the board’s secretary.

As chairman, Parrish hopes to assuage some of the concerns of the community.

The college has been a topic of debate in recent months, with a loud public outcry over a proposed $42 million expansion, and more recently, a move that extended the contract for MCC President Vicky Smith by a lame-duck board.

As a first-term board member, Parrish is not known for holding his tongue on issues with which he doesn’t agree, and is not afraid to take college officials to task, especially when it comes to being transparent.

“Some of the things that the public became upset about were assumptions that are not totally accurate,” Parrish said Friday. “I think we need to be a lot more open so that those things don’t happen.”

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