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"No Confidence" In RI County Chairman Phil Banaszek

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The Rock Island County Board voted 15 to 4 declaring no confidence in Chairman Phil Banaszek's leadership.

Five members of the board abstained from voting.

The County has been in the news a lot lately.

Two whistle blower lawsuits, accusations of improper pay for an employee, and seemingly no action on the County's nursing home and court house have weighed on taxpayer's minds.

The vote is symbolic, it does not force Chairman Banaszek to step down and he has said repeatedly he will not.

"Understandably I'm disappointed in the vote," says Rock Island County Chairman Phil Banaszek.

He says the board's no confidence vote is rooted in politics.

"I'm still beside myself in that, I haven't really figured out where it's coming from," says Banaszek.

Board members voting on both sides of the issue agree. Democrat Brian Vyncke voted yes.

"I think the direction we're headed, a lot of people are disappointed with the way things are going and it was asked by a lot of my constituents, I had more emails and phone calls on this issue than anything I've had as a county board member so far, so I'm representing their concerns," says Vyncke.

Democrat Steve Meersman voted no.

"Whether it was for party politics or for advance of political careers by some members, I have no idea, but knowingly debating an issue that we have no control over, all that does is send a message to the public that we are dysfunctional," says Meersman.

Republican Rodney Simmer voted yes.

"Yea, let the county, maybe an administrator or vice president of the County take over business of the daily routine and have him step away and take care of the outside allegations and clear those before he resumes his position," says Simmer.

"I'm not an employee, I'm an elected official, and I think I would be neglecting my duties as chairman if I did that," says Banaszek.

The lawsuits still exist. The County's nursing home is still trying to get on firm financial ground. A solution still needs to be found for the courthouse.

"I'm taking it day by day," says Banaszek.

The board expressed its displeasure. Now the board is left trying to find a way to move on.

The board did take action on several reforms suggested before the no confidence vote.

It will explore setting up an economic development committee.

It will have board members review and sign the County's ethics policy yearly.

The board will start researching hiring a professional administrator and the board will press the attorney general to tell them how to decrease its size.

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