R.I. Co. Board Makes Plan For Future - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

R.I. Co. Board Makes Plan For Future

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Major changes are on the way for the Rock Island County board after three separate votes during a special meeting Tuesday night.

“There's a lot of things that people want to happen right now and I agree they need to change but let's make the change for the right reason,” said county board member, Steve Meersman.

Board members voted to cut the board's size, to create guidelines for the removal of future board chairs, and for the first time, hire a county administrator, duties currently handled by the board chairman.

“In the disarray that this county is in and the prospect of it getting much better under this, frankly, this chairman and this board, I think we definitely need an administrator,” said board member, Don Johnston.

“There's obviously some personal and political issues at work there,” said Board Chairman, Phil Banaszek.

Banaszek received a 15-8 vote of “no confidence” in June but tells KWQC, he'll serve out his full two-year term.

“Elected officials do have certain rights after they're in office,” said Banaszek. County boards only have limited powers in the state of Illinois.”

Rock Island County State's Attorney John McGehee says removal of Banaszek could open the county to a lawsuit. He tells KWQC, that's according to discussions with Banaszek's lawyer.

The board voted unanimously to reduce its size from its current 25 members but how to reduce the board, isn't so clear.

Board member, Don Johnston, says he supports reducing the size of the board even if that meant losing his own seat.

“Oh, heavens. What a blessing.”

The county board hasn't determined when an administrator will be hired. They still have to write up a job description and figure out how to pay for the position.


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