A new committee created by Winnebago County board focuses on resolving concerns

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Earlier this summer, Winnebago County’s personnel and policies committee created an ad hoc committee. The purpose of the group is to research options related to the structure of the county administrator and board chairman roles.

“Our job is to create a report to give to the rest of the board that educates them on these issues,” said Winnebago County board member Paul Arena.

One of the issues addressed was an ordinance changed earlier this year. The change called for the county administrator to report to the county board instead of the chairman.

Some committee members, like Dave Kelley, feel changing the ordinance change was a mistake.

“Most people were fairly satisfied with how its worked the last 30 something years,” said Kelley. “I haven’t heard compelling arguments for changing it.”

While others feel it should stay the way it is currently.

“It’s more difficult for any person who is in that position as administrator to upset 11 people and cause them to be dismissed then it is in a situation where an administrator would just report to one person,” Arena said.

Some committee members believe the County Board Chairman could be a part time role, but most disagreed.

“The duties would take up more than full time hours for any person that wants to do it,” Arena said.

The committee plans on bringing in local government experts to answer questions and advise board members.

“We need to see what other counties are doing, other businesses are doing, in the city, it’s important,” said county board member Angie Goral. “They’ve been doing it for years, they have a mayor and they have a chief administrator.”

Committee members say they hope the research and work done can help prevent future problems.

“We have to make sure its fair. Not only for the administration right now but for the incoming administration too,” Goral said.

Also Wednesday, the Winnebago County personnel and policies committee voted to appoint Steve Chapman to the position of interim county administrator. The resolution will now go to the full board for approval.


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