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Colleagues honor retiring chairman

Seeberg criticizes newspaper reporter

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/
Retiring Lee County Board Chairman Jim Seeberg listens as board members congratulate him and bid him farewell at his last meeting Tuesday morning.
(Alex T. Paschal/
Gallery members at Tuesday’s Lee County Board meeting stand and congratulate Jim Seeberg for his many years of service.
(Alex T. Paschal/
Lee County Board member John Nicholson displays a gift to chairman Jim Seeberg. Seeberg oversaw his last meeting Tuesday, serving since the early ’80s.

DIXON – Tuesday was Lee County Board Chairman Jim Seeberg’s last meeting. 

At the beginning of the meeting, Vice Chairman John Nicholson, R-Franklin Grove, gave each board member a chance to make comments about Seeberg.

Many noted their disagreements with the Ashton Republican over the years, but they described him as having the county’s best interests at heart. Others said they appreciated Seeberg’s open-door policy. 

Even his occasional adversaries offered kind words. 

Gerald Leffelman, R-Sublette, said he had been a “little disappointed” by some of Seeberg’s decisions, but satisfied with most. He added that Seeberg may have been grumpy at times because of health problems.

“You’re a good man, Jim Seeberg,” Leffelman said.

Judy Truckenbrod, R-West Brooklyn, who often differed with Seeberg by taking more fiscally conservative stands, said the chairman’s heart was in the right place. She described him as “divisive,” “decisive,” “funny” and “outright cantankerous.”

“He’s all of these things,” she said. 

Marvin Williams, R-Dixon, acknowledged getting angry at Seeberg a couple of weeks ago, but he added, “I love you, man.”

When Seeberg, 80, got his chance to speak, he focused his remarks entirely on a newspaper reporter, presumably David Giuliani of Sauk Valley Media, who has covered Lee County government for the last couple of years. 

Seeberg, who didn’t seek re-election, said Giuliani “twists” what people say. Seeberg said he would like to say what he really thought but that would involve “cussing” at the reporter, who was in the audience.

Seeberg said he felt sorry for the next County Board, which takes office next week, because it would have to deal with the reporter.

Later in the meeting, Franklin Grove Village President Bob Logan presented certificates from the village board honoring Seeberg and State’s Attorney Henry Dixon, who leaves office Friday.

Logan noted he has had differences with Seeberg over the years. Last year, for instance, Seeberg decided against reappointing Logan to the county’s planning commission, much to the village president’s chagrin.

At the meeting, Logan said he disagreed with Seeberg about the newspaper reporter. He said he had nothing bad to say about Giuliani.

Logan also said he respected Seeberg and his years of service.

“These are thankless jobs,” Logan said.

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