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Local

County Board considering reducing members

DIXON – The Lee County Board is considering reducing its ranks after the 2020 Census numbers come in.

The board will need to make a decision in 2021 on any changes, and some members have thrown out different numbers, such as dropping from 24 to 20 or 16 seats, or even cutting their ranks in half to 12.

“Although we do have a couple years, that’s going to slip away pretty quick,” Board Chairman John Nicholson said.

County Administrator Theresa Wittenauer said she recently was contacted by Kelly Murray, executive director of the Illinois Association of County Board Members, about other counties that are looking at downsizing their boards, and to gauge interest in having regional roundtable discussions about doing so.

Topics they will want to research include potential cost savings, how to restructure committees and what department heads think of the idea.

The board also swore in a new member Tuesday to replace Arlan McClain, who resigned because he moved out of District 3. McClain joined the board in 2012 and was CEO of Kreider Services for 37 years before retiring in 2011.

James Horstman, a retired lawyer from Winnetka who moved to Dixon about 7 years ago, was appointed to fill the remainder of McClain’s term, which ends Nov. 30, 2020.

Next meeting

The Lee County Board next meets at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 in the third-floor board room of the Old Lee County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St.

The agenda will be posted at leecountyil.com 2 days before the meeting.

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