By Alex Haglund
Immediately following the swearing in of newly elected and reelected county officials, the members of the Washington County Board proceeded from the Judicial Center where the ceremony took place, across the street to their meeting room at the Washington County Courthouse to hold their reorganizational meeting, and a special meeting of the board following that.
All board members were present for the meeting with the exception of Kate Muenter.
During the reorganizational meeting, Jeff Evans nominated David Meyer to be elected as the county board chairman, a role in which he has served for the past 12 years. There were no other nominations and Meyer was reelected chair.
Eric Brammeier then nominated Gary Suedmeyer to be the board’s vice chair, a role in which he has served for the past six years. There were no other nominations and he too was reelected.
Following those votes, Meyer congratulated new board members Larry Unverfehrt and Dennis Shemonic and welcomed them to the board.
“As far as the board and how things have been handled,” Meyer said, “I don’t foresee a lot of changes there, but there is always room for improvement.”
The reorganizational meeting was adjourned and after a break of about 15 minutes, the board reconvened for a special meeting, the purpose of which was to appoint a new Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) agent for the county, and to approve temporary committee appointments.
The board approved the removal of County Treasurer Kelly Cameron as the county’s IMRF agent, effective November 29.
“She (Cameron) has requested a removal from that position,” said Meyer, “and that will require a motion from the board to accept that resignation.”
Following the vote to remove Cameron, the board approved the appointment of Natalie Lynch as the new IMRF agent for Washington County.
The board also approved temporary appointments to county committees. These committee appointments will serve until the first regular meeting of the new board, which will be at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13. The appointments are listed below, and following the board meeting on December 13, any changes between these and the permanent appointments will be published here
Temporary County Board Committees
Finance, Claims Due and Economic Development: Gary Suedmeyer, Victor Shubert, Alan Hohlt, Jeff Evans and Eric Brammeier.
County Buildings: Gary Suedmeyer, Eric Brammeier, David Ibendahl, Willy Spenner and Terrie Kurwicki.
Animal Control: Jeff Evans, Leo Barczewski and Kate Muenter.
Legislative: Eric Brammeier, Doug Bening and Dennis Shemonic.
Supervisor of Assessments: Terrie Kurwicki, Paul Todd and Doug Bening.
Personnel Appointments and Policy: Victor Shubert, Gary Suedmeyer and David Ibendahl.
Insurance: Alan Hohlt, Willy Spenner and Gary Suedmeyer.
Ambulance: Victor Shubert, Alan Hohlt, Jeff Evans, Kate Muenter and Paul Todd.
Environmental, ESDA and Zoning: Victor Shubert, Kate Muenter and Willy Spenner.
County Health Department Board: David Meyer, David Ibendahl, Paul Todd and Dennis Shemonic.
Road and Bridge: Jeff Evans, Gary Suedmeyer, Eric Brammeier, Doug Bening and Larry Unverfehrt.
Sheriff, Drug Task: Alan Hohlt, Kate Muenter, Larry Unverfehrt and Dennis Shemonic.
Cemetery: Willy Spenner, Leo Barczewski and Paul Todd.
Planning Commission and Solid Waste: Eric Brammeier, Victor Shubert and Kate Muenter.
Education: Larry Unverfehrt, Terrie Kurwicki and Leo Barczewski.
Claims Against County: Jeff Evans, Alan Hohlt and David Ibendahl.
Central Illinois Growth Alliance: Gary Suedmeyer, Leo Barczewski, Willy Spenner, Doug Bening and Dennis Shemonic.
BCMW Board: Charlie Meier (Meier no longer is a member of the County Board but continues to serve on the BCMW Board)
Nashville/Washington County Enterprise Zone Board: Terrie Kurwicki.
Centralia Enterprise Zone: Larry Unverfehrt.
Mental Health Board: Terrie Kurwicki.
911: Alan Hohlt.
Investment Work Board: Terrie Kurwicki, To be filled at a later date
The first name listed is the person who will serve as chairperson of committee.
The committee chairperson will make monthly committee reports and recommendations to the full board at the monthly County Board meeting.
In addition to the other business conducted, Meyer also encouraged the other board members to make themselves available to each other in terms of communication, and pledged his own availability if he was needed. Suedmeyer also stated that he would be available whenever needed as well.
This availability and communication between members of the board has a flipside as well though, with Meyer stating that phone calls, texts and emails were a useful tool to the board for organization, planning and scheduling, he cautioned board members that any actual business that the board conducted needed to be conducted at board meetings, by law.
“Our board the last several years has been very busy,” Meyer told board members. While he acknowledged that the big building projects of the Judicial Center’s construction and the Courthouse’s renovation were complete, he added, “there will still be plenty for everybody to do.”