From 1858 to 1972, the county was governed by a Board of Supervisors, consisting of 30 members from the county’s 30 townships. Following the 1970 census, the county was divided into four County Board districts, based on population, with seven representatives from each district. In 2001, following the 2000 Census, the Board was re-apportioned to three districts, and the number of members was reduced to 24, with eight from each district. Board members are elected to four-year terms, with half running every two years, and all 24 running the second year after each census. Board members receive compensation for their services in the form of mileage, based on the current rate set by the Internal Revenue Service, and payment for meetings attended. Members are paid for only one meeting on any given day, regardless of the number of meetings the member attends.
The County Board Chairman and Vice Chairman are elected by the Board members at an organizational meeting in December of even numbered years. The terms are two years, and the Board’s Standing Rules allow an individual to serve as Chairman two consecutive terms. The current Chairman is Marty Fannin of Pontiac, and Vice Chairman is Carl Borngasser of Fairbury. The Board’s responsibility is to oversee distribution of county funds in an efficient manner, while complying with statutory requirements, and maintaining as many services as possible for the benefit of all county citizens.
The County Board’s business is conducted through a committee structure, in which committees discuss issues to recommend for full Board approval. Agriculture and Zoning is responsible for all matters pertaining to the agricultural interests of the county, including eradication of noxious weeds, emergency services, landfill activities and zoning. Election, Rules and Legislation compiles and periodically updates the Standing Rules of the County Board, reviews issues pertaining to holding elections, and informs the Board of pertinent legislation. The Finance Committee works with the Finance Resource Specialist in preparing the annual budget and presents it for Board approval, along with the annual levies. The Highway Committee oversees construction and maintenance of all county bridges and highways. Public Property has charge of the courthouse, jail, health and education buildings and grounds and all other rented/leased properties. The Sheriff, Jail and License Committee examines reports the Sheriff is required to file with the Board, reviews issues brought by the Sheriff, and reviews and recommends action on liquor and raffle license applications. The Personnel Committee meets quarterly with a committee of employees, and otherwise as needed, to review issues and concerns raised by employees, department heads or Board members. Veterans Assistance meets with the administrator of the Veterans Assistance Commission, audits bills presented, and reviews issues pertaining to assistance for county veterans. Information Technology is responsible for supervising and coordinating the county’s technology needs. The Administrative Committee consists of the chairmen of all the other standing committees and coordinates activities of the Board.
The committees meet during the first full week of each month and the County Board meets monthly on the second Thursday after the first Monday. Since 1999, in an effort to make meetings more accessible to the public and to expand the opportunity for citizens to serve on the Board, the majority of committees meet in late afternoon or evening and Board meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. The most recent agenda: Board Agenda and Minutes.
The County Board Chairman can be reached through the Board’s office in the Historic Courthouse, 112 W. Madison. 815.844.6378.