Voters to decide method for choosing Oakland fire board

Voters to decide method for choosing Oakland fire board

OAKLAND – Voters in the Oakland Fire Protection District in northern Coles County will decide on Nov. 4 whether they want their fire department board members appointed or elected.

Brian Bower, an attorney for the district, said that the three fire department trustees have been appointed by the Coles County Board for many years.

Earlier this summer, some Oakland residents filed a petition with the trustees requesting that the method of selection be placed on the ballot. "The trustees directed that they would place the question on the ballot for a vote," Bower said.

The ballot question reads: "Shall the Trustees of the Oakland Fire Protection District, also known as the Oakland Community Fire protection district, be elected rather than appointed?" If a majority of the voters approve the ballot question, Bower said, all three seats on the fire board would be selected in the Feb. 24, 2009, consolidated primary.

"The terms of each of the three elected trustees would be staggered, but we are uncertain at this point about the duration of each of those terms," Bower said.