Vermilion County Board chair will leave township post

DANVILLE — Vermilion County's newly elected county board chairman plans to step down from his other elected position as Grant Township highway commissioner, although Grant Township Republicans chose him Tuesday night as their candidate for highway commissioner in the April election.

"I do not intend to hold both jobs for any period of time at all. There are just a few things I need to wrap up as road commissioner," Gary Weinard said Wednesday from the county board chairman's office at the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex in downtown Danville.

Weinard said that prior to being chosen as the Republican nominee for county board chairman on Nov. 30, he had filed a letter of intent to be his party's nominee for re-election as Grant Township Highway Commissioner, a paid position he has held since 2005.

"I didn't know how the county board would turn out," said Weinard, who was elected Monday night by the 27 members of the Vermilion County Board as chairman, a position with an annual salary of $65,000.

The next night, Weinard was chosen at the Grant Township Republican caucus as the party's nominee for highway commissioner in the April election. Weinard said he could have withdrawn his name at the township caucus Tuesday night, but that leaves the nominee spot "up in the air."

So the decision Tuesday night, Weinard said, was to abide by his letter of intent and choose him as the nominee. That, he said, will allow him to resign as highway commissioner, probably in a few days, and pick an interim to fill the rest of his current term. Precinct committeemen would meet and interview candidates interested in the job, he said, and recommend one for the April ballot. Weinard said he hasn't yet picked a date to resign as highway commissioner, but it will be soon.

"Nobody's trying to deceive anybody. It's just the way the hand was dealt and the way it's played out," he said.

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