County board rejects appointment in symbolic revolt over process

County board rejects appointment in symbolic revolt over process

Weigh in: Submit a letter to the editor

URBANA — The approval of appointees to various boards is usually a routine matter for the Champaign County Board.

Not so this month.

The current setup calls for the county executive, Democrat Darlene Kloeppel, to make appointments and for the county board to ratify whomever she chooses.

But fellow Democrat Charles Young, chairman of the Policy, Personnel and Appointments Committee, said he wants to be a part of the process. So he asked Kloeppel if he could sit in with her on the interviews of potential appointees.

That request was denied.

In what amounted to a symbolic revolt, the board voted 13-6 to reject the reappointment of Paul Sailor to the Board of Review on Thursday night.

Twelve of the 13 "no" votes came from board members from Kloeppel's own party; all of the supporters were Republicans.

Democrat Chris Stohr said he believes the Democrats were showing support for Young and his involvement in appointments.

"I am partial to Charles Young's interest in wanting to find out more about the persons seeking approval," Stohr said.

"The county board needs to consider the voices of the people and be more inclusive and thoughtful," Young said. "I did not get on this county board just to be dictated to."

"It is her decision and not our place to micromanage her job," countered Republican Jodi Wolken.

Kloeppel, meanwhile, said statutes clearly give her the responsibility to make appointments.

"I am happy to hear from the board if you have some concerns," Kloeppel said.

"It might be appropriate to have the Policy and Personnel chair and vice-chair attend these interviews even if there is only one applicant," said Democrat Eric Thorsland. "It is an opportunity to ask questions before they come before us."

"I have a real problem with people on the board taking responsibility away from the executive who has a statutory responsibility to find people to fill these positions," said Republican Jim McGuire.

Republican Jim Goss noted that Sailor was the only applicant for the Board of Review position.

"In the rural community, just getting people to volunteer and show up for these boards is a big deal," Goss said. "The position was noticed and advertised, and you still have one applicant. People just don't have time. You are likely to have no representation on these boards."

After the meeting, Sailor told The News-Gazette he had no comment.

Sections (2):News, Local
-