ALEDO -- A coin flip Monday night determined that Jeff McWhorter will lead the Mercer County Board.
The coin toss came after four tied votes failed to earn a majority for either Mr. McWhorter, a District 1 Democrat, or fellow Democrat Dan Schroeder, from District 4. Mr. McWhorter's bid for chairman was backed by the four Republicans: Ted Pappas, George Howard, Fred Rooth and Brian Anseeuw.
Mr. Pappas, of District 3, received the lone nomination for vice-chairman after Bill Olson declined a nomination.
Because of redistricting, board members on Monday also drew lots for length of terms:
-- Drawing four-year terms were Mr. McWhorter; Gary Gregg, District 2; Mr. Pappas, Mr. Rooth, District 4; and Mr. Olson, District 5.
--Drawing two-year terms were George Howard, District 1; Mr. Anseeuw, Larry Stone, District 3; Daniel Schroeder, District 4; and Tom Haines, District 5.
The newly seated board on Monday discussed the potential for the county opting for a line of credit to meet operating costs while waiting for local tax, state and federal payments.
"The county can't operate like this," said Mr. Pappas, agreeing to discuss options with BankORION.
The night started out with a walk out by Mr. Anseeuw and Mr. Rooth who claimed the meeting of the old board violated state statute and the county's by-laws. Despite assurances by Mercer County State's Attorney Greg McHugh that the meeting was legal and the former board could meet to conduct business, the two men walked out, followed by Mr. Pappas and Mr. Howard.
While in session, the former board adopted next year's budget of $10,313,952, down $2,208,265 from $12,522,217. Mercer County Clerk Phyllis Bewley said some of the decrease is because of a lower countywide equalized assessed valuation and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund obligations related to the sale of the Mercer County Nursing Home and hospital.
The levy will also decrease about $200,000, from $3,982,800 to $3,788,150.
Today is Wednesday, March 12, the 71st day of 2014. There are 294 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Soldiers from the barracks on the Arsenal manage to elude the vigilance of the guard nearly every day and come to town armed. In the hands of excited and perhaps intoxicated men, these weapons are dangerous. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Manufacturing's merchants and professional men of Moline were petitioning the Western Union Telegraph company to establish a telegraph office in the business area of the city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Three Rock Island students, the Misses Eleanor Cleaveland, Dorothy McCabe and Ruth West, escaped injury when fire destroyed College Hall at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave a party for William H. Stremmel, the only survivor of John Buford Post 243, GAR. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The East Moline Grade School Board of Education last night granted salary increases totaling about $47,000 to teachers and staff members. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Five champion spellers from the Rock Island/Milan School district were selected after competition this week at Modern Woodmen of America. Winners are Sarah Cottay, Christopher Gilbrich, Jared Vogele, Kedric Roper and Kenny Stevenson.