Irresponsible to ignore legal opinions regarding county board size


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Posted Online: May 01, 2013, 11:00 pm
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One of my colleagues on the Rock Island County Board recently claimed that the April referendum on single-member districts circumvents the will of the people and confused voters.

The fact of the matter is, there was much misinformation (about cost savings) and confusion related to the November 2012 referendum on downsizing and restructuring the way the board is elected. Because of that confusion, clarification was needed.

He also raised concerns about referencing legal opinions from the 1970s, in regard to downsizing. Several legal opinions from the Attorney General's Office and State's Attorney John McGehee have been considered. This information is relevant, because the law regarding this matter has not changed.

My colleague repeatedly states that the board can be reduced at any time, yet offers no legal opinion to support that argument. It has actually been suggested that the board initiate its downsizing and let the courts or the state take action against us if it is deemed illegal.

It would not be responsible for us to take that action, which counters every legal opinion received to date, and that would likely open the door to multiple legal issues for the county.

We have requested an opinion from the current Attorney General as to whether the board can be reduced outside of the census window. Our responsibility to the citizens of Rock Island County demands that we act deliberately and cautiously. I believe that the people of this county understand that it is only sensible to listen to sound legal counsel.

Richard "Quijas" Brunk,
Rock Island County Board
District 13,
chair,
Governmental Affairs Committee,
Rock Island County Board















 




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