By Bob Balgemann


BELVIDERE – Most of the time, Boone County Board Chairman Bob Walberg doesn’t have many candidates for committee appointments that he recommends. On occasion, no one applies to fill the vacancy.

However, on Wednesday, May 18, he will have six candidates to choose from for one three-year term on the North Boone Fire Protection District III Board of Trustees.

The current board president, Raymond Morse, has put in for reappointment and he’s being opposed by five newcomers.

Morse turned in a letter with some information about himself, including his qualifications. Each letter turned in by the other candidates, Jeffrey Goings, Ed Wirthington, Ron Maxey, James Jason Vodnansky and Keith Anderson, was two sentences in length. They were identical to each other except for the date of submission, name, and contact telephone number.

With those exceptions, the five letters read: Dear Mr. Walberg. I, (name), would like to serve on the North Boone Fire Protection District III Board of Trustees. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me at (differing phone numbers).”

Morse’s letter was divided into four sections: Objective, Summary of Qualifications, Relevant Experience, and Education.

His stated qualifications included being a business owner in Poplar Grove and farming in the area for 36 years.

“I know what hard work is and sometimes you have to save for the future,” he wrote. “Anything worth having you generally have to work for.”

Currently, he is the Manchester Township supervisor and prior to that served as a trustee on the board.

“I understand how things work with the local and state governments. With farming and operating a business, I also understand cash flow and use of borrowed money.”

Morse has a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture economics from the University of Wisconsin- Platteville. He also has a two-year degree in farm management from Highland Community College in Freeport.

Letter from resident

Walberg also received a letter from a Poplar Grove resident, whose signature was illegible, asking that he meet with the District III Board and Fire Chief Gail Worley to document their claim that Capron Rescue Squad “is inadequate.”

The letter states that if the county board, “as appointees of the [fire district] board deems the allegations false or unproven, your board should rule that the NB3 Fire Department stand down their ambulance crew and sell the ambulance to recover as much of the public’s funds as possible.”

“I would hope that the [county] board would direct them [District III] to go back to doing what they were tasked to do by the people of Boone County, which is fighting fires.”

If District III refuses to comply with the county board chairman’s ruling, “it is in your power to replace the board and have the new board reorganize the District III Fire Department, so that it can adequately perform its duties to the citizens of Boone County.”

Walberg said in response to the letter that he only has the authority to appoint members of the various boards, committees, and commissions. He said he cannot remove members.

Beyond that, he said Capron Rescue and District III officials had been meeting in an attempt to work together for the betterment of North Boone residents.

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