By Bob Balgemann


Former state representative and Boone County board member Ron Wait has returned to public service.

County Board Chairman Bob Walberg recommended his appointment to the Belvidere Community Building Complex and received unanimous concurrence from the board at its Aug. 17 meeting.

He is filling an unexpired term that will last until June 30, 2017.

Wait served in the Illinois General Assembly for 26 years, representing Boone County. He chose not to seek re-election several years ago and subsequently was elected to the county board in November 2012.

During reorganization of the board, he drew a two-year term and had to run again in the 2014 primary election. He lost in a close race with three other candidates in District II. Now, he is back as a member of an advisory committee to the county board.

Ironically, the complex is adjacent to the old Belvidere High School, which Wait helped save from demolition, while he served in the House.

Board member Cathy Ward said she was happy that he had returned to service on a committee.

Then, she returned to an issue that arose at the board’s July 20 meeting. At that time, the board refused in an 8-4 vote to reconsider the appointment of Kathryn Rudy to the county conservation district board. That action had been taken during the June 15 board meeting.

Walberg chose Rudy over incumbent George Thomas, saying he could not be reappointed to the committee.

However, Ward on Aug. 17 said she had contacted Thomas and told him he was not eligible to be reappointed. She said he was “stunned” by that news and didn’t agree with it. She said he checked before requesting reappointment to be certain he could be returned to the committee.

Ward continued that she talked with Dan Kane, executive director of the district, and with current and former board members Bill Wolf and John Todt.

“They said he was eligible to be reappointed,” she reported. “This is very disappointing for Mr. Thomas,” who was said to be a very good board member and longtime volunteer for the district.

“Maybe you can reconsider this appointment and change it, just to be fair,” she said to Walberg.

H wouldn’t.

“That’s not the recall that I have,” he replied. “He [Thomas] and I had a discussion on it and he had perfect awareness. I’m not going to talk about this more.”

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