By Bob Balgemann


Newly elected Boone County Board Chairman Karl Johnson is continuing where his predecessor left off.

At the July 20 board meeting, then-Chairman Bob Walberg changed the format in which people were allowed to address the board. The public comments portion of each monthly meeting was restricted to the beginning. People no longer were allowed to offer their views at varying times during the meeting, when their particular subject came up for board discussion.

In particular, he called for there to be decorum during the meeting.

At the Wednesday, Dec. 21 board meeting, the current chairman, Karl Johnson, reiterated those thoughts in a letter he distributed to members before the start of the 6:30 p.m. meeting.

He started by recognizing that speakers sometimes are passionate about their particular subject. Yet, he said he required that they treat the board with respect. He also said he and the other board members, in turn, would respect those who address them.

“We’re all citizens of Boone County,” he said. “We have families and friends here. Sometimes we make mistakes; hopefully not very often. We may disagree, but that doesn’t make us bad people. That doesn’t make you bad persons. So, please treat each other with respect. If not, I will be forced not to let you speak. So just be forewarned, I guess, in a nice way.”

After his opening remarks, there were two speakers.

Robert Christianson has been a regular at board and committee meetings for a couple of years, in particular following the animal services building project since its very beginning.

After congratulating new board members and the new chairman and vice chairman, he reminded the 12-member board of its function, which was to represent the people and what’s in the best interests of the county.

He encouraged them “to toss aside any personal desires as well as any influence from outside sources.”

People across the country are demanding accountability from their elected officials.

“That’s long overdue,” he said. “I hope Boone County will step up to the plate and honor what the people are asking for and communicate with them, so when you make a decision, it’s not just ‘my, my, my decision.’ That’s what it takes to create unison.”

Christianson also said he attended the Nov. 30 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new animal services building, off Squaw Prairie Road, and wondered why he saw old appliances inside the structure?

Chairman Johnson replied that county officials are still looking at what appliances to use in the new building. He called it “a work in progress.”

Capron Village Trustee Steve Cavaliere talked to the board about helping small villages in the grant application process.

“Our problem is being a small town, we don’t have the resources to even apply for some of them,” he said. “There are thousands of them out there and only a few of them that we could use.”

He asked the county to set up some kind of program, as a co-signer of sorts, in which it could help small villages such as Capron apply for grants. He said providers of such grants “want to see that you (applicants) are committed to doing the project that you have the resources to get it done.”

“It’s something to think about,” he concluded.


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