By Bob Balgemann


Filling a vacancy, approving state testing for candidates applying to be county engineer and support for an advisory referendum on politics and money were among the issues faced by the Boone County Board during its special meeting June 29.

In a voice vote with just one dissenting, the board was nearly unanimous in concurring with the appointment of Jessica Muellner to fill a vacancy on the board. She replaces Craig Schultz, who died unexpectedly May 12, in one of three board seats in District III.

The only question came from District III board member Kenny Freeman, who asked how many applicants there were for the vacancy.

Chairman Bob Walberg, who made the recommended appointment, said Muellner was the only applicant.

There were no other questions or comments.

The county soon will lose another key employee when longtime engineer Rich Lundin retires. His target date was in mid-May but the search team only recently settled on a final group of four candidates.

However, there still is a preliminary step that must be taken and that is sending those applicants to Springfield for resting.

Roads and Capital Improvements Committee Chairman Brad Stark said having to send the applicants to Springfield “a lovely thing mandated by the state of Illinois.”

In addition, he said they have to identify the four names of the finalists, letting their current employers know they are out looking for jobs.

“That’s real handy, too,” he said. “Only in Illinois …”

The board approved that step in a unanimous voice vote.

Stark said he hoped the new engineer would start later this year.

One of three who signed up to speak during the public comments portion of the meeting addressed the board on approving an advisory referendum for addition to the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Poplar Grove resident Angelique Bodine, a state representative candidate for the 69th District, said she appeared before the finance, taxation, and salaries committee in January or February with information on the anti-corruption act advisory question.

She told the board such a referendum already has been on ballots in DeKalb, Winnebago, and Ogle counties, where it passed each time with about 87 percent voting yes. Purpose of the model legislation is to limit the influence of money in American politics.

Bodine said she had not heard anything since her visit to the finance committee meeting.

Chairman Walberg said the issue was discussed but since then “dropped off the radar.”

So, Bodine asked that it be returned to the radar for a decision.

The two other speakers who signed up June 29 were there to address the proposed railroad route through eastern Boone County.

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