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McLean County Names Interim Administrator; Delays Redistricting

Cassy Taylor
Emily Bollinger
/
WGLT
The McLean County Board appointed Cassy Taylor interim county administrator on Thursday.

The McLean County Board on Thursday appointed Cassy Taylor interim county administrator.

Board chair John McIntyre said the county will likely wait until 2022 to begin its search for a permanent appointment.

The county board approved the appointment on a 17-0 vote in its first entirely in-person meeting since before the pandemic.

Taylor replaces Camille Rodriguez, who recently resigned to take a public health position in Boulder, Colo. Taylor served as an assistant administrator under Rodriguez for nearly three years, and has worked in McLean County government for six years. She previously served as the county’s court services director.

“I’ve dedicated the last 22 years to county service and so I feel like this is a great opportunity for me, but I also feel I’m ready to take on the task knowing where we are in McLean County with many projects and many initiatives,” Taylor said.

McIntyre said the Executive Committee will decide whether to proceed with a search after Taylor’s interim six-month appointment.

Redistricting

In another matter, the county is pushing back its timeline to draw new County Board districts following legislation that would delay Illinois’ 2022 primary to June.

Taylor said members of the county’s citizen advisory panels are expected to meet in September and October to review census data with help from the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.

The committees will craft three proposed maps for the county board to consider in November.

“It was a time crunch for us and I think this gives the people who have dedicated their time to be a part of that ‘Red, White and Blue Committee’ some time to look at their schedules a little more,” said Taylor, adding the delay also takes pressure off of county staff to have its website and software ready to develop the maps.

The delay may enable the county to get more detailed census data to draw the new maps. Currently, Illinois has population data from 2019 that is far less detailed than the census will produce.

Taylor said the county hopes to have meetings for the advisory panels scheduled in the next few weeks.

In other business, the board:

  • Rejected appointing District 87 school board member Fitzgerald Samedy to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission (RPC). Democrats struck down the appointment on a 9-8 party-line vote. “I think it would be better to have someone on the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) with a bit more time and experience with the district,” said County Board member Lea Cline, noting Samedy has served on the District 87 board for two months. McIntyre indicated District 87 referred Samedy for the appointment. Samedy would have replaced District 87 board member Mark Wylie on the commission. The county board did approve Unit 5 school board member Stan Gozur’s appointment to the RPC. Republicans Josh Barnett, Catherine Metsker and Lyndsay Bloomfield were absent from the meeting.
  • Approved an agreement to receive coronavirus recovery funds from the U.S. Treasury. The county expects to get $33.3 million in two installments. The money can be spent over several years.
  • Approved a change to the County Board’s 2022 fiscal policy. The policy is updated to reflect COVID relief money. It also says the county will seek to keep general fund balances at 12-15% of its annual budget. If it exceeds 15%, the county may seek to use “excess funds” for capital projects, including repairs and improvements to county buildings and debt service to the Public Building Commission.
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