Gouker elected new county board chairman
Veteran board member Kim Gouker, Byron, was elected Ogle County Board chairman Monday night by the newly-seated county board.
Gouker, who has served on the county board for approximately 14 years, won the position by a narrow two-vote margin, 13 -11, a few minutes after the 24-member board was sworn in by Judge Robert Hanson.
Another board veteran, Lyle Hopkins, Polo, was also nominated for chairman, but that vote ended in a 12-12 tie.
Hopkins, who has served on the board for more than a decade, was nominated first and therefore voted on first. Gouker was elected in a subsequent motion.
Board member Don Griffin, Oregon, cast the deciding vote, saying yes to both nominations.
After taking his seat at the head of the county board table, Gouker thanked those who voted for him and promised that his first course of action as chairman will be to meet with the board members who voted against him.
"I want to find out why and how we can work together," he said.
Hopkins said he had mixed emotions about the outcome of the election, but plans to work with Gouker.
"We're here for the good of the county, not for ourselves," he said.
John Finfrock, Mt. Morris, was elected vice chairman by a vote of 17-7. Current vice chairman Marcia Heuer, Oregon, lost her bid for a second term in the post.
Due to reapportionment, an entirely new board was elected Nov. 6. Based on data collected in the 2010 census, the county is now divided in 8 districts instead of 4. Each new district is represented by three board members.
After being seated, board members drew pieces of paper to determine the length of the terms for their seats on the board.
Reapportionment occurs every 10 years.
County clerk Rebecca Huntley presided over the meeting until the new chairman was elected and explained how the terms will be configured to allow for a portion of the board to be elected every two years.
Over the 10-year period until the next reapportionment in 2022, some of the terms will be 2 years long and the remainder will be 4 years.
One third of the seats — one from each of the 8 districts — will consist of a 2-year term followed by two 4-year terms.
Another third of the seats will consist of two 4-year terms followed by a 2-year term.
The last third of the seats will consist of a 4-year term, a two-year term, and a 4-year term.
Board members who drew the 2-4-4 configuration included Kimberly Kirkolis, District 1; Patricia Nordman, District 2; Bobbie Colbert, District 3; Bruce McKinney, District 4; Dan Janes, District 5; Lee Meyers, District 6; Rich Gronewold, District 7; and Hopkins, District 8.
Those who drew the 4-4-2 configuration are Dick Petrizzo, District 1; Bill Welty, District 2; Ashley Simms, District 3; John Kenney, District 4; Marty Typer, District 5; Dorothy Bowers, District 6; Finfrock, District 7; and Heuer, District 8.
Those who drew the 4-2-4 configuration are Zachary Oltmanns, District 1; Jerry Brooks, District 2; Greg Sparrow, District 3; John O'Brien, District 4; Griffin, District 5; Gouker, District 6; Ron Colson, District 7; and Pat Saunders, District 8.
The new county board districts are as follows:
• District 1 — Dement, Lynnville, Monroe, and Scott Townships;
• District 2 — White Rock, Pine Rock, Lafayette, and Oregon-Nashua Townships;
• District 3 — Flagg Township, Precincts 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7;
• District 4 — Flagg Township, Precincts 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11;
• District 5 — Marion, Rockvale, and Leaf River Townships;
• District 6 — Byron Township;
• District 7 — Maryland, Mt. Morris, and Forreston Townships;
• District 8 — Brookville, Lincoln, Eagle Point, Buffalo, Pine Creek, Woosung, Grand Detour, and Taylor Townships.