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Local News

Will County Board, map could look different after 2020 election

2020 election also will determine makeup of Will County Board

As with other elected legislative bodies, the Will County Board that will be seated after the 2020 election will have to redraw its district map with new census data.

Although most seats aren’t up for reelection next year, the terms for
10 County Board members in five districts will be ending.

As of now, it is unclear who will run for reelection.

In terms of party affiliations, those seats are filled by six Democrats and four Republicans.

Those seats currently are filled by Margaret Tyson, D-Bolingbrook, and Beth Rice, D-Bolingbrook, in the 3rd District; Herbert Brooks, D-Joliet, and Denise Winfrey, D-Joliet, in the 8th District; Gloria Dollinger, R-Joliet, and Tyler Marcum, D-Joliet, in the 10th Distinct; Ray Tuminello, R-New Lenox, and Tom Weigel, R-New Lenox, in the 12th District; and Mark Ferry, D-Plainfield, and Tim Kraulidis, R-Joliet, in the 13th District.

Once the County Board is seated for the new term after the election, an in-house committee will be appointed to examine the new census data for the redrawing of the map.

Winfrey, the speaker of the County Board, said that each current district was drawn to have about 50,000 residents each.

The possibility remains that the board could decide to reconfigure itself. That’s what happened after the 2010 election, when the bipartisan committee redrew the map, changing the landscape from nine districts represented by three members each to
13 districts represented by two members each.

Winfrey said she thought it might be appropriate to reduce the total number of members on the board and raise their salaries so that they could dedicate more time to the job. With the growing population and several projects underway, she said, the tasks of a County Board member have grown more demanding.

“It does require a lot more to be effective in the role,” she said.

Winfrey did concede that she was unsure whether other members would go along with that proposal.

Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, the Republican minority leader, said he wasn’t sure whether he’d be in favor of that, especially if it would increase members’ salaries. Will County Board members earn an annual salary of $23,000, with an extra $1,000 for serving in a leadership role.

Fricilone also argued that a smaller member count would make it more difficult to form the committees, which meet throughout the month about policy decisions. He said that sometimes it already is difficult for all members to attend meetings during the week.

“Otherwise, you’re just going to have a bunch of retired people on the board,” he said.

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