Chaney sworn

LaVonne Chaney (District 10) was sworn in to serve out the term of retired member Dave Cruitt. Bruce Cannon (rear) was elected to serve out Cruitt’s term as County Board Chairman.

Shelby County Board Chairman Dave Cruitt retired from his term a year early in December. At the January meeting on Wednesday, the board elected Vice-Chairman Bruce Cannon (R-District 2) as the chairman to serve out Cruitt’s term.

Frank Mulholland (D-District 11) was elected to serve as vice-chairman, filling out Cannon’s term as vice-chairman. Both Cannon and Mulholland were individually elected by a vote of 10-8. Board members Jim Arthur (R-District 6) and Robert Jordan (R-District 2), who was hospitalized, were absent.

Prior to electing the chairman and vice-chairman, LaVonne Chaney was nominated by Bruce Cannon to fill Cruitt’s seat on the county board (District 10). The board voted unanimously for Chaney, she was sworn in by County Clark Jessica Fox and was seated.

Jared Rowcliffe, EMA Director reported on the Intergovernmental Agreement with Christian and Montgomery counties to establish a Joint Emergency Telephone Systems Board (911). The item was tabled at the December meeting.

Rowcliffe recommended holding off on a vote for a resolution approving the agreement.

“Montgomery County has not voted yet agreement,” Rowcliffe said. “They will probably vote on it Jan.14. I recommend we table the vote until next county board meeting. We need to do what is best for Shelby County and let them decide what’s good for Montgomery County.”

After much discussion about the pros and cons of joining the agreement, the board voted to table the resolution.

County Treasurer Erica Firnhaber gave her revenue and expense reports and discussed future changes to the payroll schedule for employees to occur in May 2020.

“We would like to change it in May, because that is a three payroll month,” Firnhaber said. “Then we could change to pay one week in arrears.”

Currently, payroll needs to turned in before the week is completed. That causes adjustments to be made if employees miss work or quit and they have already been paid for days before they actually worked them.

The change would allow employees to log their days worked and then be paid the following week, like most bi-monthly employees in the private sector.

There was much discussion about the change, but no action was taken. There was discussion about a possible meeting on the issue later.

County Highway Engineer Alan Spesard submitted the annual bids for culvert work and for rock. Both were approved.

County Board member and Public Buildings Chairman Dale Wetherell requested approval of a maintenance contract with D&M Electrical on the new generator. The board is waiting on more information and waiting to have the vote.

He also gave an update about electrical repairs needed at the Courthouse and the need to install a surge protector. The cost for those items was $15,455. D&M Electrical will do the work.

One appointment was made. LaVonne Chaney was reappointed to the Mental Health “708” Board. That made three county board members on the commitee. Because only two board members can serve on the committee, Dennis Drnjevic stepped down from the committee.

Chairman Cannon commented that he would like to do some revamping of some committees and gave some examples of some changes.

In Public Body comments, the Edgar County Watchdogs were present and made comments about various issues they see concerning the Shelby County Board.

Jeremy Williams, who is circulating a petition for an advisory referendum also made comment. The advisory referendum is to separate Chicago from the rest of the State of Illinois. Williams hopes the referendum will be placed on the November 2020 ballot.

John Curtis can be reached at

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