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updated: 12/26/2011 5:00 PM

Avon Township chooses board member for assessor's post

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  • R. Christopher Ditton

    R. Christopher Ditton

  • William McNeill

    William McNeill


Avon Township Trustee R. Christopher Ditton is shifting from his role as a part-time elected official to a full-time job as the township's assessor.

In a special meeting Christmas Eve, the township board voted 3-1 to appoint Ditton as assessor, filling a vacancy created with the June resignation of Bryce Carus.

Ditton, a Grayslake resident, abstained from the vote.

He will serve two years as assessor, a job carrying a base salary of $79,302 in 2012. He's expected to start working Wednesday with interim assessor Robert Glueckert, whose resignation is effective at year's end.

Trustee William McNeill cast the lone "no" vote on Ditton. McNeill ran on the Avon One local political team in 2009, while Ditton was a trustee candidate who accompanied Township Supervisor Sam Yingling on the Avon Forward ticket.

Carus, also an Avon Forward member, resigned for health reasons.

Under a state law governing how township elected official vacancies can be filled, the first crack at the vacant assessor job went to anyone who ran on the same political ticket as Carus.

Yingling said Ditton was the only one from Avon Forward who wanted and possessed the proper credentials for the job. Outside applications would have been solicited if no one from Avon Forward sought the position, he said.

"Chris has been a real-estate attorney for nearly a decade," Yingling said Monday. "I know he knows the property assessment process."

Ditton couldn't be reached for comment.

McNeill said politics from Avon Forward opponents involved in a controversial 2010 highway commissioner appointment led in part to his vote against Ditton. He said he wished Ditton well in what can be a "dirty, thankless job" as assessor.

"I just couldn't see myself voting for Chris," McNeill said. "He may do a good job. He may not do a good job."

In July 2010, Yingling recommended the appointment of Thomas Brust as highway commissioner, which passed by a 3-2 board vote. McNeill and former trustee Sherry Ridge voted against Brust, who replaced retiring commissioner Patrick Anderson.

Brust ran with Yingling's Avon Forward party when he lost to Anderson in the 2009 election. Yingling said no one from the opposition Avon One political slate expressed interest in replacing Anderson.

Illinois State Board of Elections records show Brust, at time of his appointment, was listed as a highway commissioner candidate supported by a similarly named Friends to Elect Avon One local political committee.

Now-defunct Friends to Elect Avon One was formed nearly three months before Brust's appointment to the highway post. He was the only candidate listed in the party's documents.

Avon Township encompasses all or part of Grayslake, Hainesville, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Heights, Third Lake and unincorporated Lake County.

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