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posted: 6/12/2012 4:44 PM

Bingo-style drawing sets Lake County Board terms

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  • Lake County Administrator Barry Burton led the random drawing that determined terms of office for the county board members who will be elected in November.

      Lake County Administrator Barry Burton led the random drawing that determined terms of office for the county board members who will be elected in November.


A random, bingo-style drawing Tuesday morning determined the terms of office for the Lake County Board members who will be elected in November.

With district boundaries redrawn and the board reorganized because of population changes discovered by the 2010 U.S. Census, all of the commissioners are up for election this year. Additionally, the board is shrinking from 23 to 21 members.

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Terms of office traditionally are staggered on the board, with commissioners serving either 2- or 4-year terms. Tuesday's drawing identified seven seats that will begin with 2-year terms, seven seats that will have 2-year terms in 2018 and seven that will have 2-year terms in 2022.

County Administrator Barry Burton spun a bingo-ball cage, drew the numbers and read them aloud during the board's meeting in Waukegan. State law says the terms must be assigned randomly, he told the commissioners.

"What better way to do it than with bingo balls, with the board district numbers on the balls," Burton said.

The drawing was televised live on the county's cable TV network. Video of the session can be found online at

The districts that will start with 2-year terms are:

• District 3, in the Lake Villa area.

• District 6, in the Round Lake area.

• District 8, in Waukegan.

• District 9, in the Waukegan area.

• District 10, in the Mundelein area.

• District 17, in the Barrington area.

• District 19, in the Lake Zurich area.

Seven districts will have 4-year terms this year and in 2016 and 2-year terms starting in 2020. They are:

• District 1, in the Antioch area.

• District 2, in the Zion area.

• District 4, also in the Zion area.

• District 7, in the Gurnee area.

• District 12, in the Lake Forest area.

• District 13, in the Lake Bluff area.

• District 16, in the Round Lake area.

The remaining seven districts will have 4-year terms this year, 2-year terms starting in 2016 and 4-year terms in 2018. They are:

• District 5, in the Fox Lake area.

• District 11, in the Highland Park area.

• District 14, in the North Chicago area.

• District 15, in the Libertyville area.

• District 18, in the Vernon Hills area.

• District 20, in the Buffalo Grove area.

• District 21, in the Riverwoods area.

When the board last reorganized in 2002, then-Chief Judge Jane Waller picked numbers out of a basket to determine terms. Current Chief Judge Fred Foreman was unavailable Tuesday, Burton told the board.

The ball for the 10th District was the last one Burton pulled from the cage. County Commissioner Diana O'Kelly, a Mundelein Republican who represents the 10th and is seeking re-election this year, didn't mind landing one of the 2-4-4 rotations.

"Everybody loves to have a 4-year term, but it is just the luck of the draw," she said.

Commissioner Craig Taylor's 19th District drew the same rotation, and he doesn't mind the prospect of running this year and again in two years, either.

"One good thing about it is it keeps you on your toes and you're alway in campaign mode," the Lake Zurich Republican said in an email. "The downside is that it's very expensive."

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