DuPage board says goodbye to 8 members
The DuPage County Board bid farewell to eight of its members Tuesday, including three who lost their seats in this month's election.
Proclamations and plaques were handed out to Patrick O'Shea, Michael McMahon, Jeff Redick, Dirk Enger, John Zediker, William Bedrossian and Michael Ledonne. Rita Gonzalez, who lost her bid for re-election along with Enger and Zediker, didn't attend.
The next DuPage County Board
New representatives on the 18-member Dupage County Board will be sworn in Monday. Because the entire board was up for election following the census, a drwaing was held Tuesday to determine the length of their terms.
4-year terms: Donald Puchalski, Sam Tornatore
2-year term: Paul Fichtner
4-year terms: Sean Noonan, Elizabeth "Liz" Chaplin
2-year term: Pete DiCianni
4-year terms: Brian Krajewski, Gary Grasso
2-year term: John Curran
4-year terms: Amy Grant, JR McBride
2-year term: Grant Eckhoff
4-year terms: James Healy, Tony Michelassi
2-year term: Tonia Khouri
District 6 4-year terms: Robert Larsen, James Zay
2-year term: Lauren "Laurie" Nowak
The ceremony that closed the board meeting was held less than a week before new members will be seated on the 18-member board.
"It really has been a pleasure for me to work with you these past two years," board Chairman Dan Cronin said to the departing group. "We've collaborated on many important issues, and I really value the input, the advice, the leadership."
O'Shea, McMahon and Redick all announced before the February primary that they were leaving the board when their terms expired.
Now that his time on the board is done, Redick says it's been "an honor and a privilege" to represent the residents of District 2.
"Whether you agree or disagree with me, every day when I try to do this I endeavor to do so with honor and distinction," said Redick, who now serves on the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority board.
As one of three Democrats on the Republican-dominated board, Enger said his experience made him realize what elected officials can do if they work together. "You have restored my faith to keep on voting," Enger said to his former colleagues.
The board also said goodbye to Bedrossian and Ledonne, who both were appointed in February to complete the unexpired terms of former members.
While Bedrossian and Ledonne didn't seek election this time, Ledonne said his goal is to return to the county board.
"This experience honestly helped solidify my view of what government should be — an organization that promotes the interests of the people," said Ledonne, a Lombard resident.
Bedrossian said his hope is that state lawmakers eventually learn from DuPage's example.
"I think the state of Illinois is one of the most wasteful states that we could possibly live in," the Wheaton resident said. "We're broken. We need a model to help us get fixed. I believe DuPage County could provide that model."
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