Kane County union members will lose one of their biggest supporters on the county board. Brian Dahl announced his resignation Tuesday, effective April 7. It puts another county board seat in play with half the board up for re-election next week.
Dahl is getting remarried and moving a few blocks from his current townhouse, which puts him outside the boundaries of the Aurora/North Aurora-based District 6.
Dahl's term expires in November 2020. Chairman Chris Lauzen will name a Democrat to fill the vacancy, and the full board must vote on the appointment.
Then, Dahl said, the Democratic precinct committeemen within the district will field a candidate in 2019. Dahl has not yet had conversations with any of his fellow Democrats interested in filling the seat.
Dahl leaves the board in a similar fashion to his arrival. Lauzen appointed Dahl in July of 2015 to fill a seat vacated early by Ron Ford. There was a rare, non unanimous vote on Dahl's appointment that foreshadowed future disagreements with Republican board member Drew Frasz. Dahl won election to the seat by a wide margin in 2016.
Dahl, of North Aurora, has deep union ties going back at least 16 years. He serves as membership director and fiduciary trustee for the Painters District Council 30 and as vice president of the Fox Valley Building and Trades Council. That background caused tension with Frasz, who is a nonunion contractor, over the annual issue of prevailing wage. Dahl is a firm supporter of the state's prevailing wage law. Frasz believes the law drives up the prices for government contract work.
Frasz has called for Lauzen and his fellow Republicans to appoint who he deems as a Democrat more to the political right of Dahl. That desire may play a role in finding the interim replacement in coming months.
Republicans on the board, including Forest Preserve District President Mike Kenyon, praised Dahl for his prompt resignation notice once it became clear he would no longer qualify for the seat.
"You've been a very good board member," Kenyon told Dahl. "We appreciate your service. What you have there is an honest politician. That's a rarity."
Lauzen later led the full board in a standing ovation for Dahl and his service.