When Ron Ford left the Kane County Board three years ago, he cited an increasing workload at his self-owned business and a need to spend more time at home with his family. On Tuesday, the county board dusted off Ford's old nameplate in welcoming him back for at least the next seven months.
The county board cast a unanimous vote in support of Ford filling the vacancy created by the early departure of Brian Dahl, a North Aurora Democrat, who moved out of the district. County board Chairman Chris Lauzen had to name a Democrat to fill the vacancy and reached out to Ford, who served in the seat until stepping down in 2015. There will be an election in November to find someone to fill the remaining two years of the term.
"I never thought this would happen again," Ford said. "I really had wrote this off. But I'm grateful to be back, and I'm looking forward to working with each and every one of you."
Bringing on a board member with prior experience may be helpful as the county board has already had discussions about increasing property taxes for the 2019 budget. Ford began his first term on the board in 2008 when the economy began to bottom out. He spent the next seven years navigating the personalities and politics of tough budget choices.
Ford also showed a willingness to work across the aisle. When Gov. Bruce Rauner asked the county for a resolution supporting his turnaround agenda for Illinois in 2015, Lauzen picked Ford to help craft wording both Democrats and Republicans could agree to.
On Tuesday, Lauzen said Ford will be a welcomed addition to the board.
"Ron has distinguished himself already as an honest, hardworking member of the board," he said. "Ron has a deep sense of duty. And he's a resident and a neighbor in Aurora."
Ford brought a number of supporters with him for his official swearing-in. They included Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.