Will County executive vetoes contract to hire Schillerstrom as a landfill consultant

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant has vetoed a county board contract for a landfill consultant.

County board members on June 4, in a 12-6 vote, approved a contract to hire Robert Schillerstrom, a private attorney who once was the Republican chairman of the DuPage County Board, as a consultant for its Landfill Committee.

Bertino-Tarrant on Tuesday vetoed the contract, saying in her veto message that hiring another consultant would duplicate work already being done by two landfill consultants and county staff.

Robert J. Schillerstrom

“Will County has two consultants and full-time staff working on solid waste planning and landfill expansion options to meet the needs of the residents and to provide guidance to the Landfill Committee,” Bertino-Tarrant said in her message. “The hiring of a third consultant, at this time, would be duplicative.”

The issue marks one more partisan division on county matters.

County board Chairwoman Judy Ogalla, a Republican from Monee, and other Republicans said the Landfill Committee was not getting information from staff and needed its own consultant.

A few Democrats joined Republicans in voting to hire Schillerstrom but questioned what expertise he had on landfill matters.

Schillerstrom, who at one time ran unsuccessfully for governor in the Republican primary and was appointed by former Republic Gov. Bruce Rauner to head the Illinois Toll Highway Authority board, was to be hired at a rate of $15,000 for three months of work with an option to renew the contract for another three months.

The county is studying the prospect of expanding its Prairie View Landfill in Wilmington, which is expected to reach capacity in 10 years.

According to Michael Theodore, spokesman for the county executive’s office, the county’s two landfill consultants – Geo-Logic and Associates and attorney Charles Helsten – have been advising the county on landfill matters for more than 30 years.

Ogalla was not immediately available Tuesday to comment on the veto.

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