New McHenry County Board chairman, members sworn
McHenry County's four newly elected County Board members as well as new County Board Chairman Mike Buehler took their oaths of office Monday morning along with the rest of the board.
Buehler reiterated his dedication to "reduce the burden" of county government on taxpayers and to increase transparency and collaboration.
"I believe we have been presented with an excellent opportunity as well as an immense responsibility to serve the residents of McHenry County," Buehler said during the meeting. "We face many challenges, such as the ongoing pandemic, and I encourage us all to meet those with wisdom and courage."
Veteran board member Carolyn Schofield was picked by her fellow members to be the County Board's new vice chairwoman.
With women now filling half of County Board seats, her appointment "will be a nice representation of that," Schofield said. "My whole goal is to really enter into this new board with unifying the board, focusing on the county, just putting the past behind us and having a fresh, new start."
Schofield, a Republican, was nominated by board member Joseph Gottemoller. Board member Paula Yensen, who is the most senior Democratic member on the board with more than a decade of service, also was nominated for the role by fellow Democrat Michael Vijuk.
Ultimately, Schofield was confirmed in a 14 to eight vote along partisan lines.
Schofield said she met with Buehler before the meeting to express her desire to fill the role and her ideas to use it more as an "outreach position" to aid him in corresponding with other counties and local governmental entities across the region.
The vote to confirm Schofield as the county's new vice chairwoman was the first time four newly elected board members weighed in on an official county matter. Those four members are Tracie Von Bergen, a Republican, and Democrats Jessica Phillips, Theresa Meshes and Tanya Jindrich.
The seat of the late Chuck Wheeler, a Republican board member who represented District 4 until he died last month, was officially declared as vacant Monday. This means the process of vetting candidates to fill the role may now begin.
Buehler will be in charge of interviewing candidates and appointing someone to fill the role, but his selection must be approved in a vote by the full board.
Anyone interested in filling the role is encouraged to send a resume and/or a short bio to Buehler at MJBuehler@mchenrycountyil.gov, according to a news release sent out by the county Monday.
Applicants must be Republican and must live in District 4, which covers Richmond and Burton townships and most of McHenry Township. The term ends on Dec. 1, 2022, but anyone who fills the role can run for reelection to serve out another full term.
Buehler plans to submit a nominee to be voted on by the full board at the Jan. 21 board meeting, according to the release.