GENEVA – With a nod to the next board chairman, Kane County board members roundly rejected a resolution to limit their individual initiatives by tabling it 17 to 6 at Tuesday’s County Board meeting.
The resolution, “Guidelines for Staff Resources,” called for elected county board members “to avoid engaging in individual initiatives to investigate or address issues unless authorized to do so by committees or the County Board.”
Instead of individual board members requesting staff resources, research or other staff work, the resolution called for them to email the department head or elected official, copy the chairman of the committee and the board chairman, when applicable.
The resolution stated that staff work should be directed by a committee or committee chairman, not by an elected board member, but board members could make suggestions to executive directors.
Board member Chris Kious, D-Algonquin objected to the resolution, saying it would “restrict the powers and options that board members have to represent their constituents.”
“This resolution is a repetition of some quaint ideals (of) the illusion of complete cooperation on the board,” Kious said.
“With words like ‘encouraged,’ ‘can,’ ‘should’ and ‘may,’ the resolution sounds more like a pep rally than a serious document, and it has no real teeth,” Kious said. “I think it is an attempt to socially enforce some form of ‘group speak’ on board members, as if they have no voice of their own.”
Kious said he was elected by the voters in his district to make sure their interests are represented on the board – as all the other board members were.
Kious said he commended the sentiment of cooperation and efficiency in county government that the resolution stated was its purpose – but added that elected board members should have all the tools available to serve their constituents.
“I think these guidelines should be removed from the agenda and left to the discretion of the next county board chairperson as to whether to include them, more appropriately, as suggestions in the Kane County Board Handbook,” Kious said. “And I move to table.”
Once a motion is made to table, there is no further discussion and the members vote.