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County Board Rejects Prenzler’s Picks For Vacant Seats

By Stephanie Malench

smalench@timestribunenews.com

The Madison County Board met for its regularly scheduled meeting on January 20 and picked up right were it left on in the special meeting the night before, rejecting resolutions by Chairman Kurt Prenzler.

During the special meeting, the board failed to approve Prenzler’s motion to place a nonbinding referendum on the April 6 ballot asking voters “Shall the number of County Board members be reduced from the current 29 members following the 2020 Decennial Census?” The original motion died as did two subsequent motions to table the vote and do discuss the details of the referendum.

On January 20, the board overwhelmingly voted not to approved Prenzler’s appointments to fill vacant seats in three districts. Valarie Doucleff was slated to fill Ray Wesley’s seat in District 6 after he left to become Chief Deputy to Madison County Circuit Clerk Tom McRae, whose seat in District 14 was skated to be filled by Larry Meisenheimer. The final appointment was in District 15 for Dana Brockman to complete the term of Chrissy Dutton-Wiley who resigned in December because she moved to another district (14).

At the introduction for the first vote, District 21 Board member Eric Foster (R-Granite City) asked Prenzler if “any of the appointees were recommendations of the board members elected to those seats”, to which he replied “no”.

District 25 County Board Member Chris Guy (R-Maryville) said he had not heard from anyone up for approval prior to the meeting and heard other people were interested in the positions.

A special meeting is scheduled for January 29 to reconsider the appointments, as state law requires vacancies to be filled within 60 days to at least fill the vacancies for Wesley and McRae.

The board did unanimously approve a resolution to demolish six unsafe single-family residences throughout the county, including ones located at 6868 Middlegate in Glen Carbon and 3209 Princeton Ave. in Collinsville.

Resolutions were passed to renew the annual janitorial service contracts for FY2020 and FY2021 to reflect employees switching departments.

Several resolutions were passed pertaining to the Recorder’s office, including an emergency appropriation of $450,000 for the contracts signed last year with Fidlar Technologies without board approval, contracts for media conversion agreements for Index Books and Plats years 1812-1985 and Roll Film Years 1974-1985, and contracting Avid Bastion hosting service renewal.

A grant for $35,700 was awarded to the Madison County State’s Attorney for services to victims and witnesses of violent crimes last year and the unexpended balance was re-appropriated for FY 2021.

The board approved a $33,579 increase in the FY 2021 budget for the Sheriff-Jail Commissary fund for the purchase of replacement commercial washers and dryers in the jail.

The Madison County Flood Prevention District budget for FY2021 was approved including a proposed $6,566,287 in revenues and $10,839,776 in expenses.

The final resolution brought forward by the Finance and government Operations Committee appropriates$42,000 for participation in the Service Program of the Office of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor for the Madison County State’s Attorney for continuing legal education training programs and support as needed.

The board approved the purchase of four new SUVs for the sheriff’s department for $146,360 to be paid for with FY 2021 Sheriff Capital Outlay Funds.

A special meeting is scheduled for January 29 to reconsider the appointments or to get an extension on filling the positions.

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