An Administrator for Rock Island County

August  27, 2014

      Major changes are in store for the Rock Island County board. Tuesday night, members unanimously approved hiring a county administrator, and reducing the size of the board. 

      Currently the county is run by the elected board chairman. And chairman Phil Banaszek says he has mixed feelings about the change to a county administrator - that's because he remembers back in the early 90's when Rock Island County briefly switched to a county executive form of government. 

      "In two years they decided it was too expensive. It's very much like an administrator position where they can hire their own staff, have their own budget, and hire their own attorney. It got very costly very quick."

      On the plus side though, he says the change gave the county home rule which provided some benefits. Banaszek appointed a Governmental Affairs Subcommittee this summer to study the change, and it's supposed to report back to the board in October. His term expires on November 30th, and possibly an administrator could take over in Rock Island County in December.

      He says board members want to reduce the size of the board, but some important questions still have to be answered.

      "They want to make sure they've got equal representation - not only in the urban areas but in the rural areas also. I think they're still working through that - I don't think they have a set number at this point."

      The Illinois Attorney General says the county can switch from the current system of 25 single member districts to multi-member districts, but the future number of districts, and county members, has yet to finalized.