Opinion on the RI County Board

August  11, 2014

      Rock Island County may be able to change the size of its county board, after all. That's the ruling from the Illinois Attorney General's office after a request from the state's attorney.

      The ruling says in most cases, the method of election and number of county board members can be changed only every ten years, following the federal census. But because of a conflict between the Illinois constitution and state law, there is an exception. And that is, if voters approve a binding referendum changing the method of electing board members, and that change requires an increase or decrease in the number of seats.

      In November 2012, voters in the county approved an advisory referendum - asking whether the board should be changed from 25 single member districts, to 3 districts with 5 members from each - the tally was 65 per cent "yes" and 44 per cent "no."