Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

May 14, 2013

County seeking more resident involvement

Bill Grimes
Daily News

---- — Effingham County officials want to know if any private citizens are interested in being on an appointive board.

County Board Chairman Jim Niemann said after Monday's Legislative Committee of the Whole meeting board members want to give the public a chance to get involved.

"This also gives the board a broader selection for service in these various areas," Niemann said.

The committee had originally planned to reappoint several current members of the Agricultural Area and Fine Arts boards, Board of Review and the county veterinarian. But after Niemann suggested seeking more candidates, the committee voted to hold off on those appointments until June.

Applicants for those committees may submit a written application to: Effingham County Board, 101 N. Fourth St., Effingham, IL 62401. For more information, call 217-342-4990.

The county veterinarian must be a licensed veterinarian, while members of the Board of Review — which hears appeals on property assessments — must have a background in "property appraisal or property tax administration," according to state law.

The committee did decide Monday to recommended members for a new Safety Committee. The full board will consider board member Karen Luchtefeld, County Engineer Greg Koester, board assistant Joyce Worman, Highway Department foreman Bob Westendorf, and Health Department Administrator Kim Esker for the new committee.

The full board meets May 20.

In other action, the committee recommended full board consideration of two measures related to the public transportation system in the county.

The board is being asked to approve the application for a $71,715 grant to help finance extended weeknight and Saturday hours through the Job Access Reverse Commute program.

Effingham County Public Transportation program director Kristie Warfel is also seeking $200,000 from the Illinois Department of Transportation for two 26-passenger buses. The committee forwarded that request to the full board for consideration.

Warfel said ECPT is already busy with trips to Lake Land College, as well as morning rides to work.

"I'm not sure if we can get these buses, but the worst thing they can say is 'no,'" Warfel said.