Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

December 4, 2012

Newly reorganized Effingham County Board elects Niemann chairman

EFFINGHAM —

New Effingham County Board Chairman Jim Niemann said Monday he hopes to cut down on the number of times the full board has to meet each year.

While Niemann isn't proposing a cut in the number of official board meetings, he is hoping to slice the number of "committee of the whole" meetings that board members have to endure. On the chopping block are the Public Safety, Insurance or Buildings & Grounds committees.

While the committees would still meet, removing the committee of the whole status would mean only the three or four committee members would be able to vote.

"Public Safety meets quarterly anyway," Niemann said. "We don't need nine people for that, unless they want to come."

Niemann added neither the Insurance nor Buildings & Grounds meetings were meeting on a regular basis.

The Legislative and Tax & Finance committees would remain committees of the whole under Niemann's proposal. The committee of the whole concept was established several years ago after two-time board candidate Ed Hoopingarner claimed the board was not properly following parliamentary procedure.

While Niemann said he doesn't plan to call for any reduction in the number of the full board, he said Monday he would likely propose a time change from the current 4 p.m. start. He said a later starting time would give more people a chance to attend board meetings.

Niemann said after the meeting he would need a two-thirds, or 6-3, vote to remove those committees from committee of the whole status.

Niemann won a 5-4 vote for the chair on the first day of business for the reorganized board. The new fiscal year began Saturday.

After County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel swore in all nine board members, the new board voted 5-4 for Niemann to take the head of the table as chairman. Former chairwoman Carolyn Willenburg declined to run for re-election this year.

Niemann was supported by David Campbell, Lloyd Foster, Rob Arnold and Mike DePoister, as well as himself. The same five voted to install Campbell as vice chairman.

Board members Karen Luchtefeld, Jeff Simpson, Doug McCain and Joe Thoele supported Simpson for chairman, but didn't have the votes to make it happen.

The board had a 7-2 Republican majority, with Luchtefeld and McCain the only Democrats.

While Niemann and Willenburg didn't always agree on the issues, the new chairman had nothing but praise for his predecessor after his first stint at the head of the board table.

"I think Carolyn did a wonderful job, and I learned a lot from her,"  Niemann said.

The new chairman said he wanted the new board to work well together, even though he knows that 9-0 votes might be the exception to the rule.

"I want to be an inclusive as I possibly can," he said. "I want to include every single member.

"People on this board are honest, hard-working people," he said. "I know they will serve in the best interests of Effingham County."

Also Monday, Niemann distributed committee assignments. He will chair Legislative himself, as did Willenburg when she chaired the full board.

Arnold will take over Tax & Finance from Simpson, who will chair the Airport Committee. Other committee chairs include Depoister, Public Safety, and Ambulance Oversight; Foster, Buildings & Grounds; McCain, Health; Thoele, Road & Bridge; Luchtefeld, Reports; Campbell, Economic Development, and Personnel.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Meth suspect pleads not guilty

    The Beecher City man accused of operating a methamphetamine lab in a Shumway home pleaded not guilty during a brief Thursday morning appearance in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 24, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2.jpg Perfect time to plant

    Steve Luchtefeld loves onions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hofer hearing delayed

    Proceedings were continued Wednesday for an Effingham woman accused of driving under the influence of drugs at the time of a traffic accident that killed a Watson teenager on her way to school.

    April 24, 2014

  • Missouri driver ejected, killed Tuesday ST. ELMO -- A driver from Missouri was killed when the semi she was driving overturned on Interstate 70 Tuesday. Royce E. Horton, 50, of Highlandville, Mo., was driving a maroon and white Freightliner truck-tractor westbound at 3:36 a.m. Tuesday on I

    April 24, 2014

  • Stew-Stras to upgrade technology STRASBURG -- With no new technology purchased since 2011, new computers will finally be coming to Stewardson-Strasburg Schools starting next year. Superintendent Michele Lindenmeyer said the district will be rolling out technology in phases over the

    April 24, 2014

  • Semi driver dead in accident on I-70

    A semi driver from Missouri was killed when their vehicle overturned on I-70 Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Shumway meth suspects plead not guilty

    Two of the four arrested in a Shumway methamphetamine bust earlier this month pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 22, 2014

  • Man found dead from gunshot wound ST. ELMO -- Fayette County authorities are investigating two unrelated deaths over the weekend. Matthew Austin, 47, of St. Elmo was found dead in his pickup by a family member at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at 501 W. Cumberland Road in St. Elmo. Austin appear

    April 22, 2014

  • Library seeks community support

    With a bid letting set for September and renovation of the old Fifth Third Bank slated to begin in December, the Library Board is actively looking for community support in fundraising. 

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham man gets five-year sentence for meth lab

    An Effingham man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday on a charge of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.