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Status quo: Kendall County Board district boundaries will remain the same

YORKVILLE – Population growth has been very evenly distributed across Kendall County over the past 10 years.

So much so that residents will find themselves within the same county voting districts for another decade.

Kendall County is served by 10 county board members, five each elected from just two districts.

The dividing line which splits the county into west and east portions will remain unchanged, even as state legislative and congressional districts are reapportioned to reflect population changes recorded in the 2020 Census.

When the county began reviewing the results of last year’s Census, it was found that the two board districts had become what officials described as “more equal.” While that might sound distressingly Orwellian, it was in fact true.

The difference in population between the two districts is now just 283 people, or a margin of less than 1%.

Seeing no reason the reapportion the districts, county board members have signed off on a plan to leave the existing boundary line in place.

District 1 covers the western side of the county and is geographically the larger of the two.

It includes most of Yorkville and portions of Montgomery and Sandwich, along with Plano, Bristol, Millbrook, Plattville, Newark and Lisbon.

District 2 includes Oswego, Boulder Hill and portions of Yorkville, Montgomery, Aurora, Plainfield, Minooka and Joliet.

Census results show District 1 with 65,419 residents and District 2 with a population of 65,702.

Every 10 years, all of the county board seats are up for election. After voters render their decisions next year, the board will draw straws to determine who will serve two-year terms and who will get a four-year stretch.

With the staggered terms of office decided, half the board will be up for election every two years until the next Census.

County board members from District 1 include Judy Gilmour, Amy Cesich, Scott Gengler and Ruben Rodriguez, all of Yorkville, and Brian DeBolt of Plano.

District 2 is represented by Scott Gryder, Robyn Vickers and Dan Koukol, all of Oswego, Matt Kellogg of Yorkville and Elizabeth Flowers of Montgomery.

Gryder currently serves as the county board chairman, a post which is voted upon by the board members.

County board candidates run with partisan political labels attached. Cesich, Flowers and Vickers are Democrats, while the other seven members are Republicans.

In next year’s balloting, the winners will be the top five vote-getters in each district, County Administrator Scott Koeppel said.

Prior to 2020, county board members received a per diem for meetings attended. In that year, board members began to receive a yearly salary of $17,500, Koeppel said.

At their Dec. 7 meeting, board members established a schedule for annual salary increases of 1.5%, bringing the current annual figure to $17,763.

By Dec. 1 of 2031, county board members will be earning $20,615 per year.

Under the resolution approved by the board, there will be no per diem for meeting attendance, nor a mileage reimbursement for travel inside the county.

However, board members will receive a mileage reimbursement for attending meetings outside the county, but only if the out-of-county meeting is approved by the board in advance or through written authorization by the board chairman.

The resolution also provides board members with the option of buying into the county’s health and dental insurance plans at the same premium rate as full-time, non-union county employees.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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