Winnebago County board members use questionable documents as examples to strip chairman’s power

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Several County Board members say they want information to come from the county administrator, not the county board chairman.

County board member Dave Fiduccia is behind the push to have the county administrator report directly to the board, instead of directly to chairman Frank Haney.

Fidduccia wouldn’t go on camera Thursday, but board member Jim Webster, who supports the move, had this to say.

“We want to have our administrator free to share information with us without being filtered by the county board chairman,” Board Member Jim Webster says.

Fiduccia and Webster used McHenry and Lake counties are just a couple of the models board members turned to for this change.

They presented documents to the county board earlier this week, saying the administrators in those counties report to the board.

But, some of those documents were dated as far as 1977. 13 News reached out to both those counties they told us the administrator reports both to the county board and the chairman. Plus, they are responsible for reporting to the chairman on issues like setting board agendas and sorting through policy issues.

13 News asked Webster if those documents had been updated since 1977. He said he didn’t know.

We also asked Webster if had reached out to those counties to see who their administrators report to. Webster said he did not.

“The latest information that we could get from American Legal Publishing Online Library,” he says.

The American Legal Publishing Corporation’s website has the following disclaimer posted before someone can access its copy of a municipal code:

“This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. American Legal Publishing Corporation provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances should be consulted prior to any action being taken,” this disclaimer reads.

It goes on to tell people to contact the municipality directly for the official code.

County Board Chairman Frank Haney described this move to 13 News as a “false emergency” because nothing can get done in the county without the board’s approval.

The full county board is set to vote on this change in two weeks.

Andi TenBarge

Andi TenBarge

Reporter

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