Committee debates powers of Winnebago County chair

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Turmoil continues within the Winnebago County Board.

The board's personnel and policies committee plans to discuss a proposal that would amend the responsibilities of board chairperson Frank Haney.

A board member gave 23 news documents outlining the proposed changes to the chairperson's position.

The amended ordinance eliminates the chairperson's role in financial matters, including monitoring and reviewing the county board's annual budget.

It also takes away the chairperson's authority to suspend or remove the county administrator. The ordinance also calls to take away the administrative power on all statutory and non statutory departments and functions.

The ordinance outlines the chairperson's ability to serve as a primary liaison between county elected officials and the county board. The chairperson would monitor the development of Winnebago County's legislative agenda and strategic plan.

Haney is hopeful that a resolution will be brought to the issue and allow the board to refocus on the community.

"I don't need to be the whole discussion, just because I say it doesn't make it true," Haney said. "I am part of a process of serving this community, I'm fighting and I just want to be part of the process. Very little gets done in any public organization unless your board says okay and they appropriate money for it."

Haney also filed a legal petition earlier this month challenging Marilyn Hite-Ross's opinion on the discussion power of a chairperson.

The committee amending the ordinance that defines the chairperson's duties will meet Thursday before the county board meeting that also has the issue on the agenda.