Kendall County Board to use vote totals to determine term lengths

Kendall County Board member Brian DeBolt of Plano, right, files his candidate nominating petitions to run for reelection to his District 1 seat. Processing DeBolt's paperwork is Director of Elections Natalie Hisaw. (Mark Foster --

YORKVILLE – How do you evenly divide a decade into four-year-terms for a public office? Two terms doesn’t fill the 10-year period, while three terms are too many.

It’s a trick question because the answer is two four-year terms and one two-year term.

Legislative bodies face this conundrum every 10 years after the decennial Census count.

First, lawmakers reapportion legislative districts to reflect population changes and make the districts as nearly equal as possible to maintain the constitutional mandate of one person, one vote.

Then they have to determine which election winners will start the new 10-year period with a two-year term. The solution is generally left to chance, with legislators drawing straws.

The Kendall County Board has hit upon a different approach that board members say is fair, by using the election vote totals for each office-holder to decide who starts off with a two-year term.

Board members on Aug. 2 approved a plan in which the newly elected members will be assigned slots in a descending order, with those members who received the most votes in the Nov. 8 general election starting off with four-year terms.

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

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

Population growth has been very evenly distributed across Kendall County over the past 10 years and the two county board districts did not need to be reapportioned.

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

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

Under the term-staggering plan approved by the board, the top three vote-getters in District 1 will be assigned a “4-4-2″ schedule, which will continue through the 10-year period whether or not the 2022 election winner serves any subsequent terms of office.

The other two board members from District 1 will serve a “2-4-4″ schedule.

In District 2, the top two vote-getters will gain a “4-4-2″ slot, while the other three will be assigned “2-4-4″ schedules.

Ten years ago, District 2 received three slots with the “4-4-2″ schedule, so this time around District 1 gets three.

On Nov. 8, voters in each district will cast ballots for five county board candidates in a partisan election.

In District 1, Republican candidates include incumbent board members Brian DeBolt of Plano and Yorkville residents Scott Gengler and Ruben Rodriguez, along with Yorkville Alderman Jason Peterson and Millbrook Trustee Seth Wormley.

Those Republicans will face off against Democrat Malanda Griffin of Yorkville, along with Todd Milliron of Yorkville, who is running under the banner of the Kendall County Party.

In District 2, incumbents Dan Koukol of Oswego and Matt Kellogg of Yorkville are seeking reelection.

The GOP field also includes former Oswego Village President Brian LeClercq, Oswego Township Trustee Donna Sawicki and Kendall County Young Republicans Chairman Gabriella Shanahan of Joliet.

The three Democrats on the ballot in District 2 include incumbent board member Elizabeth Flowers of Montgomery, Brooke Shanley of Aurora and Zach Bachmann of Oswego.