Lee County swears in new board, elects officers

Board picks Bob Olson as chairman, Tom Kitson as vice chairman

Lee County Board members are sworn in Monday following a transition from 24 to 20 members.

DIXON – New and returning Lee County Board members were sworn in this week after transitioning from 24 to 20 members.

The board welcomed several new members to its ranks after all seats were up for election on Nov. 8.

All four districts were contested races with five seats per district.

New board members in District 1 are Angie Shippert and Ron Gascoigne, and returning members are Michael Koppien, Bob Olson, Jim Schielein.

District 2 is made up of newcomer Reed Akre and reelected members Katie White, Danielle Allen, Mike Zeman and Lirim Mimini.

Sworn into District 3 were returning members Tim Bivins, Keane Hudson, Nancy Naylor and Tom Wilson. Former member Doug Farster was reelected to the district, but he died Oct. 14, and it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.

District 4 added new members Dean Freil and Chris Robertson to the group along with reelected members Tom Kitson, Michael Book and Jack Skrogstad.

The board unanimously voted to reelect Bob Olson as chairman and elect Tom Kitson as vice chairman during the reorganizational meeting Monday, which included an orientation for board members. They were also the only members nominated for the roles.

The board decided last year to lower its membership from 24 to 20 members after months of debate.

County boards have the opportunity to reduce members every 10 years after the U.S. census. Lee County went from 28 to 24 members a decade ago and introduced the topic of further reducing its size about two years ago.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.