For the Record, Flap Over Kane County 'Deputy Chair' Unrelated to Frasz' Vice Chair Role
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen's efforts to create a deputy chairman fall flat, but its vice chairman, GHS grad Drew Frasz, is going strong in his new role.
Just so there's no confusion, the recent effort to create a deputy chairman position for Kane County government had nothing to do with Drew Frasz' position as the county's new vice chairman.
County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen had sought to create the deputy chairman role in county government, which would function a little like the state's version of a legislative whip, although the Daily Herald said Lauzen pictured it more as a county goodwill ambassador. The deputy chairman would have attended area events and represented the county when needed.
It also was an effort to foster a little bipartisanship, with the idea that the deputy chair would be represented by a Democrat one year and a Republican the next, Lauzen told the Daily Herald.
The plan fell flat, however, with members of the County Board Administration Committee, The Beacon-News and Kane County Chronicle report, despite the fact that the deputy chairman would not have cost any money to implement. The position would have earned no additional salary or benefits.
The prospect of a "deputy chair" position got some Patch readers wondering what happened to Geneva High School graduate Drew Frasz, who won re-election to the County Board in November and was named Kane County vice chairman in December.
So we asked Drew.
"The deputy chair position and discussion are totally separate from the vice chair position that I was elected to and currently hold," Frasz said by e-mail.
The vice chair is a two-year position chosen by board members after each General Election when the committee assignments are made, Frasz explained.
"The vice chair fills in running meetings if the chairman is not available and would take the temporary position as chairman if the elected chairman were incapacitated," Frasz said.
Apparently, the vice chair also can attend functions representing the county on behalf of the chairman, but there are more functions than the chairman and vice chairman can get to.
"It is my understanding that the deputy chair position was intended to be primarily a diplomatic position to provide (additional) county representation at the many countywide events that go on as well as assisting the chairman and vice chairman with communication with board members," Frasz said.
"As Chairman Lauzen is the first chairman to come from outside the board, it made sense to give him some additional help in this transition year."
So there you have it.
The DH article said some County Board members felt that the position might be a way for the County Board chairman to exert undue influence on board members and that it brought too much attention to the divisions between the two political parties, when for the most part county decisions don't have a lot to do with being a Democrat or a Republican.
"Ultimately, the chairman and others felt this idea became an unnecessary distraction from bigger challenges ahead, and we decided to table the issue," Frasz said. "Also, all board members are willing to assist where needed and are our first line of contact for issues and events in their districts."