ALEDO -- A coin flip Monday night determined that Jeff McWhorter will lead the Mercer County Board.
The coin toss came after four tied votes failed to earn a majority for either Mr. McWhorter, a District 1 Democrat, or fellow Democrat Dan Schroeder, from District 4. Mr. McWhorter's bid for chairman was backed by the four Republicans: Ted Pappas, George Howard, Fred Rooth and Brian Anseeuw.
Mr. Pappas, of District 3, received the lone nomination for vice-chairman after Bill Olson declined a nomination.
Because of redistricting, board members on Monday also drew lots for length of terms:
-- Drawing four-year terms were Mr. McWhorter; Gary Gregg, District 2; Mr. Pappas, Mr. Rooth, District 4; and Mr. Olson, District 5.
--Drawing two-year terms were George Howard, District 1; Mr. Anseeuw, Larry Stone, District 3; Daniel Schroeder, District 4; and Tom Haines, District 5.
The newly seated board on Monday discussed the potential for the county opting for a line of credit to meet operating costs while waiting for local tax, state and federal payments.
"The county can't operate like this," said Mr. Pappas, agreeing to discuss options with BankORION.
The night started out with a walk out by Mr. Anseeuw and Mr. Rooth who claimed the meeting of the old board violated state statute and the county's by-laws. Despite assurances by Mercer County State's Attorney Greg McHugh that the meeting was legal and the former board could meet to conduct business, the two men walked out, followed by Mr. Pappas and Mr. Howard.
While in session, the former board adopted next year's budget of $10,313,952, down $2,208,265 from $12,522,217. Mercer County Clerk Phyllis Bewley said some of the decrease is because of a lower countywide equalized assessed valuation and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund obligations related to the sale of the Mercer County Nursing Home and hospital.
The levy will also decrease about $200,000, from $3,982,800 to $3,788,150.
Today is Thursday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2013. There are 19 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Two boys who haul coal from Coal Valley to Davenport were arrested yesterday for running their teams through the city street at a furious rate. 1888 -- 125 years ago: E.H. Barker dislocated his left wrist and suffered a compound fracture of the right wrist when he fell from the roof of his icehouse. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Lou Harris was elected county superintendent of schools to fill the unexpired term of the late S.J. Ferguson. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a state must give equality in educational privileges to white and Negro law students. 1963 -- 50 years ago: About 300 employees of the Augustana Book Concern, staff members of the Board of Publication of the Lutheran Church in America, as well as friends of the community and out-of-town guests honored Dr. Birger Swenson at the annual Christmas dinner of the Augustana Book Concern last night in Westerlin Hall on the Augustana College campus. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The Christmas shopping season began early this year and continues to bring out shoppers in record numbers, according to Quad-Cities retailers interviewed today.