Rock Island County Board takes step towards downsizing

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Voters may have another shot at changing the size of the Rock Island County Board.

There's been a lot of talk, but very little action to downsize the Rock Island County Board. Two years ago, voters in Rock Island County said they wanted the board shrunk. However, legally it could only change its size during a census year, or so board members thought. That was until Attorney General Lisa Madigan advised the county that residents could vote to reduce its size through a binding referendum.

On Tuesday, August 19, 2014 the board voted to draft up a referendum to downsize the board which could possibly change the board from 25 members to 15. It could also change from single member districts to multi-member districts. All are options the board will look into.

"Let's make sure we're doing it for the right reasons. We're not doing it for any party control or anything such as that. We have to do this for the people," said Rock Island County board member Steve Meersman.

A reason the board says is worth looking into is the efficiency of a 25 member board. It will now be left up to the voters to have the final say.

"They may say you know 'we don't want this' but at least we gave them a voice," said Mielke.

The board will still have to vote to to put the referendum on the ballot.