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Reforms Approved by the RI County Board

Major changes are in store for the Rock Island County Board. Tuesday  night, it approved reducing the size of the board and eliminating insurance and pension benefits for board members. 

Board Chair, Ken Maranda, says the vote was 14 to 10 to reduce the size from the current 25 members to 15. It's only a recommendation though, to future county boards and cannot happen until after the next census in 2020. 
Reducing the size of the county board has been discussed many times, dating back at least to the early 90's, in response then to the big drop in population caused by the farm crisis of the 80's. Then in recent years, county residents have twice voted by large majorities to downsize the board.

The other changes will take effect much sooner - as a result of last night's meeting, on  April 30th, the county will no longer contribute to the state retirement system for some members, and in June, it will stop covering health insurance. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.