KANKAKEE – During a meeting of the Kankakee County Board Tuesday morning, the appointment of two vacant seats on the Board was tabled after questions arose from local officials and the community regarding the appointments.
Among those, Everette Eades to a seat left vacant by former Kankakee County Chairman Andrew Wheeler in District 15 who moved out of the District, and the appointment of Wheeler himself to a seat left vacant in September to District 26.
District 18 member Robert Ellington-Snipes took exception with the appointments saying the County Board never declared the vacancy.
“We have to follow a process here,” Ellington-Snipes said during Tuesday board meeting. “Most of the time you follow that process. But it raises the eyebrow of a community when in less than 21 days, I wouldn’t’ want to do a disservice to Mr. Eades or anyone for 21 days. When we already know, that there is someone that is going to fill the seat. If there’s a vacant seat, then just show up on (December 1st) after we elect a Chairman and everything else and just declare it vacant and do what we have to do. But there is a process that we have to follow.”
Wheeler chose not to run or represent himself on the ballot on November 3rd and stepped down as Chairman after that date. The County Board will elect a new Chairman in December. Everette Eades had been chosen as an appointment to District 15 after Wheeler moved out of the District.
Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe suggested both vacancies should be tabled since the Libertarian Party had not been notified of either vacancy. Both seats have been declared vacant with a special meeting set for just over a week from today on November 18th to seat the pair.
Following the meeting, newly appointed Kankakee County Board Chairman Todd Sirois announced the closure of County buildings due to the increase of COVID-19 in Kankakee. “Given the sharp increase in cases in Kankakee County, we must again adjust our processes to assist in mitigating the spread of the virus,” said County Board Vice-Chairman Todd Sirois. Sirois will serve as Chairman left vacant by Wheeler until a new Chairman is elected in December.
Kankakee County officials have done little to enforce mitigations handed down by the Illinois Department of Health designed to mitigate the very virus that’s now closing County Buildings, including restricting indoor dining across Kankakee County.
Since October 9th, cases across Kankakee have increased 600% while supporting indoor dining establishments which should have closed their doors according to the Illinois Department of Public Health on October 23rd.