BLOOMINGTON — Carlo Robustelli, director of grants and foundation relations at Illinois Wesleyan University, was appointed Tuesday to a vacant McLean County Board District 8 seat.
Robustelli, 31, of 401 E. Grove St., will serve until a special election in November 2014. The election is required because more than 28 months remain in the term. Robustelli said Tuesday he plans to seek election to the seat.
Scott Black was originally re-elected to the seat but resigned in May after winning his bid for a Bloomington City Council Ward 7 seat.
“This was not an easy process,” said County Board Chairman Matt Sorensen. “We had outstanding and very, very qualified candidates. We couldn’t have gone wrong with any of them.”
Other applicants were Bernie Uszcienski, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Bloomington City Council Ward 7 seat; Stephanie Uzueta, who made an unsuccessful bid for Bloomington Township supervisor; and Julian Weterhout, an assistant professor of politics and government at Illinois State University.
Robustelli is vice president of the Ecology Action Center Board and was chairman of the household hazardous waste drive last September.
“It opened my eyes to issues in the county,” he said.
Robustelli said he viewed the county board opening as “an opportunity to step up and get involved.”
He said the budget — and balancing citizen demands for high quality service with the bottom line — is number one. He also would like to see the county work with other government entities on economic development.
Robustelli will serve on the property and transportation committees.
In another matter, Sorensen said the county has started reviewing the local impact of a new Illinois hydraulic fracturing bill. Fracking is a process that uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations and release oil and natural gas.
While the law takes effect immediately, state agencies have to develop rules and procedures before they can issue drilling permits, a process that is expected to take months.
In February, the board formally opposed any state legislation that would take away local control. Currently, McLean County requires a special-use permit for drilling in areas zoned for agriculture and restricted manufacturing. It’s a permitted use in general manufacturing zoning.