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Livingston County votes down third consecutive term

Livingston County votes down third consecutive term

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PONTIAC - Current Livingston County Board Chairwoman Jeanne Rapp will not be able to serve another term.

In a tie vote on Thursday, board members voted down a change to the board's standing rules that would have allowed Rapp to seek a third, two-year term as chairwoman. The rules state the person chairing the board can only serve two consecutive terms.

"I'm just glad the County Board had the opportunity to vote on the issue," said Rapp, of rural Pontiac. "They voted, they spoke and I'm fine with that."

The decision had no bearing on how many terms she can serve on the board itself, only as chairwoman.

Now, it is up to the Republican caucus on the board to nominate her successor later this month. That nominee will be voted on by the entire board during an organizational meeting in December.

The only other board member who has expressed interest in the position is Bill Fairfield of Pontiac. Fairfield has served on the board since 1998.

The leadership change comes as the board is facing several pressing issues, including the future of Livingston Manor nursing home.

The board debated the potential rule change for about 45 minutes before taking action. Some questioned the timing of the proposed change, which came to a vote just a few weeks before the board must chose it snew leadership.

"When we all started serving on the board, we each got a copy of the standing rules," said board member Bob Weller, of Dwight. "Each of us knows what they say. The rules are the rules."

The board voted down a proposal to temporarily stop using the rules and allow for more review. The motion came from the committee that reviews the County Board's rules.

Board member David Health of Dwight said the concerns may be valid, but they were politically motivated.

"The motion made may have some validity … there is some of the rules that are unclear," he said. "But, this all has the smell of something that is a political move to avoid another situation."

Rapp said she was asked by other board members to seek a third term and was willing to do so because of all the issues before the board.

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