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LeROY -- City leaders from towns and villages in eastern McLean County say they are satisfied with the cooperation they get from their McLean County counterparts and intend to work harder to keep lines of communication open.

Representatives from Downs, LeRoy and Ellsworth met in LeRoy with County Clerk Kathy Michael, Sheriff Mike Emery, County Administrator Bill Wasson, County Engineer Eric Schmitt and Assistant County Engineer Jerry Stokes for a roundtable discussion. The meeting was organized by McLean County Board member Jim Soeldner.

"This is the first time we've done something like this, but I felt it was good for everyone to sit down and just be able to talk about what's going on in the county and get some questions answered," Soeldner said. "Communication is obviously very important and several of these local officials may have similar problems that the county can assist with."

Wasson is in his first week on the job, although he was the assistant county administrator for three years prior to his appointment last week.

"We are all faced with challenges, and it's a sign of the times," Wasson said. "I don't think that is going to go away anytime soon. But this county has a great tradition of working together and helping one another to make life better for our citizens."

Michael took office in December but said the communication and cooperation from county leaders has helped with her transition.

"Keeping everyone happy is not easy," she said. "But that is really the responsibility of all of us and it helps to know that everyone is working together. Our office gets calls constantly and sometimes, it's not easy to find the right answers or the answers that will satisfy everyone."

County leaders fielded questions on highways, police protection, taxes and other topics during the two-hour discussion Monday at the Replex.

"Many of us had overlapping and mutual interests and it was nice to be able to sit down and just have a friendly discussion with county officials and continue to build that working relationship," Downs Mayor Ryan McLaughlin said.

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