At the end of his term, Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson will have been chairman for four years and on the board for 12 years.
He said it is time for a new challenge – running for state representative of the 75th District.
“Leaving the county board is separate from this,” Severson said. “I’ve had this on my mind months ago and it has come to fruition.”
With his term on the county board due to end in December 2014, Severson will not be running for re-election for that office.
As chairman there were some specific goals he wanted to accomplish that have been completed or are in the process of being done; including, the creation of a Merit Commission to assist in hiring sheriff’s deputies, a more active Ethics Committee and the approval of a resolution for a referendum to be passed on any projects that require bonds to be taken out to finance projects.
“I wanted a bricks and mortar resolution passed because I wanted the taxpayers to be able to vote any time the county bonded to build buildings,” Severson said. “If we have the money to do it, fine, but if we want the taxpayers to pay for it for 20 years, they should be able to vote on it.”
In addition, he said the county board has voted on some tough budgets to keep it balanced. Although he is “not a big party person,” Severson said he feels comfortable retiring from the board with Republicans having the majority.
“It’s time for someone else to be chairman and be on the board, and have their ideas,” he said.
That person could be current vice chairman David Welter.
Welter had previously said he was going to run for the County Clerk’s office, but said Tuesday he no longer will be pulling a petition for that office.
“Being vice chairman has opened my eyes to leadership and the decisions that have to be made, and if the new board elected me to be chairman, I would definitely entertain that,” Welter said.
Petitions for local offices became available at the Grundy County Clerk’s office Tuesday. Republican and Democrat petitions are available for county clerk, sheriff, treasurer, county board members in Districts 1, 2, and 3, and precinct committeemen.
The petition filing dates are Nov. 25, through Dec. 2.
Severson now feels he could also be successful in a new political office.
Tuesday morning, Severson pulled a petition to run as a Republican for state representative for the 75th District.
“I had no idea Pam Roth was going to leave and I have had people bring it up to me. It’s a new challenge and, with the experience I have and my conservative record ... I think I would do well in Springfield,” he said.
Severson put his name in to be appointed to this position with the resignation of Roth, R-Morris. He was one of nine interviewed for the position, but was not selected.
The Republican Central Committee chairmen from Grundy, Kendall, Will and LaSalle counties chose Kendall County Sheriff’s Deputy John Anthony, R-Plainfield, for the appointment. He was sworn in at the Grundy County Courthouse on Aug. 26.
Anthony will fill the remainder of Roth’s term, which expires Jan. 13, 2015.
“I know another person was appointed, but I look at it this way, I want more than four people in the 75th District to vote and whoever they decide, I will support,” Severson said.
Of the four counties the 75th District covers, Severson has lived in three of them: Grundy, Kendall and LaSalle. The fourth county in the district is Will County. He has lived in Grundy for 22 years, but grew up in southern Kendall. He has also lived and farmed property in LaSalle County.
If Severson is elected to be the face of the 75th District, he said he would do it for no longer than six years because he believes in term limits.
“I don’t think people should go down there and make a life of working in politics,” he said.
The state has numerous problems for which he wants to be part of the solution, including pension reform and cutting the budget drastically. He said one place to look is the Illinois State Police, which he said has more troopers than Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana combined. They need to at least stop filling positions as they open in the department, he said.
As a farmer who knows the business firsthand, he would also like to work on some agriculture legislation, including increasing the weight limits for farmers hauling corn and like products from 80,000 to 85,000 pounds.
He also believes strongly in the Second Amendment and concealed carry, and wants to work closely with veterans’ assistance groups, since he is a Vietnam veteran.