BY TINA KETTER
Editor, Ogle County Life
OREGON — Interim Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock was unanimously voted Tuesday night to permanently replace his predecessor, former Ogle County State’s Attorney Ben Roe, at the Ogle County Board meeting.
Rock was named interim state’s attorney on Jan. 7 when Roe stepped down to serve as a judge in the 15th Judicial Circuit.
Nominating Rock for the position was Ogle County Chairman Kim Gouker.
“We had four very qualified attorneys that had applied for this job. It’s just obvious that Mr. Rock has a good grasp at what is needed to run the office of State’s Attorney for Ogle County,” Gouker said.
In a roll call vote, all 24 members of the board chose Rock to fill the position.
This was the second nomination for state’s attorney. In December, the board voted down Gouker’s recommendation of Thomas M. Suits of Polo, 13-11. Also applying for the position were Robin Minnis and Eric Morrow.
Rock will serve out two years of the remaining four years of Roe’s term. A special election will be held to fill the remainder of the term at the next General Election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Rock addressed the county board after his appointment.
“Thank you to Mr. Gouker and the county board for the appointment. I know this was a difficult decision and a challenging process. I appreciate your confidence and will continue the hard work my predecessor has started.”
The board passed a resolution that would allow an ordinance to allow Ogle County residents to choose their own electrical supplier to be put back on the ballot. The ordinance was voted down when it was previously on the ballot. Board member Lyle Hopkins agreed with the ordinance. His township passed the ordinance and they have seen their rates drop by 1/3. Chairman Gouker agreed, “The City of Byron passed this and we’ve seen a 30% savings.” Both agreed the ordinance failed to pass due to lack of education and urged people to find out more information.
U.S. Marshall’s Contract
The board unanimously agreed to hire Joseph Summerill and The Summerill Group, LLC to renotiate the county’s per diem rate with the U.S. Marshall’s. The county currently has an agreement for inmates to be held in the Ogle County Jail.
Sheriff Harn explained to the board there are new procedures for negotiating the contracts and Summerill has told the board he can negotiate possibly a cost of $10 more per day per inmate towards transportation, housing and medical. This could possible bring in an additional $175-250,000 from June 1 through the end of the year.
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Summerill’s contract is contingent on the renegotiating. If Summerill gets the county an increase he will be paid the one-time fee of $35,000. If he fails to get an increase there will be no charge. The renegotiated contract would likely take effect May 1 with the first increasing occurring on June 1. This would be extra money for the county that was not budgeted in the 2013 budget.
Alan J. Schabacker, Larry J. Pontnack and Eric D. Erdman were appointed to the Sheriff’s Merit Commission.
The Ogle County Civic Center Authority has five vacancies.
The Mental Health 708 Board has one vacancy.
Application and resume deadline is Friday, March 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office located at 105 S. 5th Street, Suite 104, Oregon.
The next Ogle County Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 19 at 5:30 p.m.