Pius Weibel Returns As Champaign County Board Chair

December 06, 2016
Champaign County seal, displayed in the Champaign County Boardroom.

Seal of Champaign County, displayed in the County Boardroom at the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

Champaign Democrat Pius Weibel is the new chair of the Champaign County board. A majority of County Board Democrats voted to appoint Weibel as chair at Monday night’s organizational meeting. His election came after an effort by fellow Democrat Pattsi Petrie to continue as chair with Republican support collapsed, due to the absence of GOP member John Jay.

Weibel says the major challenges facing the county involve finding money to pay for fixing up county facilities --- especially the closing of the downtown Urbana jail and the renovation and expansion of the satellite jail in east Urbana. A sales tax referendum to pay for that and other county facilities projects was rejected by voters last month. In an interview on Morning Edition on WILL Radio, Weibel suggested taking a different approach.

“I think we need to probably think about doing things more piecemeal, not make the plan such a grandiose large plan”, said Weibel. “But it’s going to be tough. We have buildings that need to be fixed and we don’t have much money. So we need to sort of parse things down, and hopefully we’ll be able to get some things done that way.”

Weibel says the county board will hold a study session next Tuesday, December 13th, to discuss another challenge --- the cash flow problems facing the county nursing home. He says that could involve another proposal for a new sales or property tax.

Weibel is returning to the Champaign County chairmanship after a four year absence. He previously chaired the board from 2006 to 2012, resigning to look after his ailing wife. Weibel won re-election to the county board in 2014.

Story source: WILL