Mt. Vernon Register-News

May 21, 2013

ROE to merge with three counties

By RICK HAYES
CNHI

MT. VERNON — — A resolution to incorporate Jefferson County into the Regional Office of Education 13 was unanimously approved by the Jefferson County Board.

ROE 13 includes Marion, Clinton and Washington counties. Hamilton County, which was included in a district with Jefferson County, will join ROE 20, which includes 10 counties in the southeastern portion of the state. Hamilton County Board approved their resolution about three months ago.

Jefferson-Hamilton counties Regional Superintendent of Schools Ron Daniels explained by state statute a mandate was ordered to reduce the number of ROE's in the state from 44 to 35 with a minimum 61,000 population.

"We are below that 61,000 so therefore we are one of nine offices that have to combine with other offices to get us to 35," Daniels said.

"A lot of work was done with the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of School to develop a map. That map was adopted by our association on March 5 that would attach Jefferson County with Marion, Clinton and Washington counties. There is a good geographical fit with these counties," Daniels said.

With the four counties together, the census population would elevate to 130,742; and  ROE 20 will have a population of approximately 97,000.

The changes become effective on July 1, 2015, and a superintendent for the district will be elected in the fall of 2014, Daniels reported.

Daniels said there are currently satellite offices in each of the counties Jefferson is joining, adding, "We would still have to have a site here. We're trying to liquidate what we have now and get down to the bare essentials." Daniels said the office may not be located in the current administrative office on Broadway.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

n A resolution congratulating Mt. Vernon Township High School's Special Olympics basketball team was introduced by Jeremy Hall and approved by the Board. A certificate was presented to adult sponsors.

n A resolution to close Illinois 15 from 5 p.m. to midnight on July 4 for the Salute to Freedom celebration was approved.

n Several fire department appointments were approved — Les Sinks to the Jefferson Fire Protection District, Rhonda King to the Woodlawn Fire District, Charles Pepple to the Webber Fire District, and Steve Norris to the Waltonville Fire District.

n No public comment was received on changing the liquor ordinance to allow Sunday liquor sales at the Woodlawn Bar. The board is expected to take action on the request at next month's meeting. Two board members — Don Rector and Bob Watt — said they would be voting in opposition of the ordinance.