County official explains departure

September 15, 2018

BOURBONNAIS — Patrick McConnell is unlike many 75-year-olds. He not only has a full-time job, but two part-time ones as well.

Because of all that work, he decided last month to resign from the Kankakee County Board, where he served a decade.

Last year, McConnell returned to work at Olivet Nazarene University as the mechanical department manager, taking care of the school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. He previously worked there six years.

He also works as a part-time code officer for the villages of Bourbonnais and Bradley.

The Bourbonnais Republican said he enjoyed “every single minute” of his service to his district’s constituents. But he said he resigned because he couldn’t give his all to his various jobs.

McConnell, who represented District 27, sat on four of the board’s committees, chairing one of them. In recent times, county government has taken a turn for the better, he said.

“County morale is improving. Finances are improving. Committees are doing their jobs,” he said.

He acknowledged having a few regrets. For instance, he wished he could have persuaded his colleagues to meet at night, allowing more people to attend. He also would have liked to see a “hire local, buy local” ordinance.

More than 90 percent of the time, McConnell said, board members do what’s best for the county.

“We have good people on both sides of the aisle. There are only two times I can remember that there were votes along party lines,” he said.

McConnell’s term was to expire in 2020. The seat must be filled by a member of McConnell’s party.

In an email, board chairman Andy Wheeler, R-Kankakee, said he was searching for a replacement. His nominee will be subject to the board’s approval.

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