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Will County Board ready for leadership changes in 2019

Members of the Will County Board took time to honor outgoing elected officials at a recent meeting.

Among those receiving a standing ovation was Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots for her years of service.

“I’m very proud of the reputation that the county clerk’s [office] has,” she said.

Schultz Voots gave kudos to her staff for their contributions.

Schultz Voots did not seek re-election to the office of Will County Clerk in the Nov. 6 election. She told the Will County Board she is retiring and moving out of state.

Lauren Staley-Ferry, a Will County Board member who represents District 9, was elected to the office of Will County Clerk.

Staley-Ferry was one of several outgoing elected officials honored for their contributions to the Will County Board. Others included Cory Senger, Darren Bennefield, Suzanne Hart and Chuck Maher.

Schultz Voots congratulated Staley-Ferry for her Election Day victory and said she is working to ensure a smooth transition is provided.

“I want to make sure that office never fails because good leaders continue to make sure when you’re gone, that office is going to succeed,” she said.

The Nov. 6 election brought a wave of changes to the Will County Board—with more women, more Democrats taking seats.

At a recent meeting of the Will County Democratic Caucus, officials began talks of board reorganization.

Denise Winfrey has received support from a number of members and is likely next in line to serve as speaker of the Will County Board.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead the county board going forward,” Winfrey said.

“We had a number of women elected for positions this cycle, so that is even more meaningful to me that a number of women are coming onto the board,” she said. “At one time, the board was almost completely male. … This cycle, we have added four new women to the board, so that’s a big change for us. So, I’m excited to be part of that change.”

Meanwhile, the Will County Republican Caucus has yet to identify new leadership heading into 2019.

Jim Moustis said he does not intend to seek a position of this type.

“I do think it gives me the opportunity to step down from leadership, still be here, and help mentor … to the extent I have the ability,” he said.

Moustis has served as speaker of the Will County Board since 2014.

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