During last week's workshop on Thursday, vice
chairman David Hepler announced that chairman Bob Farmer was
recommending Emily Davenport for appointment to the seat vacated by
Terry Carlton. Carlton left in December 2013 due to new employment
On Thursday, Davenport was present and was asked to
come forward to share her interest and what experience she might
bring to the board.
Davenport said that she lives in Lincoln and is
married to a great husband and they have two young children. She
was born and raised in Lincoln, Logan County.
Davenport said she's been interested in politics her
whole life, worked on campaigns for every office, and her college
degree is in political science.
She currently works in Springfield for the Illinois
Senate. In addition to college internships, she has 13 years working
for the Senate.
"It's a busy time of the year there right
now," she added. They are trying to pass a budget in Springfield.
The floor was opened up for board members to ask
Davenport questions. Jan Schumacher asked her if she was aware of
the time commitment that the board and committee meetings would call
Davenport said, yes, she knew it would require
committee time and work on projects between monthly meetings.
Gene Rohlfs asked if Davenport had any initial
statement or intended accomplishment in her place on the board.
"Not really," Davenport said. She thought she'd
just get in there and learn from what is going on; see if there was
some kind of issue that is of interest that develops over time.
Acting chairman David Hepler asked if there were any
committees that she thought she would be interested in serving on.
Davenport responded, "No, I'd be up for anything."
Hepler and finance chair Chuck Ruben agreed that
having someone who is working in the Capitol could be a benefit for
the county. Davenport agreed, explaining that in her office duties,
she does have knowledge of what is happening. She works with
the Legislature from the time it is introduced until the end.
close to 4,000 Senate bills to come before the chamber this year and
we're just working our way through. I'm right there in the thick of
it all," she said.
Hepler asked Davenport, "Do you have any questions
She asked, "Do you guys enjoy what you do?
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Ruben was first to respond. "If you don't enjoy
what you do at this, you don't do it very long," he said. "It has its
moments!" Everyone laughed. He added: "It does have moments
where it is frustrating, but it also has its moments where it is
enlightening and very interesting; there's something new all the
He cited as an example the electric aggregation report
provided earlier in that meeting. "We've never dealt with that
before," he said. "You learn a lot in a hurry. And, you also learn that
government works —
s l o w." He and all the other board members
joined in a chuckle on this.
Pat O'Neill said, "Every job, you get out of it what
you put into it." Now with 12 years on the board, he said, "I really feel
it is a labor of love, and I really enjoy doing what I'm doing. And
if you have compassion for people, you're really going to enjoy
Jan Schumacher, a five-year member, said she knew it
would be a lot of hard work, but, "one of the things that was a
surprise to me is how much fun we have; it's really good
And, she warned Davenport of one of the quirky board
rules: If your phone goes off during a meeting, you have to pay $5. Schumacher didn't name names while shooting a penetrating stare at a
couple of board members, who laughed.
"There are certain
board members who will call you during the meeting to see if
you remembered to turn your phone off," she said.
On a more serious note, she said that the board
works well together, unlike some other neighboring county boards
with the reputation of yelling, screaming and cursing during
"We don't always agree with each other, but we speak up
with one another. We have a good working relationship and respect
amongst the members," she said.
Ruben jumped back in, saying that sometimes you just
have to agree to disagree. And the board members do that. The big
thing Ruben said he appreciates is that once the vote has been
taken and passed, "you don't have someone trying to sabotage it.
Once it's passed, it's passed," and everyone tries to work with it.
"Right," Schumacher said.
When Davenport returned on Tuesday for the regular
voting session, she was accompanied by her mother, Beth Davis-Kavelman,
who is a former county board member. Also her husband, Josh,
children Avery and Brigs, aunt Lori Bottrell and sister Alexis Davis
As the last order of business with no further
questions, the board unanimously approved her appointment, 10-0.