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McLean County Board vacancy, lasting only a few weeks, sets off skirmish

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LEA CLINE 2
Paul-Segobiano
WJBC FILE PHOTO

BLOOMINGTON (HOI) - A political battle is brewing for an appointment to the McLean County Board that will last for only a few weeks.

Carlo Robustelli was supposed to represent District 8 on Bloomington's west until December, but he moved out of state.

One of the applicants for the temporary position is Paul Segobiano, who served 46 years on the county board until he lost a bid for another term in 2018. He claims his experience would be helpful preparing the budget for the coming year.

Illinois State University Professor Lea Cline also wants the appointment. She's the chair of the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission, and is the Democratic candidate for that same county board seat in the November election.

Republican County Board Chairman John McIntrye must nominate a Democrat because that's Robustelli's party.

Segobiano was on good terms with the Republican-controlled board, serving for a time as the board's vice chairman. However, he lost in the 2018 Democratic primary to Shayna Watchinski, who currently holds the other District 8 seat.

Watchinski strongly objects to Segobiano's possible comeback.

"I will stand with the constituents of District 8 who overwhelmingly rejected Mr. Segobiano," Watchinski said in a Facebook post.

"A decision to appoint Segobiano would demonstrate the Chairman's tendency to treat County government more as his personal "old boy's club" rather than respecting the wishes of the voters," Watchinski added.

Segobiano and Cline are slated to make presentations to the county board's executive committee on Tuesday. Chairman McIntyre's selection must be approved by the full county board.

Howard Packowitz

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