The Grundy County Emergency Telephone System Board met for the first time Wednesday without its leader, the late Sheriff Terry Marketti.
Vice Chairman Bob Coleman, Morris fire marshal and retired fire chief, ran the meeting and started by asking all present to stand and give a moment of silence in honor of the board's deceased chairman.
"He was our leader, teacher, a member, a good friend and a member of the family on this board," Coleman said.
Marketti died in his sleep in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 14. Grundy County Coroner John Callahan said Marketti had been fighting medical issues.
The board discussed two orders of business with the passing of Marketti. The first was to fill the open board position, which was unanimously done with interim Sheriff Kevin Callahan.
"Thank you for your consideration," said Callahan.
The ETSB board's approval was in the form of a recommendation to the Grundy County Board. Grundy Board Vice Chairman David Welter said the recommendation would go before the Rules Committee the first week of January and to the county board with a recommendation the week after.
"And I expect a positive recommendation," Welter said.
The ETSB Board then discussed, but took no action on, filling the chairman's position. Coleman said he would continue in his roll as vice chairman to fill in until the board chooses a chairman, but he does not want the chairman position.
The bylaws indicated the board could choose a new chairman or wait for the next officer election, which is in June, and just let the vice chair run the board until then.
"It's a big job and Terry did it well. Regardless of what some people think, he did it well and I always respected that," Coleman said.
Last year, when the county board went to make its appointments for the ETSB, it was expected Marketti would be reappointed since he was in his 22nd year of serving on the board. But the then-Advisory Committee, now Rules Committee, voted 3-2 not to recommend reappointing him to the board.
At that time, County Board Chairman Ron Severson said he had concerns at how much the new 911 center was costing and that, because Marketti was chairman of the 911 Board during the project planning, he was responsible. Marketti argued it was his job to tell the county what was needed, but he did not approve the expenses. The county board, he contended, did that.
At the April 2011 county board meeting, Marketti was reappointed on a 12-to-6 vote and, at the following ETSB meeting, he was approved unanimously as chairman of the ETSB once again.
ETSB Board Attorney Scott Belt said Marketti did much more than just run the meetings and that whomever fills the chairman's position needs to realize it is a committed position.
The chairman will be responsible for picking up the dialogue Marketti was having with state police on possibly joining the dispatch center, the work on potential contracts with Seneca and Braidwood to provide their dispatch services, and collective bargaining agreements for the dispatchers, among numerous other projects Marketti was in the middle of.
"There is a lot of work behind the scenes and Terry did a good job of making the position look somewhat seamless," Belt said.
The chairman also needs to be available to make immediate decisions at times, he added.
Morris Police Chief Brent Dite suggested waiting for Kevin Callahan to be officially approved by the county board and then calling a special meeting to determine the new chairman. The board approved this as the plan.
The board also received an update on the progress toward Seneca police, fire and EMS calls being serviced through the Grundy dispatch center.
Director of Electronic Operations Chris Kindelspire said Seneca is ready to start ordering needed equipment to receive dispatch service from Grundy and is just waiting for all of the Grundy ETSB's municipalities, police and fire boards to approve adding them.
The agreement all the parties have to sign would add on Seneca for $75,000 a year. Seneca would pay a one-time impact fee of $15,000, as well.