Office of the County Executive
Steve Summers, County Executive
In 2016, Champaign County voters decided to change the structure of the County government from a County Board form of government without home rule to a County Executive form of government without home rule. This change created the third branch in a three-branch government structure (administrative, legislative and judicial) that is used to create checks and balances in public decision-making. In Illinois, Champaign County is the second to have a County Executive form of government, following Will County, which has had an Executive for over 20 years.
Champaign County’s Executive oversees the administration of the County’s business, similar to the Mayor at the city level or the Governor at the state level. The Executive supervises all county activities that do not fall under the responsibility of another elected county official. In Champaign County, these departments include Administrative Services, Information Technology, Planning and Zoning, Facilities, Highway, Assessments, Board of Review. In addition, s/he provides administrative support to other county officials and the boards, commissions and joint ventures that fall within the county’s budget.
Working with the County Board, the County Executive provides input for board agendas and presides over full board meetings. With the advice and consent of the Board, s/he makes the county’s appointments to many local government boards and committees and prepares the annual county budget.
The County Executive also represents the county on intergovernmental boards and committees, participates in regional economic development efforts and advocates for legislative action at the state and federal level that will benefit county residents.
In decennial years, the Executive is responsible for drawing the map for county districting that is approved by the existing County Board and used to elect County Board members for the next 10 years. Periodically re-drawing the map allows for redistribution of representation due to population shifts within districts.
As an elected official, the County Executive represents the people of the county and solicits public input on the county’s business. The County Executive can break tie votes and veto Board resolutions when there is disagreement among County Board members. (A majority of the 22-person Champaign County Board is 12 votes, but 14 votes are required to reach the 3/5 majority necessary for a veto override.) The County Executive communicates regularly as the county’s leader via website, Facebook and Twitter, as well as through town hall meetings, media interviews, group presentations, public events and other venues.
For the IL statute regarding the County Executive, see the Illinois Counties Code: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=750&ChapterID=12&DocName=005500050HDiv.+2-5&SeqEnd=12300000&SeqStart=10600000