John Frieders.jpg

DeKalb County photo.

A Republican from Sandwich is the new chair of the DeKalb County Board.

The new county board selected John Frieders Monday night as their chairperson.

“I pledge to continue the excellence in the county board chairmanship that we’ve had in the recent past,” says Frieders.

Frieders had been serving as vice chair. While he was nominated by fellow Republican Roy Plote during the board organizational meeting, his nomination was seconded by Democrat Jim Luebke. Democrat

Suzanne Willis of DeKalb has been selected as the new vice chair.

Board members elected last month were sworn in Monday over Zoom as the board continues to meet virtually because of COVID-19. Republicans now have control over the county board after taking a two-member majority in last month’s election.

Democrat Mark Pietrowski, who didn’t seek reelection, had served as chair when the members were evenly split between the two parties. He passed the gavel to Frieders on Tuesday.

“I think the passing of the gavel is more meaningful than just passing it on from one board chair to another board chair,” says Pietrowski. “The gavel symbolizes the confidence and trust that a county board, that is all of you as the class of 2022, is placing in the chair, the trust and confidence to be a leader, to be the representative of the county and the board in public matters, to be fair and just in the use of the gavel, promoting and ensuring the full and free exchange of ideas.”

The board members sworn in Tuesday will not serve the normal four-year term. They’ll serve two years before the board goes through redistricting to reflect the census results.