SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Board member Ken Andersen quit the board Tuesday, citing a loss of drive and energy to fight for the changes he believes are necessary.
Andersen, a Sycamore Republican who had represented District 3 since 2006, won a contested race in November. He also had support for the board chairmanship before an unexpected nomination from Democrats for Republican Jeff Metzger of Sandwich derailed Andersen’s bid.
Although Andersen was upset with the chairmanship selection process, he said it was a combination of frustrating factors that led to his decision.
A fiscal conservative, Andersen unsuccessfully urged the County Board to spend less money during each budget process, but total spending always went up.
“I didn’t intend to let down the voters, but I kind of lost my drive and energy,” Andersen said. “I don’t think I was being effective any more in getting my ideas across to the board. I couldn’t convince them we needed a smaller budget.”
Andersen was involved in major projects such as the DeKalb County Courthouse expansion and the ongoing Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park mitigation, both of which affect his district.
Ruth Anne Tobias, D-DeKalb, was chairwoman when Andersen was first elected and worked with him on the courthouse expansion committee. She said Andersen always was dedicated and wanted what he thought was best for the county, even when they did not agree.
Tobias credits Andersen as the first board member to hold district meetings to get feedback from constituents.
“The voices of the people in his district were always very important to him,” Tobias said. “He always had lots of ideas and wanted to do what he thought was best.”
District 4 County Board member Anthony Cvek, R-Sycamore, complimented Andersen in a prepared statement.
“Andersen is a true patriot whose work in the community exemplifies what it means to put service before self,” Cvek wrote. “With his departure from the board, the taxpayers of DeKalb County have lost a fierce and tireless advocate.”
Metzger said he was surprised at Andersen’s resignation, and added he would officially announce the resignation at today’s county board meeting.
The appointee must be a Republican from District 3, which includes a large portion of Sycamore and a northern section of Cortland.
“We’ll find someone that is very capable of representing the district,” Metzger said. “We’ll come up with a good person.”
Andersen said he had no doubt a strong replacement would be selected in the best interest of the voters.
“I feel that it would not be fair to the voters of the district to have their representative not pursuing the goals that they have given me,” Andersen wrote in his resignation letter. “The voters are our bosses and if I had an employee feeling this way I would let him go also.”