Two couples form college on the village of Hainesville board of directors
Proud of its heritage as “the oldest village in Lake County”, the sleepy hamlet of Hainesville does not often make the news. But a Daily Herald investigation has learned that two-thirds of the Hainesville village council – four of its six members – are sleeping with another council member.
“And the village is okay with that,” says Jack Chynoweth, a village administrator who saw his wife, Kristine Chynoweth, sworn this week to join him on the board as one of those trustees of the village. town. The married Chynoweths join longtime Trustee Georgeann Duberstein and her husband Trustee, George E. Duberstein, on the Board.
Having two married couples on the board is perfectly legal, but it creates an unusual guideline. Whether the Chynoweth and the Dubersteins meet at the Bento Cafe in Hainesville to share a special giant Godzilla sushi roll, get together for a friendly game of euchre, or just relax in the gazebo at The Gathering Place next to the party hall. , they may be in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. As four members of a six-member board of directors, couples create a quorum whenever they are together. A college, even in social settings, is breaking the law if someone discusses something relevant to the village of Hainesville.
It is not likely. The Dubersteins are 81 years old and are retired. Jack Chynoweth, 58, is an Air Force veteran who works as a construction superintendent for Pacific Construction Services. Kristine Chynoweth, 51, works as a program specialist at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. The Chynoweth and Dubersteins are friendly to each other at board meetings, but don’t socialize outside of it.
Even though two married couples on a board are not on the cards, the city of 3,600 is happy to attract attention.
“Before 1990, there were more cows than people in town,” says Gerry Daley, 70, a retired school administrator who is now in his second term as mayor of Hainesville. Daley, whose 44-year-old wife Mary does not hold a public office in Hainesville, says he’s comfortable with married couples on the village’s board of directors.
“In the case of Georgeann and George, they often had different votes and different ideas,” says Daley. During the monthly meeting in May, Daley takes a look at a committee report on the agenda and calls the wrong Duberstein. “No,” he said, correcting himself quickly. “The other.”
Low-key meetings, which usually draw a crowd of one or two residents, are cordial.
“It has never been a political battle,” Daley says, noting that the village has a balanced budget, has no debt or excessive division issues, has no crime problem and even does no bar in town. Trustees receive an allowance of $ 325 per month. The turnout in the last elections was low. While Daley was the big winner with 180 votes, Kristine Chynoweth won her seat with 106 votes to oust incumbent John Derenoski, who had 98 votes. Georgeann Duberstein was the leading director vote holder with 135 votes.
Political ambition comes after the desire to be a public servant, says Daley. “Let’s see what we need to do to keep Hainesville the good, strong community that it is,” says Daley.
Now in her third term, Georgeann Duberstein has been an active member of the community since the couple moved to Hainesville almost 19 years ago. A retired medical assistant who also taught in school and sold computers, Georgeann Duberstein founded the town’s Great Age Club for the elderly before becoming a trustee. She organized the garage sale throughout the village, which is now an annual event. A passionate conservationist, she drafted the Five-Year Restoration Plan for the federally protected woodlands surrounding Cranberry Lake.
The view from the Dubersteins’ backyard of restored Cranberry Lake is the reason they moved to town, says her husband, who enjoyed the mountain views during his years in Colorado. George Duberstein is a retired army officer and decorated Vietnam War veteran who started the popular Civil War reenactment in Hainesville.
Married for 37 years, the couple met at a bachelorette party where everyone wore badges.
“Doesn’t Georgeann have to say hello to George?” Says Georgeann Duberstein. They ended up abandoning the gathering to go dancing.
“It was like we had always danced together,” says George Duberstein. “We got married two months later.”
The Chynoweths share the Dubersteins’ love for Hainesville. They moved to the village in 2013 and immediately felt at home, they say.
“Hainesville is a beautiful community with a healthy history, and Kristine and I are really lucky to have ended up here,” writes Jack Chynoweth in his village administrator profile at hainesville.org.
“I wanted to involve the community more,” says Kristine Chynoweth of her reason for running for office and joining her husband on the board. “Everywhere I went people were like, ‘Hey, tell Jack…’ and I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and see if I could get more neighbors involved.
Incorporated in 1847, the town took its name from Professor Elijah M. Haines, who surveyed and ditched Hainesville. He met Abraham Lincoln in 1847 and the couple became friends. The future president reportedly spent a few nights in Hainesville, and Haines went on to be a state representative and the president of Illinois House. Since then, well, not much news has been made in Hainesville.
The administrators and the mayor politely chuckle at this strained effort to make the married administrators a story.
“Hainesville in the news? That’s good, but I like the low-key,” Daley said. “If people aren’t complaining I’m happy. Overall it’s a nice and quiet place.”