Joe Vann was elected as the new chairman of the Mercer County Board Tuesday. (Jan. 5) The former vice chairman replaces Brian Anseeuw, who resigned his chairmanship in December.

Mark Bieri was elected as the new vice chairman.

In a break between the Finance Committee meeting and the full board's session, repeated what he said when he changed some committee assignments during the reorganization meeting.

"I assure you these are not political," he said. "They are so we can get business done."

"I do not like having to go to a committee meeting I'm not assigned to just to fill out a quorum," Vann said during the interview.

He said he has a goal in mind for the Transportation Committee, now chaired by Bieri.

"I would like them to implement a five-year plan to improve our county roads," he said.

There were few references made during the evening to Matt Sorensen of Bellwether LLC, the company that is Mercer County's consultative administrator.

Sorensen, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph, was indicted in federal court in Chicago on Monday. (Jan. 4) The indictment, according to the newspaper, accuses him of being part of a scheme to defraud State Farm of more than $400,000 in unearned consulting fees."

"The indictment has nothing to do with Bellwether," Vann told the Times Record. "They have been very helpful to us and it (hiring the firm) much less expensive than hiring an administrator."

One of the items on the agenda was "County Administration First Quarter Goals," which was to be delivered by Sorensen.

"Mr. Sorensen was supposed to be here, but he has taken ill," Vann said.

He tabled the report until the February meeting.