New county board member hopes to be “voice for agriculture”


William Friedrich is sworn in as District 2 representative on the McLean County Board.
(Photo by Howard Packowitz/WJBC)


By Howard Packowitz

BLOOMINGTON – A third generation farmer is the newest member of the McLean County Board.

The board Tuesday night approved Chairman John McIntyre’s choice of Republican William Friedrich to replace Scott Murphy, who resigned last month after moving out of District 2.

Friedrich is from Heyworth and will represent southeastern McLean County. He believes in limited government, and plans to be a voice for agriculture, looking out for the concerns of rural homeowners.

“We’re kind of independent, self-sufficient, and hands-off kind of people,” Friedrich said.

Friedrich said he is also interested in mental health and issues concerning the jail.

He also plans to remain as Chairman of the Bloomington Township Water District.

Friedrich said he comes to the county board with no agenda.

“Just carrying on the initiatives from the county board moving forward,” said Friedrich.

“I respect this board and direction they’re going under (Chairman) McIntyre,” Friedrich added.

Friedrich expects to run as a Republican for the board seat in next year’s election. The GOP has a 13 to 7 majority on the county board.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at


In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…

Reactions to the “A Community in Conflict” exhibit

By Mike Matejka Every community has its home-town pride; Bloomington-Normal is proud to claim Steak n’ Shake and MASH TV star McLean Stevenson.  We’ve also had a moment of contention and conflict.  Sometimes these are uplifting stories of human progress. At other times, they cause us to shake our heads and wonder why. The McLean…