WIUM Tristates Public Radio

County Board Member has Attended Zero Meetings

Jul 16, 2019

Democrat Tessa Pfafman was one of three people elected to a full, four-year term in McDonough County Board District 1 last fall.  She was sworn into office in early December – and hasn't been seen at a county board meeting since.

The full county board meets on the third Wednesday of each month, and various committees meet throughout each month. County board members are not paid but they do receive reimbursement for mileage to and from meetings.  (Correction: board members are paid a per diem for meetings attended in addition to the mileage reimbursement)

Tri States Public Radio emailed Pfafman on July 5 to ask why she’s been absent. Pfafman, who is an instructor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has not responded.

County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes said Pfafman also did not respond to multiple notices to complete the economic interest statement required of those who hold public office.

TSPR also reached out to the group Democratic Women of McDonough County.  A spokesperson for the group said Pfafman intends to submit a letter of resignation to the county. And the group issued this written statement Sunday night:

"While we are saddened to learn that McDonough County Board Member Tessa Pfafman's current circumstances have made her unable to fulfill the duties of her office, we applaud her for doing the right thing and stepping down. This will enable the County Board to seat a replacement for her and avoid issues of not meeting quorum. We look forward to working with the County and the Democratic Party in proposing people to replace her, and will welcome whoever is chosen."

A member of the group said Pfafman had been unresponsive to their inquiries until TSPR contacted her.

Pfafman received 21% of the vote in November to win the third and final full term up for election in District 1. Democrat Craig Burns finished fourth with 19%.

This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the important issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.