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The Baltimore Sun

Former Kane Co. chairman nominated for Metra board post

Special to the Tribune

A former Kane County Board chairman has been nominated to represent the county on the Metra commuter rail board, and the slot will open up sooner than expected with the sudden resignation of the current representative, who had vowed to stay on the job until next year.

A task force made up of four County Board members has nominated Mike McCoy for the Metra board, and the full County Board is expected to vote on his appointment at its July 12 meeting, Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said Tuesday night.

And in a surprise move, current Kane representative Caryl Van Overmeiren of Geneva submitted her resignation Tuesday, effective, she said, when her successor is approved.

McConnaughay had called for the entire Metra board to resign in the wake of the financial scandal involving former executive director Phil Pagano. But Van Overmeiren, a former County Board member, had previously said she intended to serve on the Metra board until her term expired in spring 2012.

“I think it was communication, just talking through it,” McConnaughay said of Van Overmeiren’s decision to resign. “We talked about the fact that the current board is a distraction. She agreed with that, I think.”

"We made it clear to Caryl that this was not a decision about her," said task force member Jesse Vazquez in a statement released by McConnaughay.  "We've been fortunate to have her on the Metra Board."

Van Overmeiren said the current Metra board members, many of whom have served three years or less, have passed numerous reforms since Pagano’s death, but she said negative perceptions about the board played a role in her decision to step down early.

When asked whether she faced political pressure to resign, Van Overmeiren said, “That probably hit some of the nail on the head.”

Van Overmeiren participated in the task force meeting Tuesday that resulted in McCoy’s nomination.

“He will be a good member of the board,” she said.

“There’s a lot to it,” Van Overmeiren said. “It’s a big board with a lot of responsibility when you’re moving 800,000 people a day.”

McCoy, an Aurora resident who served as County Board chairman from 1996-2004, was selected from a field of 41 applicants for the post. A professional engineer, McCoy works as a senior transportation project planner for a Chicago firm. His qualifications and previous government experience provide a good combination, McConnaughay said.

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