Riverside Township Supervisor Vera Wilt said she will soon seek applicants to fill a vacancy on the township board of trustees created upon the death of Trustee Liane Blauw on Jan. 30 following a long illness.
Blauw, a resident of North Riverside, was first elected to the Riverside Township board as clerk in 2009, serving for three terms in that capacity before running for and winning election as a trustee in 2021. She ran unopposed in each election.
“She’ll be missed,” said Wilt. “She was on the board for a long time and was always such a positive person.”
The Riverside Township Board of Trustees has 60 days to fill the vacancy, and whoever is appointed will serve out the remainder of Blauw’s term, which expires in 2025.
The last time the township board had to appoint a trustee was in late 2021 after Trustee Thomas Morrissey, who was elected alongside Blauw in 2021, resigned after being appointed a judge of the Cook County Circuit Court.
The township board received about a half dozen applications to fill that vacancy, Wilt said. One of those applying, John P. Carroll Jr., was chosen to replace Morrissey in November 2021.
Another of the applicants, Kara Kalnitz, was named to the Riverside Township Mental Health Board in February 2022.
“I’m in the process of drafting a notice similar to the one from the last vacancy,” Wilt said.
Wilt said Blauw had experienced health issues prior to the 2021 election, and that those had played a part in her seeking to run for one of the four township trustee seats instead of running for a fourth term as clerk.
The 67-year-old Blauw appeared to have put the health concerns behind her, said Wilt, and was fine for a while. However, the health issues reemerged in the second half of 2022. The last time Blauw attended a township board of trustees meeting was July 13.
Early in January, Wilt said she had a text message exchange with Blauw, who said she had been hospitalized for two weeks. Blauw did not talk about the specifics of her health issues, said Wilt, and news of her death was a surprise.