In your May 16 article covering the Ford County Board’s finance committee meeting, Chairman Chase McCall and board member Ann Ihrke called the state split movement “symbolic” and merely designed to spark a discussion. Nothing could be further from the truth.

New Illinois is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with the mission of educating Illinoisans about their right to pursue a state split, following the process provided in Article IV, Sec. 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The process is neither simple nor quick. Success isn’t guaranteed but wouldn’t be unprecedented. Vermont, Maine, Kentucky and West Virginia were formed through splits.

Not wanting to attempt the impossible, early on we sought out legal advice as well as guidance from nationally known financial experts. During the past year, we have been establishing a network of county committees throughout Illinois. Ford County is not yet among them, which may be why the board did not know that this is a serious movement.

State’s Attorney Andrew Killian and board member Chuck Aubry suggested that having at least one senator per county would be a more practical solution. However, the Supreme Court’s 1964 Reynolds v. Sims ruling precludes that.

It is also important to note that ours is not the only state split organization in Illinois. We are in communication with four others. The Illinois Separation is the largest and is responsible for the referendum petition. New Illinois’ activities include developing an organizational infrastructure for a new state government.

G.H. MERRITT

INGLESIDE

Chairman of New Illinois