Wheatland Township trustee moves on to Will County Board

Wheatland Township is losing a trustee to the Will County Board.

Darren Bennefield said “it’s been a privilege” serving Wheatland Township after the announcement that last week’s Wheaton Township Board meeting would be his last.

Bennefield will replace the departing Lee Ann Goodson (R-Plainfield), in representing the county’s Fifth District on the Will County Board.

Goodson, who resigned earlier in the year to take a position with Edward Hospital, was first elected to the County Board in 2002, and served as majority whip in 2011-2012.

Bennefield is a Plainfield resident who began his working life as an owner-operator of a pizza restaurant, but has spent the last 17 years in the title insurance business.

Bennefield had originally planned to run on a ticket with Goodson, but when those plans fell through, he ran for Wheatland Township Board instead.

“I feel confident moving forward,” he said. “I’ve been involved with a great group of people at Wheatland Township. I think I’m ready to take the next step.”

Bennefield said he is proud of the role he and the other current trustees had played in stopping the construction of a $1.5 million township headquarters building.

The battle over the proposed facility led to a completely new board of trustees.

Stopping the proposed facility also allowed the township to completely avoid any tax levy for the Town Fund for the year. That vote was taken in December.

“I think we did something that no one has ever done before,” Bennefield said.

Indeed, the cancelation of the proposed township facility left the township with about $2.3 million in cash and made unnecessary any levy for the Town Fund to cover operating costs.

Spending $1.5 million during 2013 left the township with roughly $800,000, which will be used to cover part of the township’s expenses in the coming year.