MURPHYSBORO — The Jackson County Board is discussing an award for local government officials that would honor one of its former members.

Jackson County Board Chairman John Rendleman said an award to honor the late Bill Alstat is in the works. Alstat, 55, died in August.

At the time of his death, Alstat held a seat on the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees. Before winning that seat, he was a member of the Jackson County Board for 25 years, and a township supervisor for Ora Township.

While a member of the county board, he served as chairman of the finance, insurance and labor committees. He represented District 1 of the county, which was the largest district covering Elkville, Vergennes and Ava.

“Bill Alstat’s death shook us,” Rendleman said. “He was involved in so many things. It is kind of hard to describe everything he was involved in.”

Rendleman said the board wants to put together an award that honors somebody who was as knowledgeable and involved as Alstat.

“A lot of people get on boards and they have an agenda or point of view, but Bill (Alstat) knew what was going on the minute he sat down at his first meeting,” he said.

Alstat, who was a Democrat at the end of life, made the switch from the GOP after many years, Rendleman said.

“He knew how government worked on the local level,” he said. “We would like to honor him by honoring people that do that.”

The award would be given annually. The exact parameters have not been finalized as of Friday, Rendleman said, but there would be a selection committee of individuals who knew Alstat in the beginning.

dustin.duncan@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

on twitter: @zd2000

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Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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