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Kane board to use 'normal procedures' to hire animal control director

GENEVA – The Kane County Board is seeking applicants for the job at the top of the county's animal control department.

Tuesday, the Kane County Board paved the way for the application process to begin, as the board changed the official job description for the post.

In 2011, the board had altered the job description to require the next animal control director be a veterinarian. But this month, the County Board reversed itself again, stipulating that the county now seeks an administrator to run the department's business affairs, while leaving the care of animals in the department's custody to other employees and a contracted veterinarian.

The board has indicated it intends to pay the animal control director about $60,000 a year.

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, meeting with the County Board in closed session on Tuesday, also presented the board with a name of a candidate for the post. The board discussed the matter behind closed doors for more than 30 minutes.

Following the meeting, Lauzen declined to identify the candidate. But he said he was forwarding to the board a candidate recommended by interim Kane County Health Department Director Barbara Jeffers.

Talking points made available to reporters by a county spokesperson before the meeting provided some purported details about the candidate, noting the administrator candidate had "Kane County business experience," was a nuclear submarine captain with 35 years of "management consulting experience," and is an "experienced manager in developing best practices for billing and collections."

Following the closed door meeting, however, Lauzen said the board would not vote on hiring an animal control administrator until the county went "through the normal procedures" for hiring such an employee.

However, Lauzen said that hiring an animal control administrator remains one of his top priorities, as the department has about $800,000 in outstanding billings that need to be collected. Without an administrator to oversee those collections for such items as animal registration and rabies tags, the department would be unable to make a $186,000 mortgage payment due this year for the animal control facility in St. Charles Township.

Lauzen acknowledged that in ordinary circumstances, he first would hire a full-time health department director to oversee the hiring of a new animal control administrator.

"But there's all that work just sitting there, and it needs to be done," Lauzen said. "That is a fire going on right now that we need to put out."

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