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Lauzen, County Board near selection of CFO

GENEVA – The County Board is nearing the end of a search for its next chief financial officer.

This week, County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen intended to complete interviews with three candidates for the position. The job has been open since fall 2012 when former Kane County Finance Director Cheryl Pattelli resigned to take a similar position in Boulder, Colo.

Lauzen said filling the position has been one of his top priorities since he was elected chairman in November.

He noted during a meeting of the County Board Finance Committee on Wednesday that the county’s bond rating – which helps define the terms under which the county can borrow money and how much interest it pays – depends, in part, on the presence of a finance director.

That rating is key as the county government seeks to refinance millions of dollars in bonds in coming weeks, potentially saving around $2.5 million.

The County Board had launched the process last fall shortly after Pattelli’s departure. And Lauzen had intended to submit a candidate to the County Board for consent last month.

But that candidate, whose identity has not been made public, withdrew her name from consideration shortly before the January County Board meeting at which her application was going to be discussed.

Lauzen said that came as a result of “some folks” within the county government contacting the applicant and persuading her to withdraw.

“Some folks said some things that didn’t need to be said,” Lauzen said. “It was not to the benefit of the taxpayers of Kane County.”

Lauzen said the quality of subsequent applicants has been “very good.”

He said he hoped to present the name of a finalist to the County Board soon. But until he does, he said he will not reveal any applicants’ identities to prevent others from being warded off by political opponents.

“I won’t call it sabotage,” Lauzen said. “But I will be more practical.”

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