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Kane board poised to OK hire of outreach coordinator

Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The leaders of the Kane County Board appear poised to back Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen’s call to hire someone to coordinate an enhanced community relations push from the county government.

The Kane County Board’s Executive Committee on Wednesday unanimously recommended the County Board authorize Lauzen to hire a contracted employee to oversee efforts, centered on social media and the county’s website, to improve the county’s image among residents and those outside the county alike.

Speaking to the committee, which is made up of the chairs of the County Board’s various committees, Lauzen said the county is in need of an energetic, enthusiastic personality who can reach out to the county’s various demographics and communities and create energized “coils of people and ideas.”

He said he hopes the outreach program would bring people together and “draw families and business to Kane County.” 

He said he wants a program that “makes it more fun to live, work and invest in Kane County.”

The outreach program would be driven by social media, including Facebook and the county’s website, Lauzen said.

He said success would be measured by growth within the county’s digital social media networks.

He said he has yet to select someone for the job. 

Lauzen quietly introduced the proposal in a job listing posted on the county’s website in early May, advertising a full-time temporary position, paying a wage of up to $25 an hour for a six-month term.

The county also would hire a community outreach assistant, Lauzen said.

Lauzen said the positions would be paid out of savings he said have been generated from his decisions to terminate county contracts with lobbyists that in years past represented the county’s interests to lawmakers in Springfield.

He said, in the last four years, the county spent $363,000 on fees related to contracted publicity and lobbying services.

“I’d like to take one-tenth of that to test what I think is a solid concept,” Lauzen said.

County Board members on the Executive Committee endorsed the proposal.

County Board member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, said the outreach coordinator would enhance communication between the board and the public, as the County Board’s staffing levels were hurt by retirements in recent months.

“This is a gaping hole that needs to be filled,” Frasz said.

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