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Lauzen hires two for outreach program, praises Sauceda in animal control

GENEVA – Two people hired by Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen have been quietly working to implement Lauzen’s envisioned county community outreach program, even as Lauzen continues to heap praise on a man who could be the subject of Lauzen’s next appointment at county Animal Control.

Cheryl Maraffio of Aurora and Nicholas Scanlan of Sugar Grove were hired on a contract basis last month to serve as coordinators of the Kane County Connected program, according to county records.

County records indicate the county received 32 applications for the position.

The Kane County Connected program is designed to center on social media, such as Facebook, to “connect Kane County’s different constituencies,” Lauzen has said.

He said Maraffio and Scanlan were selected because both demonstrated “competence and enthusiasm.”

He declined to discuss their qualifications further. 

Maraffio and Scanlan did not reply to a message left at the Kane County Connected office Wednesday afternoon.

Published information indicate that Maraffio has served on the board of the Fox Valley United Way and as campaign coordinator for Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. She also served as CEO of the Barrio Foundation and various roles centered on violence prevention at the city of Aurora.

No such information was available for Scanlan.

Lauzen said he did not know either of them before interviewing them.

The two were hired under a six-month temporary contract.

However, Lauzen has asked the County Board to fund the positions next year using money from the Grand Victoria Casino.

Lauzen also is expected to hire a new animal control administrator later this year. Lauzen said he remains “grateful” for the performance to date of Rob Sauceda as billing manager.

Lauzen said he does not know whether the county has received applications from anyone for the administrator position yet.

Sauceda’s hire was controversial, as board members questioning Sauceda’s political ties to Lauzen, balked at Lauzen’s initial attempt to install Sauceda as animal control administrator.

Lauzen then opted to name Sauceda billing manager.

Lauzen on Wednesday again pointed to Sauceda’s apparent success in increasing revenue to Animal Control, noting that the department has brought in $200,000 more year-to-date than in 2012.

Board member Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles, has been vocal in opposition to Sauceda’s employment, saying he believed the hiring violated Lauzen’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp of cronyism.” 

Davoust conceded that Sauceda has done well as billing manager, but continued to question whether Sauceda should serve as animal control administrator.

“I’ve never been an opponent of success at animal control,” Davoust said. “All I ask is that this position be posted and be fairly offered to all interested people.”

Lauzen, however, lashed out at Davoust, saying Davoust “should be sensitive to his living in a glass house” when criticizing Sauceda’s hire.

“He voted for all the failures that came before and now opposes our success,” Lauzen said. “It’s unnecessary.”

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