GENEVA – Kane County's newest Animal Control administrator has 12 months to prove his worth.
At Chairman Chris Lauzen's recommendation, the Kane County Board on Tuesday approved Robert Sauceda as interim Animal Control administrator at an annual salary of $65,000.
Lauzen responded to questions about whether the interim appointment means a search will be launched to fill the position permanently. He said that is not his intention.
Making Sauceda an interim administrator was a nod to those who didn't feel fully confident in supporting the nomination, Lauzen said.
Sauceda will have 12 months to demonstrate his performance, Lauzen said.
He said he is confident Sauceda – who has been working as Animal Control’s billing manager – will continue great performance and leadership. His accomplishments as billing manager include improvements to the department's finances, the introduction of social media and reminder phone calls to pet owners about registrations that are due, Lauzen said.
Additionally, Sauceda has received endorsements from his colleagues, Lauzen said. He read a portion of a letter from an Animal Control employee who said Sauceda has brought enthusiasm through his new ideas and has boosted morale by helping clean cages when the department is short a person.
"I am delighted to make this appointment," Lauzen said.
Sauceda's appointment passed in a 16-2 vote, with Maggie Auger, R-Algonquin, voting "present." Michael Donahue, R-Geneva, and Jesse Vazquez, D-Aurora, opposed the motion.
Donahue said he doesn't understand what has changed since board members rejected Sauceda's appointment earlier this year.
"The issues that prevailed in January when discussed in executive session prevail today," Donahue said.
Michael Kenyon, R-South Elgin, said he has been disappointed by past Animal Control directors but believes Lauzen will make sure Sauceda will do the job properly.
"This chairman has put his name on the line," Kenyon said. "I think it might not be a bad thing to give the young man a chance."