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Newsmakers: Chris Lauzen

Kane County Board chairman putting stamp on county

Published: Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 8:48 a.m. CDT
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(Sandy Bressner file photo – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen waves after being sworn in by Chief Judge Judy Brawka as his wife, Sarah, looks on last December.

Chris Lauzen, who was elected Kane County Board chairman last year, continued in 2013 to put his stamp on the county.

The former state senator nominated people to fill such key positions as executive director of finance, Kane County Health Department executive director and, perhaps most notably, animal control administrator.

Lauzen – who criticized his predecessors for politically motivated hiring practices – faced criticism for promoting the hiring of political supporter Robert Sauceda. Sauceda was named interim animal control administrator in November after working as a billing manager for much of the year.

Under Lauzen’s leadership, the county also launched a community outreach program called Kane County Connected, a social media effort that aims to build communities.

The chairman’s first term also was marked by budget clashes with county coroner Rob Russell.

But – often referencing a budget dispute that led former Kane County Circuit Clerk Deborah Seyller to sue the county – Lauzen has encouraged cooperation among board members and other county elected officials.

“We can either be on our Sunday best behavior, or we can be known as Saturday night brawlers,” Lauzen said at a recent county board meeting.

– Ashley Sloboda

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