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Lauzen talks up plan for raises at chamber luncheon

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:40 p.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen continued Wednesday to promote his plan to award various directors with 5 percent raises.

This time, however, he had a different audience: members of the Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles chambers of commerce. They were gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles for a Kane County update luncheon.

As he has with County Board members, Lauzen told chamber members that several county directors are the lowest paid in the region, and that the county wants to avoid hiring and training employees only to have them poached by other employers.

Because the directors went without raises for several recent years, Lauzen said it would be like getting a 1 percent raise each year, with this year being the fifth.

Lauzen said he needs “operational flexibility” to manage the county and noted the it has maintained the property tax levy freeze.

“I will not spend your money in a way I wouldn’t spend my own,” Lauzen said.

The County Board is expected to vote on the raises in April.

Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, whose term ends Nov. 30, also addressed the chamber members.

“It’s been an honor to be your sheriff for the last eight years,” he said.

Perez addressed the upcoming shooting range project, but he mostly reflected on his time as sheriff, which included the office’s move from Fabyan Parkway in Geneva to Route 38 in St. Charles Township.

“We did not have one day of interruption to service to the public,” he said.

Making the sheriff’s office accessible to the public was one of Perez’s priorities, he said, and its website – www.kanesheriff.com – was one way to do that.

“It’s been great,” Perez said. “It really enabled us to interact with the public.”

Perez said he wants to leave his office in good shape at the end of his term. He compared it to handing over the keys to a car that is up-to-date in its maintenance and saying, “Take good care of it.”

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