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Local

County Board unanimous in Animal Control administrator pick

GENEVA – Kane County’s newest Animal Control administrator is set to start Sept. 2.

The County Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the appointment of Brett Youngsteadt to lead the agency, which is overseen by the health department.

“We welcome his young family to Kane County,” member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, said.

The unanimous vote was in contrast to former Interim Administrator Robert Sauceda’s appointment, which passed in a 16-2 vote last year.

Sauceda resigned May 7 amid a personnel investigation.

Board member Jennifer Laesch, D-Aurora, was absent Tuesday, as was Chairman Chris Lauzen, who was out of town. Lauzen did, however, provide a written statement about Youngsteadt’s appointment.

“Brett’s professional education is perfectly aligned to fully appreciate the importance and complexity of caring for animals,” Lauzen said in the statement.

“Even more importantly, he brings a wealth of operational and administrative experience, which is essential for maintaining Animal Control’s financial sustainability.”

Youngsteadt is coming from Chicago Animal Care and Control, where he served as animal shelter manager, officials said. County officials said his salary will be $75,000.

Frasz, who was acting as board chairman in Lauzen’s absence, said Youngsteadt gave an “enthusiastic” interview and that his experience with managing wardens and a shelter helped him stand out.

Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers and her employees have supported Animal Control while it has been short-staffed. In addition to relieving them of the extra responsibilities, Frasz said county leaders are looking for Youngsteadt to bring stability to Animal Control.

Jeffers had a similar reaction, noting their excitement for Youngsteadt to bring leadership, as well.

Youngsteadt likely will attend the September Public Health Committee meeting, she said.

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