SYCAMORE – The originally scheduled date of Aug. 15 for the DeKalb County Board to vote on a new county administrator to replace the retiring Ray Bockman could be changed.
DeKalb County Board members spent about eight hours interviewing four finalists for the county administrator position Monday, but uncertainty remained on when a final decision will be made. Bockman is scheduled to retire at the end of September.
The initial timeline called for interviews to take place in June, negotiations in July and a vote in August, but interviews had been delayed until Monday. DeKalb County Board Chairman Larry Anderson, R-Malta, and Vice Chairwoman Ruth Anne Tobias, D-DeKalb, would not comment on when a hire might be made.
There is no board meeting in July.
Board members had planned to interview five candidates, but Anderson said one finalist accepted another job before the interviews.
Tobias said whoever the board chooses will need to relate well with department heads because most county employees have worked only under the guidance of Bockman, who has held his post for more than 31 years.
“We have to find somebody we are personally comfortable with,” Tobias said. “But the administrator has to be a leader as well.”
She said the decision was highly important because an administrator form of county government is invaluable to assure future growth. Other forms of county government can be inefficient and rely too heavily on board members to manage day-to-day affairs.
“[Administrator-led government is] better performance management, ethical management and really the only way to grow,” Tobias said of having an administrator.
The DeKalb County Executive Committee has led the search process and interviews, but all County Board members have been invited to participate. Bockman has said it is vital that his eventual successor gets the full support of the board when the time does come to vote because a split could lead to contentious relationships or a lack of confidence.