SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Board hopes to select a new administrator in the next two weeks after selecting a small pool of candidates to interview during a closed session meeting Wednesday.
Board Chairman Larry Anderson, R-Malta, said the process has gone smoothly since the board decided to restart the process in July, after making changes in the educational and experience requirements, and Deerfield-based search firm Voorhees Associates has narrowed the field to a few exemplary candidates.
“I hope there is a decision within two weeks,” Anderson said. “We have some very good candidates to choose from.”
Ruth Anne Tobias, D-DeKalb and vice chairwoman of the board, said members are scheduled to interview candidates Wednesday. She said it was important to make a selection soon so that board members who have been involved in the process can cast the final vote as opposed to any new members who may be elected and uninformed on the candidates.
“I wouldn’t want to have to make a newly seated board make this decision,” Tobias said. “It’s very difficult.”
The board will likely vote on a final selection at its Nov. 21 meeting, Tobias said.
The new administrator will take over for the departing Ray Bockman, who after more than 30 years of service was set to retire in September before the search restarted. He agreed to stay on until a new administrator was selected.
Vorhees Associates has been paid $19,900 for its services.
DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo also gave an update on a class-action lawsuit the county filed in June against mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to recover unpaid taxes.
Acardo said the federal court in Rockford is scheduled to hear the case at the end of the month and will rule on whether the mortgage agencies were allowed to claim millions in unpaid transfer taxes on real estate transactions as government entity exemptions.
Acardo said similar cases are happening across multiple states, but a New York federal judicial panel declined to merge all the suits into one during a hearing last month, and instead ordered each case be heard by federal courts in the respective states.
If the courts come to different conclusions, Acardo said the case could work its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was unsure.
DeKalb County has lost out on more than $40,000 in the past five years from the unpaid taxes, but the potential court winnings could be significantly more, Acardo has said. DeKalb County is joined by Kendall, Kane, Whiteside and Winnebago counties in the suit.
St. Charles law firm Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers LLC is handling the case at no expense to the county.