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New county administrator proposes splitting his former duties in 2

SYCAMORE – Gary Hanson served as the county’s deputy administrator and finance director before being promoted to county administrator in 2012.

Hanson is now proposing to divide his former posts between two people. No vote was taken on the proposal Tuesday night at the DeKalb County Board Executive Committee. Hanson said he wanted the members to “absorb the information.”

The deputy administrator position would be assigned to one of the county’s existing department heads, or it could be a part-time position. Meanwhile, the finance director would be hired with that position in mind, Hanson said.

“I think the reason is to give the county the flexibility to assign those duties where the skill is the highest,” Hanson said. “So it may or may not be the next finance director, but it affords us the opportunity to decide who meets the needs of the deputy county administrator.”

He does not envision the new finance director – for which the county is advertising – taking up the mantle of the deputy county administrator as he did. For Hanson, institutional knowledge is a key requirement for the spot.

“I really think that familiarity with the county is going to be very important,” Hanson said.

Hanson told County Board members he did not have a shortlist of candidates for deputy administrator, saying people would have to apply for it.

He also expressed a preference for having the department head be an appointed position, not an elected one.

If a department head were to also assume the deputy administrator post, Hanson said the person would get some sort of stipend or pay bonus. The department head would not get an assistant for regular duties, however.

Hanson said applications for finance director close Tuesday.

He said he was directed by the finance committee to narrow the applicants to 10 and start interviews by February. By March 1, he hopes to have a candidate in place, he said.

Hanson and a number of board members expressed preference in waiting to hire a finance director before taking action on the deputy administrator.

“I think the most important part is to get that first position hired, see what the strengths are of that position, and move to the next step,” said County Board Chairman Jeff Metzger.

Metzger updated the committee on the county treasurer position at the meeting. He said he will formally declare a vacancy at the board’s regular Jan. 16 meeting, and that he has spoken with Steven Kuhn, the head of the county Republican Party, about forming a caucus to fill the position.

“I would like to get the position filled as soon as possible,” Metzger said.

On Dec. 21, County Treasurer Mark Todd said he was resigning to pursue a job in Hawaii.

His resignation will be effective Feb. 8, and Metzger has 60 days from then to appoint somebody.

State statutes require the appointment of someone in the same political party.

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