SYCAMORE – Peter Stefan’s first days on the job involved soaking up as much information as he could.
DeKalb County’s new finance director has been attending orientations and working to familiarize himself with the county’s policies and procedures since he took on the role April 15.
Stefan said he’s still meeting new people and learning the ropes, but so far everything is going well.
“If the first week and a half is any indication, it definitely will prove to be everything I thought it would be,” he said.
Originally from DuPage County, Stefan has spent more than 25 years working in the public sector. As a certified public accountant, he worked for 10 years for the city of Wood Dale and for 14 years as finance director for the village of Lake in the Hills in McHenry County.
Although he has worked for municipalities in the past, Stefan said he is new to managing the larger sector of county government.
But that didn’t keep him from pursuing the job when he heard about the opening.
“It looked like something that was interesting to me and a new challenge,” he said.
Stefan’s role, which formerly belonged to current county administrator Gary Hanson, was established as part of a decoupling of the finance director and deputy county administrator positions in February. The DeKalb County Board unanimously approved Stefan’s appointment at its meeting on March 20.
Hanson said the deputy county administrator position has not been officially established yet, but he anticipates it will be discussed again in May or June.
But after four months of searching and interviews with four candidates, Hanson said, he was relieved to finally have Stefan fill the finance director position.
“He’s just going to be a real good fit for the county,” Hanson said. “We’re very happy to have him.”
Stefan’s annual salary will be $110,000, which he will start earning soon, as the county prepares to kick off the annual budget cycle for fiscal year 2014.
Stefan said he’s up to the challenges the county faces with declining revenues and increasing expenditures that have been pushing off improvement projects.
“Eventually you’ve got to try to address those in one way or another,” he said.
But Stefan looks forward to working with Hanson and the rest of the departments to keep improving the county. He said he will sit down with Hanson soon to see how his skills can be utilized best.
“They’re all looking for better, more efficient ways to operate their department,” he said. “And I certainly won’t be any different.”