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Johnson named DeKalb County deputy administrator

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Board members appointed a new deputy county administrator for outreach at their Wednesday meeting.

Christine Johnson, who also holds the office of county treasurer, was approved as the second deputy county administrator. Paul Miller, the county’s planning, zoning and building administrator, was appointed to the deputy administrator handling operations in December.

As the deputy administrator for outreach, Johnson will be responsible for communication, legislative action, local government interaction and marketing. This new role carries a stipend of $7,800 for 2014, $8,580 for 2015 and $9,360 for 2016 in addition to her county treasurer’s salary of $91,250 for the fiscal year that started Jan. 1.

“Among other things, I will be a liaison between the County Board and other taxing bodies at meetings and other county events where it’s important to have a county representative present,” Johnson said.

“I applied because I have a unique skill set after serving in the General Assembly and for nearly 20 years with the county,” Johnson said.

The appointment of both deputy administrators ends Dec. 31, 2016.

With 23 of the 24 County Board members present, 20 board members voted to approve Johnson’s appointment and three abstained. Members abstaining were Frank O’Barski from District 10; Misty Haji-Sheikh from District 7 and Mark Pietrowski from District 3.

“I didn’t want to vote no for Christine Johnson; I don’t have a problem with her,” O’Barski said. “I don’t like the principle of elected officials being in county jobs. There is too much potential for conflict of interest or an appearance that we’re a private club.”

Johnson said the question of potential conflict of interest was addressed in extensive conversations with county Administrator Gary Hanson and State’s Attorney Richard Schmack, who did not see a problem.

Hanson said four people applied for the two deputy positions, and they were not advertised to the general public.

“My goal all along was to appoint existing department heads,” Hanson said.

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