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Kane County Board to review hiring freeze

GENEVA – The Kane County Board may revise the county government’s hiring rules or opt to rewrite the policies altogether.

But the County Board is poised to talk about the “ambiguities” in the county’s hiring freeze policy that left board members and other county officials confused over which hires need to be reviewed by the County Board. Kane County includes Carpentersville and parts of Algonquin and Huntley.

Wednesday, the County Board Executive Committee voted to ask a different committee to further review the hiring freeze policy, with an eye toward rewriting it.

The discussion first arose in February, when County Board members asked questions about which new hirings needed board approval. Those questions followed the hiring in late January of Robert Sauceda, a former County Board candidate and political ally of Chairman Chris Lauzen, as a temporary billing manager in the Kane County Animal Control Department.

That hiring was not submitted to the board for review, as are other temporary, seasonal or part-time hires.

Board members wanted to know whether such hires should be subject to the hiring freeze.

The freeze was implemented in 2008 in response to county government financial difficulties tied to the recession.

The ordinance also required the County Board to review the policy every six months.

However, the board has not conducted a review of the policy since it was enacted.

When the discussion first moved through the county’s committees, board members sidestepped discussion of the policy’s “ambiguities,” as several board members have described them, focusing instead on the need for a six-month review.

The Executive Committee was asked to “reaffirm” the hiring policy, essentially certifying for the next six months that it had been reviewed.

Board members, however, worried that such a reaffirmation would hold the County Board back from having a more in-depth discussion on the policy.

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