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Article updated: 11/15/2012 10:04 PM

Lombard hiring assistant village manager to oversee risk management

By Marie Wilson

An assistant village manager is expected to be one of the only significant new expenditures in the village of Lombard's 2013 budget, and officials say the new employee's goal will be to save the village money.

Lombard spends about $900,000 a year on insurance claims and liabilities, Village Manager David Hulseberg said, but hiring an assistant village manager to oversee risk management should cut down on that cost.

The new employee will oversee risk management, the village clerk and the communications and marketing departments starting in January, Hulseberg said.

The village board supported hiring an assistant village manager with a law degree and experience in human relations to better address issues with workers' compensation, disability claims and workplace safety issues, Acting Village President Peter Breen said.

"We are identifying this individual as someone who can provide assistance with labor law, someone who can provide assistance with risk management," he said.

Interviews with six finalists from among 49 applicants were conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, and the village expects to choose the assistant village manager within the next two weeks.

"That person will be able to take some of the managerial load away from the village manager so that the manager has fewer direct reports and instead can focus on bigger-picture items," Breen said.

Nine department heads report to Hulseberg, but once the assistant village manager starts, that number will drop to five.

Lombard also is working to decrease the amount it spends on claims, including workers' compensation and lawsuit settlements, by pooling with three other governmental organizations to contract with an outside risk manager and claims adjuster, Hulseberg said.

"The goal is to reduce our exposure by making certain improvements," he said.

Trustees on Thursday night discussed fund balances, technology reserves, police training and other elements of the 2013 budget, which is the first after a switch to budgeting by calendar year instead of a fiscal year that began June 1 and ended May 31.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 at village hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave.

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