To jump-start their effort to find a new executive director, DuPage County Forest Preserve District commissioners next week are expected to try to envision their ideal candidate for the top administrative job.
The brainstorming session is slated to happened during Tuesday's board meeting. Commissioner Shannon Burns said the goal is to create a list of desired traits to guide the consultants who eventually will be hired to conduct the search.
"I would not want us to leap into a search process without having a list of criteria of what we're looking for," Burns said, "especially given the option of do we get a business person with an environmental background or an environmental person with a business background."
Forest preserve commissioners talked about delaying the brainstorming session until after they hire a search firm. However, they said, they didn't want to drag out the process.
The forest preserve hasn't had a full-time executive director since Brent Manning stepped down in mid-June due to personal health and family concerns.
Since Manning's departure, forest preserve President Dewey Pierotti has been serving as interim executive director. He's not getting additional pay beyond his annual salary of $112,258 for being president of the district.
District spokeswoman Susan Olafson said there's isn't a deadline for when a new director will be hired. She said Tuesday's brainstorming session is critical because it will define the qualities that commissioners would like to see in an executive director.
"Until we really understand where the commissioners want us to go in terms of finding an executive director that fits who and what they want, there is no definitive timeline," Olafson said. "We need to define the qualities that we want in an executive director before we move forward."