Libertyville village officials have hired a search firm to find a replacement for longtime Village Administrator Kevin Bowens, who will retire in December.
GovHR USA, a well-known Northbrook firm, will be paid a not-to-exceed amount of $18,000 to assist the village in recruiting a replacement for Bowens, who has been on the job in Libertyville for 25 years. He is among the longest tenured in that position in Lake County, having served under five mayors and countless village trustees during that time.
"We're going to start advertising (for candidates) Aug. 1. That will get the application process going," Mayor Terry Weppler said.
The new administrator will have a tentative start date of Dec. 1. Bowens' effective retirement date is Dec. 23.
Bowens started in Libertyville in August 1991, after serving 10 years as assistant city manager in Wheaton and two years as assistant to the village manager in Hoffman Estates. He said it was a "very difficult" decision, but determined the timing was right given this was 25th anniversary in Libertyville. He also said new public works and finance directors recently have been recruited and became part of the administrative staff and his second grandchild is on the way.
"I was very disappointed when he told me he was leaving," said Weppler, an attorney and himself a recent retiree. He jokingly blamed himself for painting too attractive of a retirement picture for Bowens.
The decision had been known by village staff and others but became public with inclusion of the GovHR USA contract on Tuesday night's board meeting agenda. The contract was approved without comment.
Heidi J. Voorhees, the company co-owner and president, served as village manager in Wilmette from 1990 to 2001 and has been a management consultant since.
During that time, she has led more than 220 recruitments for local government entities across the country, according to information provided to village trustees. Among them are top administrators for Lake Bluff, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield and Lake Zurich, she said Wednesday.
A specific schedule of next steps is being determined.
Voorhees declined to speculate on numbers, saying every community and recruitment process is different and that salary and other parameters have not been established. But she acknowledged it is an attractive opportunity.
"There are a lot of things to offer and I think it's a very desirable community," she said.