Could Wauconda finally get a new finance director?
Two years after Wauconda's finance director walked off the job after a dispute with Mayor Frank Bart, village officials are again investigating filling the position.
This time, they'll pursue someone to do the job part time instead of full time.
Hiring a finance director has been a particular priority for Trustee Linda Starkey in recent months.
"The board needs a budget officer and an extra set of eyes," Starkey said during Tuesday night's village board meeting.
The village's current budget doesn't include money for a finance director's salary. That omission was a point of contention for some trustees during the budget-planning process earlier this year.
On Tuesday, however, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner proposed amending the budget to include money for a part-time director.
Maxeiner estimated the salary and benefits for a part-time finance director would total $50,000 annually, much less than the $138,000 estimate for a full-time employee.
The cash can come from the town's general fund, as well as water and sewer accounts, Maxeiner said. Money for some projects can be cut, he said Tuesday.
The trustees and Bart informally supported the proposal. The board could vote Sept. 1 to amend the budget to include money for a finance director.
The village has been without a finance chief since Zaida Torres left under mysterious circumstances in July 2013. Torres, who also had served as village administrator, walked out after a meeting with Bart.
Bart had been highly critical of Torres' performance as village administrator when he ran for mayor.
Torres subsequently was hired by the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency.
In July 2014, the village board hired a Northbrook company to recruit a new finance director. It found a candidate, but the applicant withdrew from consideration after learning about Wauconda's rancorous political atmosphere.
Another candidate never surfaced.
Without a finance director, Maxeiner has handled fiscal duties at village hall, such as budget preparation.
That was a concern for several trustees during Tuesday night's meeting.
"We don't want to see you burn out," Trustee John Barbini told Maxeiner.