Lake County's deputy administrator poised to be named interim boss
Longtime Deputy Lake County Administrator Amy McEwan is set to step into her boss's shoes -- at least temporarily -- after Administrator Barry Burton departs for a job in Florida.
The county board is expected to name McEwan interim county administrator Tuesday. If approved, she'll take on the new responsibilities starting Oct. 24.
McEwan, 46, of Libertyville, was hired as an assistant county administrator in 2006. She was promoted to deputy administrator in 2010.
Before coming to Lake County, McEwan worked in municipal government in Michigan.
She said she's excited for the new opportunity.
"(I) have been preparing for this role throughout my 25 years of local government service," McEwan said.
Board member Sandy Hart is confident McEwan is the right person for the job.
"She has an incredible knowledge of Lake County government, and I think it will be a seamless transition," said Hart, a Lake Bluff Democrat.
McEwan's $191,500 annual salary will increase to $229,000 once she starts as interim administrator, documents indicate. She'll also receive health and vacation benefits and a $7,000 annual car allowance, an increase from her current $5,000 allowance.
If McEwan is not named county administrator beyond an interim basis, she will revert to deputy administrator and her salary will decrease to $210,000 annually. The $7,000 car allowance would remain.
Burton, who has led Lake County's staff since 2002, is leaving to become administrator in Pinellas County, which is on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Although the board has not publicly discussed a long-term replacement, officials said a national search is planned, and a selection committee will be created after the Nov. 6 election. Steve Carlson was among the board members who hopes McEwan applies for the post.
"(She is) absolutely eminently qualified," said Carlson, a Gurnee-area Republican. "She's smart. She's diligent. She's diplomatic."
Some county board candidates have criticized county leaders for not publicly disclosing that McEwan and Chief Communications Officer Jennie Vana are married to men whose companies have county contracts. In both cases, the spouses' professional relationships with the county predate the personal relationships.
Burton publicly defended McEwan and Vana last week and said the candidates are misleading the public.
The county board is set to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday, at the county government building, 18 N. County St., Waukegan. The meeting is open to the public and also viewable live online at lctv.swagit.com.