Prairie Advocate News


Michael Doty First Carroll County Administrator

By Tom Kocal,

MT. CARROLL - For the first time in the long history of the Carroll County Board, an administrator was hired at the July 17 board meeting.

Michael Doty of Belvedere, Illinois, was introduced to the board by a member of the Administrator Selection Committee, Paul Hartman (D-1). Hartman was reporting on the hiring process in the absence of committee chair Rod Fritz (D-3).

"It took several sessions to interview the 14 candidates that applied for the position," Hartman said. "After several additional meetings with the three finalists, we selected Michael Doty." It is anticipated that Doty will start August 1, at a salary of $65,000/year.

Board Chairman Sharon Hook made the recommendation to hire Doty, then asked the board for their approval. All voted yes, except for Lou Lamoreux (D-3), who has voiced his concern in the past that the county does not have the finances to pursue this new position.

Hartman later commented that the Committee, "armed with a list of 22 questions and individual rating forms, received 14 resumes from potential administrators and began by conducting interviews for all applicants." He said eleven potentials were interviewed over a three day time frame. This listing was reduced to three potential candidates for a second interview.

New Carroll Co., IL Board Administrator

Carroll County Board Chairman Sharon Hook welcomes Michael Doty, officially appointed the new Carroll County Administrator at the July 17 Board meeting. Doty is expected to begin his duties August 1.(PA photo/Tom Kocal)

"In my opinion, Mr. Doty is the correct fit for Carroll County for this very challenging position," Hartman added. "The Committee, being aware of the internal activities and needs of the county, established some important guidelines to select just the right person to foster an ongoing and successful tool to enhance Carroll County's future.

"Most important the Committees' goals were to define the role of the administrator to achieve the necessary goals of the county board through good communication channels with all county departments, committees,and elected officials that will lead to better informed leadership and good decisions by the Board.

"It is my personal opinion that professional management is a tool to achieve objectives in a well- planned economic manner resulting in measurable goal achievements and a more efficiently run county," Hartman continued. "Mr. Doty was chosen by the committee and subsequently approved by the board to possess the administrative skills and individual diligence to set and achieve individual alternative goals that will be beneficial to the county."

Meeting Reimbursement

Hartman also reported on the State's Attorney/Finance committee in the absence of committee chair Rod Fritz (D-3). The board approved several amendments to Chapter 40, Sec.40-1 regarding Board member reimbursement for attending regular or special meetings of the CC Board to which the member has been appointed. The per diem applies to board members for attendance at any committee or agency listed.

There were six changes to paragraph (b). The changes included removing the TIF review Board, Tuberculosis Board, and CASA Board of Directors, as well as resducing the Extension Executive Council to one member. The additions include the Board of Health, Carroll County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC), and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Hartman had suggested at the committee meeting that reimbursement be limited to committees made by the Board Chair.

New Roofing, Phones

Kevin Reibel (D-1) reported for the Sheriff/Property Committee, said that the Courtyard beautification project is progressing, with new plantings by the pillars on the west side of the Courthouse.

Reibel said the committee is researching an update of the entire courthouse phone system. "Sheriff Doran is contacting several vendors to provide bids for a complete new system, since many of the phones are outdated and can no longer be replaced or repaired."

The Board approved the roofing project that encompasses the roof over the State's Attorney's office and the Circuit Clerk's office. The total amount of the bid received from Freeport Industrial Roofing, Inc. is $29,745. The bid also provides maintenance to the remaining flat roofs of the Courthouse.

Junk or Not?

There was no formal report from the Ag & Zoning Committee, but there was discussion on the review of the county garbage and junk ordinance. The question was asked, "What constitutes a violation?" Julie Yuswak, Zoning Administrator, said that "Accumulated debris in yards are considered junk and debris unless it is in an approved container.

"Cars and trucks over 25 years old in a yard are considered antique vehicles," Yuswak said, but she wasn't sure if they had to be licensed or not. She added that there were no laws against inoperable farm equipment lying around, which prompted a one-word reply from Ron Preston (D-2): "Wow."

Board Chair Sharon Hook (D-2) added, "With the price of scrap metal, some farmers have a fortune sitting on their property."

Sample ordinances from Ogle County will be reviewed at the next Ag/Zoning meeting.

The Board approved a resolution to "establish a Class III designated truck route along with a truck access route program agreement for West Ideal Road. Work on Ideal Rd. is still in progress, Preston reported, and needs to be finalized before seal coating begins. Work will continue after seal coating is done.

Planning Session

Chuck Wemstrom (D-3) reported on the County Services and Development Committee. A long-range planning session is being scheduled for a Saturday in September or October. Don Paul with IL Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will moderate the day-long session, fully funded by DCEO. "Chairman Hook has graciously offered to pay for lunch," Wemstrom said. "One day is planned so far, but after the meeting, we may determine that follow-up meetings are required."


There was lengthy discussion regarding the approval of the plat for Planned Unit Development (PUD) on land owned by the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) at Savanna Depot Park.

"This is about land not yet developed," Hook said. "It is not platted. The roads are there, and it has been surveyed, but there is no preliminary plat presented, because it was formerly the Army Depot."

Yuswak said the plat was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2004, but it is not up to the ZBA to approve the final plat. "There is planning for possible condominium development for residential use," Yuswak said.

The main concern that Hook had was the fact that "the LRA is not going to be there forever." Hook wants to see a requirement that the LRA give written notice to potential and current land owners that some day, they will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the water and sewer system at the former depot.

"I know people are anxious to buy property. I just want them to know what's in store down the road. Plus, the Army is not releasing property in any organized manner. One piece here, one piece there. It's hard to establish zoning."

Yuswak, referring to the water/sewer system, said the property owners could someday hire someone, or a municipality, to operate the system, or sell it to a utility to operate, who could charge user fees as a municipality does.

Hartman said that currently, the system is operating well and is in good shape. "That's not a concern."

Reibel is concerned that without the restriction regarding the water treatment plant, there could be legal issues for the county if they approve the plat, and the future condo owners are someday left with no water or sewer service.

"The LRA is ready to sell property, " Yuswak added. "The legal description for seven lots has been completed. The LRA has had offers. They would like this approved as soon as possible."

"There are a lot of issues here," said State's Attorney Scott Brinkmeier. "I would like to review it before adding a restriction."

The matter was tabled until the August 21 meeting.

No Room

The CS&D committee will also pursue a Space Needs Analysis of the courthouse, Wemstrom said. He would like a $20,000 line item added to next year's budget for this study.

"We have no room here," Wemsrom said. "We have to hold a Board retreat out of the courthouse because there is no room. The new administrator is getting the Board chairman's office. This will be a good topic for discussion at the retreat."

GIS Report

The Board approved a capital purchase of a new computer for the GIS Dept., requested by Dustin Esser of the GIS. He reported that much progress has been accomplished the past year.

"The land use mapping project is done, except for Fairhaven and Woodland Townships. Most of Mt. Carroll is done, too," Esser said.

He has updated rural parcels for 3 townships. "Then I'll start with the new surveys and work backwards to coordinate and update the maps."

Esser has also updated a Carroll County map for the Thomson Correctional Center, complete with roads, wooded areas, fields, etc., will be assisting Greg Miller and the Emergency Services Board to update county maps, updated roads and 9-1-1 addresses for the Eastland School District bus routes, and has updated 9-1-1 maps for all the county fire departments.

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