SYCAMORE – About a month before his retirement, DeKalb County officials recognized the county's administrator for his nearly four decades of service during the County Board meeting this week.
DeKalb County Board Chairman Mark Pietrowski Jr. said to County Administrator Gary Hanson during the virtual meeting on Wednesday that to live a life in public service is to live a good life.
“And Gary, you have lived a good life," Pietrowski said. "And I know your service for others and your care for the community will continue well beyond your retirement.”
Hanson is retiring as of Dec. 31 after 37 years of service with the county, which included him working as the county's finance director and later the county's administrator, according to county documents. The county's executive committee recently started the process to recruit for a new county administrator, with applications due no later than Dec. 4.
Pietrowski said it’s been an honor to work side by side with Hanson throughout Pietrowski's whole time as County Board chairman. He said Hanson's retirement is well earned and that he appreciated getting to know Hanson and serving the public with him.
“I think you’re an outstanding county administrator but an even better person,” Pietrowski said.
DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott; Karen Grush, retired health department administrator for DeKalb County; and retired Illinois State Sen. Brad Burzynski also
"It's really good news for you, but not so good news for us," Scott said.
Hanson said he appreciated the kind words from county officials and friends during the Wednesday meeting. He harkened back to the remarks he gave in 2012 when he was appointed as county administrator, which included the addage that to whom much is given, much is expected.
"I tried to remember and live by those words during my eight years as county administrator and I truly hope that I met those expectations during all of my years in the county," Hanson said.
The DeKalb County Board also voted, 24-0, to approve keeping Hanson on board on an interim basis between his retirement date and the starting date of his successor with a pay rate of $92.20 per hour. That update comes after multiple members of the county's executive committee spoke in favor of naming Hanson the interim administrator before the committee voted, 9-0, on Nov. 12 to bring the arrangement before the County Board for a final vote.
Hanson had said the County Board is on track to hopefully approve the hiring of his successor during their Dec. 16 meeting but it still might be another 30 days from then for the new hire to give notice at a previous job. He had said he created a resolution to appoint an interim for a smooth transition and had told county elected officials that he's willing to fulfill interim duties if that is the will of the County Board.
"This is to have in place Mr. Hanson in case we don't get an administrator hired by Dec. 31 or if the decision is made that we need to have someone help the new county administrator transition to that position for a designated period of time after they are employed," DeKalb County Board Vice-Chairman John Frieders said. "Mr. Hanson would be that person to help in that transition."