New HR position established; Haney loses appointment power

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Winnebago County Board members are bringing more changes to county departments, this time focusing on the Human Resources Department.

Courtesy: Winnebago County

At their most recent meeting on July 11, a new administrative position was established. The Chief Human Resources Officer will oversee the Winnebago County Human Resource Department. It will also help the county administrator improve its personnel management and training county employees.

After the meeting, it still is not clear on when the county will begin to fill the position. A salary for the position also has not been established yet as well. This position came with lots of debate at the meeting, as many board members want to wait until a county administrator is hired first, and that will take place in a different way than in the past.

The next county administrator will now be decided by the County Board itself. Board members took away that power from Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney at their meeting Thursday.

This ordinance changes the county code which previously stated, “The county administrator shall be appointed or dismissed by the county board chairman with the advice and consent of the county board.”

Originally on the agenda, the stripping of Haney's appointment power wasn't going to take place until the next Winnebago County Board meeting on July 25. However, District 7 Board member Paul Arena made the initial suggestion that they suspend those rules and vote right away on the stripping of Haney's power.

This comes after current administrator, Carla Paschal, announced her impending resignation to take affect on August 2. At the meeting Thursday, the agenda stated for an appointment of an interim administrator, but that was laid over.

This is not the first instance where Haney has lost his power. Back on January 24, the Winnebago County Board voted to have the county administrator report to the board itself, rather than directly to Chairman Haney.

Then just under 3 months later on April 11, Haney's duties were once again changed including negotiations, budget processing, and more, giving those roles to the county administrator.