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Rodriguez Reflects On ‘Whirlwind’ Time in McLean County Government

Women speaking at conference table
Eric Stock
/
WGLT
McLean County Administrator Camille Rodriguez, left, talks with County Board member Catherine Metsker during a county Finance committee meeting on June 2.

McLean County Administrator Camille Rodriguez is returning to public health. She plans to start next week as the executive director of public health in Boulder, Colo.

In some respects, Rodriguez never left public health.

Soon after she moved from the McLean County Health Department to county administration, the coronavirus pandemic consumed county government and much of our daily lives.

Rodriguez said the community has shown caring and compassion during a difficult time.

“It’s been a whirlwind and yet sometimes I felt like COVID years feel like dog years,” she mused. “I feel like I’ve been here longer.”

Rodriguez came to McLean County in December 2017 from Wisconsin, where she worked for that state’s Department of Health Services. She replaced Bill Wasson as McLean County administrator in June 2019.

Rodriquez was the county's first female administrator.

She said she appreciated the McLean County Board of Health giving her the opportunity as an unknown in the community.

"What confidence this government had—the board of health and then the county board—in me being so new to the county without 20, 30 years of tenure,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said COVID-19 reinforced for her the need to communicate within county agencies and with the public.

“Folks were not happy with county government because they thought we were mandating masks, or there were other similar people who said I wasn’t mandating masks enough,” Rodriguez reflected. “(There was) so much passion and so much caring for community.”

She commended the county board and county department heads for being able to adjust the COVID restrictions while still serving the public and supporting staff.

Rodriguez’s advice for her successor: over communicate with board members and department heads.

“Stay positive in your service because nothing bad can come of rolling up your sleeves and giving of yourself to a local government,” she said. “It’s been an amazing opportunity for me.”

The county board has not yet named her successor.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.