McLean County's changing of the guard continues with news that County Administrator Bill Wasson is retiring.
Wasson has worked for the county for 34 years, the last eight as its administrator. He notes it's rare these days to stay in place for an entire career.
“When I joined the workforce it wasn’t quite unusual for somebody to do that,” Wasson noted. “I will tell you from my position, it speaks to the quality of the McLean County organization.”
Wasson added McLean County government is full of what he calls "true believers," meaning staff and elected leaders don't always agree, but they believe their work is important.
“We are all a community and working together,” Wasson said.
Wasson plans to leave June 1. He made the announcement Tuesday.
The task of choosing Wasson's successor rests with a County Board that will have six new members next month.
The County Board presented plaques Tuesday to those exiting members: Don Cavallini, Mark Johnson, Ryan Scritchlow, Erik Rankin, Paul Segobiano and David Selzer. They served a combined 88 years on the board.
New County Board members will be sworn in Dec. 3.
The McLean County Board adopted a $96 million budget Tuesday. The spending plan keeps tax rates flat.
Wasson said the state gave the county some economic certainty after it ended a nearly two-year budget stalemate.
“The budget came late for a couple of years and ultimately our ability to determine exactly how the budget was going to function in 2018 and what revenues were going to come from the state of Illinois was extremely difficult with the short period of time we had,” Wasson said.
The county cut 40 positions in recent years mostly through early retirement. Wasson said the county hopes to add 16 positions next year.
“We’ve been able to identify some outside funding opportunities through grants to help us to increase positions,” Wasson said.
Full-time and regular part-time staff will see pay raises of 2.25 percent. Wasson said the county is still negotiating with three bargaining units.
The budget marks a 1 percent increase over the 2018 spending plan. It projects a 1 percent rise in equalized assessed valuation.
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