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Kane County closer to naming permanent Health Department director

Updated: March 10, 2013 6:04AM

Interim Kane County Health Department Director Barb Jeffers is one step closer to having the first word removed from her job title.

Jeffers came in on a temporary basis last June, after previous director Paul Kuehnert left for another position. Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen introduced a measure at the executive committee meeting Tuesday that would keep her in place. The measure still needs to pass the full county board next week before it can be adopted.

“This would make her the full-fledged director,” Lauzen said.

Jeffers, who previously worked for the Department of Human Services and holds a master’s degree in public health, would be paid $109,386 annually.

Jeffers wants to make turning around a struggling animal control department — which sits under the health department in the county structure — a top priority, she said.

She wants to make sure that the department can be a revenue producer again. Last year, the department went through an overhaul after it was discovered that it was behind entering vaccination records. Efforts to send out late notices were halted when they determined department records were behind.

The county also is in the process of filling the executive director position for animal control, who would report to Jeffers.

“It’s important we make sure we get the right person in there, so we’re not impulsive in that decision,” Jeffers said.

Board member Melisa Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, who serves on the Public Health Committee, said she is excited about the prospect of Jeffers continuing to serve. Taylor said that Jeffers is always working. She’s received work related emails at 10:30 at night from Jeffers, Taylor said.

“She takes ownership of her job,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that Jeffers has inserted herself into the animal control department to better understand how to correct some of the issues that plague them.

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