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Billing manager working on Kane Animal Control finances

Updated: March 22, 2013 10:02AM

The Kane County Animal Control Department brought in a billing manager on a temporary basis at the end of January, in an effort to improve its financial condition.

Robert Sauceda, the new billing manager, has been evaluating department procedures to determine their efficiency, Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers told the Public Health Committee this week.

“Once again, we’re not only looking at revenue, we’re looking at efficient and effective practices,” Jeffers said.

Sauceda, of South Elgin, was a Republican candidate for the County Board in 2012, but lost his race.

County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen pushed Sauceda as a candidate for the Health Department’s executive director position, but the board denied this request in an executive session back in January.

So while the county continues its search for a director, the billing manager position was created and filled by Lauzen last month.

County Board member Jesse Vazquez expressed concerns over potentially violating the county’s hiring policies, by not bringing the position in front of the County Board.

“Are we going to follow the processes in place, or not?” he said.

Streamlining system

The billing manager is looking at several aspects to streamline the system, Jeffers said.

For example, there are low-cost clinics held at various locations around the county, where residents can more affordably receive shots for their pets. The people who participate are still required to register their animals with animal control. The department can work better to remind those who participate that there’s an additional step, she said.

Jeffers said the department is now utilizing robo calls instead of postcard notifications for registration and tags. They recently made 1,900 calls for less than $100. That number of postcards would have cost about $800, she said.

The department has also utilized Twitter and Facebook accounts to create general awareness and interact with the public, Jeffers said.

All of the efforts are an attempt to make the department more financially solvent while they search for a permanent animal control director. Jeffers said they were looking at cutting off the acceptance of resumes for that position at the end of February.

Lauzen said that the billing manager came as a necessary step to turn the department around in the interim. Last year, Animal Control missed a $93,000 mortgage payment on its building.

“Hiring the building manager is a small but integral part in getting the cash flow in,” Lauzen said.

The County Board discovered that Animal Control was months behind on entering vaccination records last year when board member Melisa Taylor received a notification in the mail for a pet that actually was up to date with its shots.

The billing manager position is an hourly, temporary position with no benefits.

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