GERMANTOWN HILLS — This village has a new administrative assistant.
Time will tell whether Tim Neubeck’s hiring will help heal old divisions.
“I’d like to see things settle down, but that’s a whole other story,” Trustee Clark Hopkins said Thursday night after he and his colleagues voted 5-1 to approve Neubeck’s employment.
Neubeck is to begin work next week. He’s to replace Ann Sasso, the 20-year clerk the board fired in November during a contentious meeting. Former Woodford County Administrator Greg Seefeldt has been interim clerk.
According to Hopkins, Neubeck will be paid $42,600 a year, serve at the board’s will and assume many duties Sasso once performed, including compilation of Village Board meeting minutes. But Neubeck also is likely to assist the village in its economic development efforts.
“I think you’re going to see the village get deeply involved in economic development,” Hopkins said. “Economic development has just taken off. It wasn’t here, per se, when Ann was here.”
The board approved Neubeck in open session after it convened in executive session to discuss his hiring. The board’s personnel committee, which Hopkins chairs, interviewed three candidates and forwarded two for consideration.
Hopkins didn’t know Neubeck’s age, but in the late 2000s he received a political science degree from Northern Illinois University. In 2010, NIU awarded him a master’s degree in public administration.
Previously, Neubeck worked for the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council. He also was economic development coordinator in Marengo, a city of about 7,500 in McHenry County.
Germantown Hills is about half Marengo’s size. That kind of discrepancy appeared to influence John Ford, who cast the only vote against Neubeck.
“He’s qualified, but this is a young guy looking to move up,” Ford said. “I thought he’d get in here, get some experience under his belt and as soon as something else came up, he’d be gone. I could be completely wrong.”
Ford also was the only board member to vote against Sasso’s firing. That meeting took place in front of about 60 people, most of them Sasso supporters.
Officially, Sasso was fired for making untruthful and insubordinate statements and for compiling inaccurate board minutes. Last September, Sasso filed a sex-discrimination and retaliation complaint with state and federal officials.
“There’s a lot of people still upset about it,” Ford said in reference to the firing. “If this guy comes in and does well and Ann moves on to something else, great. I still think the way she was let go was wrong.”