Ford County Board has 'somebody in mind' for chief assessor's job

PAXTON — Ford County Board members have “somebody in mind who is very qualified” to become the county’s next supervisor of assessments, and if that person passes a test required by the Illinois Department of Revenue, the board intends to vote on hiring her at its March 12 meeting, said Tom McQuinn, chairman of the board’s insurance and personnel committee.

The committee met Feb. 27 to discuss the qualifications for the position and a potential advertisement that would run in local newspapers, if needed, McQuinn said.

McQuinn said no decisions were made during last week’s meeting. McQuinn said the board has spoken informally with the candidate it is interested in hiring and is now waiting to see if she passes the state-required test before deciding whether to hire her or instead advertise the position.

“Depending on what happens there (on the test), that will be what we base our decision on,” McQuinn said, adding that the unnamed candidate was to take the test last Friday morning.

If the candidate passes the test, the board will be expected to be prepared to vote on the proposed hire at its next regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 12, McQuinn said.

“Everything will really get rolling at our next meeting,” McQuinn said. “We will hire the person we want if possible. Or we will advertise for the position.”

McQuinn said that if the candidate in mind does not pass her test, the next step will be to advertise for the job. An alternative option is for Ford County to host the state-mandated test at the courthouse in Paxton for any qualified applicants, McQuinn said.

“Anyone who is qualified can take the test,” McQuinn said. “You have to have other tests and years of experience before you can even take that test. There’s criteria.”

McQuinn said the advertisement for the position has already been prepared, if necessary.

Whoever would be appointed would be expected to serve a four-year term.

On Feb. 26, the county board voted to accept the resignation of Patricia Langland as supervisor of assessments, then voted unanimously to appoint Candice Short to the position on an interim basis. The board voted to hire Short for up to 60 days at a rate of $60 per hour. Her appointment was effective immediately.

The 62-year-old Short was first appointed to the position 15 years ago. She retired as supervisor of assessments on June 30, 2016, “in order to have the time to pursue other interests.” Overall, she worked for 19 1/2 years in the supervisor of assessments office.

Langland resigned as supervisor of assessments effective Feb. 19, stating in her letter of resignation that she did so “for health reasons.” Langland told the Ford County Record that ongoing conflict between her and the board contributed to her decision to step down after only a year and a half on the job.

Three days later, the Ford County Board of Review voted to reverse the controversial new assessments that Langland had assigned to some 1,300 properties in eight communities last year. Langland used an “improper” method to reassess the properties, board of review members said in taking the action.

In reversing Langland’s reassessment of the 1,300 properties, the board of review noted that the action will only apply to those properties that were “revalued using an improper assessment method.” The board of review added that “if an assessment was changed (in 2017) because of a building being demolished or added, those assessments shall stand as revalued.”

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County


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