Circuit Clerk Candidates Have Different Management Styles

Article excerpt

Byline: Josh Stockinger jstockinger@dailyherald.com

DuPage County Circuit Clerk candidate Ralph Scalise says he could save taxpayers as much as $450,000 through management cuts and attrition in what he describes as a "top-heavy" office.

The Carol Stream Democrat faces off Tuesday against incumbent Republican Chris Kachiroubas of Elmhurst, who contends he is already saving the public $400,000 a year and denies being overrun with managers.

"Top-heavy? No. Experience? Yes," Kachiroubas said, noting his management team has about 170 years of combined experience. "They can give me local history, old history and moving-forward ideas, and help me make policy decisions."

In a meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board, Scalise likened the clerk's office under Kachiroubas to the "wild, wild west." He criticized his opponent for outsourcing some functions that reduced support staff while keeping eight to 10 managers and supervisors.

Kachiroubas, meanwhile, maintained that in his first two terms he's reduced his overall head count while enacting policies that are less expensive and more efficient. He also made it a priority to cross-train employees, so they're prepared for any job handed to them, he said.

"Since 2004, we've gone from a 196 full-time head count down to 179, and our budget has had a 1 percent increase from 2005 to the 2013 one we presented to the county board," Kachiroubas said. "When you cross-train people, you get eight hours out of them. Many of our people can do two or three different types of job tasks. We undertook cross-training in January, and we've done it aggressively."

Scalise said he would have a deputy clerk rather than two directors of operations and whittle down remaining management through attrition and restructuring. …