Financial Leadership Unsettled Carpentersville Wants to Hire Finance Director, but He's Undecided about Job
Dillon, Naomi, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Naomi Dillon Daily Herald Staff Writer
In the six months he's been in Carpentersville, interim Finance Director Bob Simpson has drafted a budget, overseen an audit and weathered the glare of public scrutiny.
His next challenge could be doing it all over again. And again. And again.
Village manager Craig Anderson wants to remove the "interim" from Simpson's title.
"We've had some discussion about taking the job on a permanent basis," Anderson said. "He hasn't said no."
"Frankly, I haven't made a decision on whether or not to stay," Simpson said.
The delay in the hiring - and the handling of the vacant job from the beginning - disturbs Trustee Nancy Moore.
"The finance position is one of the most important positions in the village," Moore said.
That's especially true in Carpentersville, which has been struggling to fix longstanding financial problems.
Dave Kowal's departure in January marked the fourth time in as many years the village has lost its top money manager.
Such volatility begs for some permanence, Moore said.
"I want to have a permanent person. That's not an issue," he said. "I hesitated (on hiring) because the middle of the budget and audit process is probably not best time to make a change. It just didn't seem prudent."
But with both projects at or near completion, Anderson said it's time to look at filling the vacancy - and he said he doesn't have to look far.
"From my perspective, I believe he's doing an outstanding job," Anderson said. "He's a seasoned professional."
Simpson's financial experience spans 30 years and includes stints in Mount Prospect, Addison, Fox Lake and most recently in Lake County government, where he was the executive director of the financial services utility system.
The Crystal Lake resident also was president of the Chicago-area chapter of the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association.
Simpson's credentials alone impress Trustee Scott Prusko. But it's been what Simpson has done that's made Prusko a fan.
"In the six months he's been there, he's been thrown into a lot," Prusko said. "I think he's done a tremendous job."
Indeed, it's been no cakewalk for Simpson, who revamped the budget process, shepherded a village audit and is working to free tax revenue being held up by Kane County.
But if Simpson's work is all she has to go on, Moore said she's none too impressed.
"If the budget is an indication of the quality of work Mr. Simpson is giving the village," Moore said. "I believe the quality is substandard."
Although vaunted as a streamlined approach to budget building, Moore found the piecemeal fashion in which the board got the document confusing and hard to follow. …