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Schaid (click for larger version)
WEISS_JIM
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Weiss
May 06, 2014 | 04:04 PM
LINN — The town is still looking for someone to replace Michael Schaid, the former highway superintendent who resigned in February.

At a special meeting Monday, the Linn Town Board approved advertising the job in local newspapers. The deadline for applications is June 2 at 3 p.m.

On the phone Tuesday morning, town chairman Jim Weiss said it could be another 60 to 90 days before the board hires a replacement.

On Monday, the board decided not to change the existing superintendent job description.

On Tuesday, Weiss said they wanted to revisit the description prior to the interview process. That’s one reason why ads will go out two months after Schaid’s resignation.

Has the supervisor vacancy left the department in a lurch?

“I don’t think we’ve lost a beat, but can we do as much? No,” said Weiss.

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Now, the department is one full-time employee, Dan Pitt. Part-timers are usually hired just for the winter, said Weiss, and the town also usually hires a part-timer to help out for the summer.

Schaid’s Feb. 12 resignation letter was short: “I, Michael Schaid, hereby resign my employment with the town of Linn effective immediately.”

An attempt to reach him for comment was unsuccessful.

Schaid became the Linn superintendent in May 2012. Previously, he was the highway commissioner in Hebron, Ill., an elected position which holds a four-year term. His first term began in April 2005, and was in the middle of his second term when he resigned to take the job in Linn.

Town board members were asked to comment on his resignation.

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Weiss and supervisor Alex Palmer said, “No comment.” Attempts to obtain comments from Supervisors Christine Jones, Craig DeYoung and Roy White were unsuccessful.

Board members were asked what kind of person is the ideal candidate.

“We need a person that is good at management, long-range highway maintenance planning, and at the same time, we need someone not afraid to get their hands dirty accomplishing day-to-day highway tasks, such as snow plowing, trimming trees and road repairs,” Palmer said in an email Monday. Weiss was reluctant to answer because he doesn’t want to skew the interview process and influence board members or potential job candidates. “Let’s see how it plays out,” he said. Is this a political job?

“Technically, no,” Weiss said. “But anytime you get involved in a municipality … politics come into play.”

He added that in jobs such as this, the goal is to keep everybody happy, “but in reality, that’s very difficult and challenging to accomplish.”

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“This is not a political job,” said Palmer. “A good highway superintendent understands the political environment in which we operate, but does their job based upon the direction of the elected officials in charge of running the township.”

What will be the next superintendent’s greatest challenge?

“We have over 100 miles of roads to manage, limited budgets, and differing interests within the township,” said Palmer. “The superintendent’s greatest challenge will be to get the most out of our limited highway dollars and balance competing interests across the community.”

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