Lake County Board rewards administrator with two-year extension

  • Gary Gibson

    Gary Gibson

 
 
Updated 11/9/2021 4:13 PM

Lake County Administrator Gary Gibson received a contract extension and an enthusiastic vote of confidence from his bosses Tuesday.

The county board unanimously approved a two-year pact for Gibson, a veteran employee who came out of retirement in 2019 to serve as interim administrator and then was hired full-time just as the coronavirus pandemic erupted.

 

"Gary has done an exemplary job as county administrator," said board Chair Sandy Hart. "He cares deeply and passionately about public service and Lake County."

The two-year extension begins Feb. 16, 2022, at an annual base salary of $247,000.

County board member Angelo Kyle. who said he has served with four different county administrators, praised Gibson for his integrity.

"Gary has stood above the crowd. He has impeccable skill sets and experience," Kyle said.

Gibson served as an assistant county administrator from 1993 to 2008. He also worked as assistant manager, and then manager, for the county's workforce investment board from 2008 to 2017, and in other governmental roles.

He came out of retirement in September 2019 on an interim basis after the unexpected resignation of Administrator Bill Panos, who quit after two months to take a job in North Dakota.

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Hart, a Lake Bluff Democrat, nominated Gibson for the full-time post. He received bipartisan support from the board and a starting annual salary of $225,000.

Gibson was charged with leading the county through an unprecedented time which still is having ramifications on personnel and budgeting.

"It was a challenging situation in so many ways," said John Wasik, a Democrat from Grayslake. Gibson, he added, has shown "extraordinary leadership" and fostered a culture of compassion.

Gibson credited his relationship with the board and the herculean effort of county staff and employees for any success he has had.

"I'm humbled beyond belief," he said. "I do have my Kleenex here."

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