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'Short-handed' recorder seeks to add staff

Monday, April 07, 2008
Special to suffredin.org
by STEVE PATTERSON

Cook County Recorder Gene Moore is looking for a consultant to help his staff better serve the public, but it's a very specific candidate he wants.

Moore is now soliciting bids for a $25,000 customer service consultant, but all applicants must have at least 18 years' experience working with his office.

A watchdog group says that's a curiously specific requirement, but Deputy Recorder Darlena Williams-Burnett noted the office has gone from three customer service managers to just one.

"We're just short-handed, and this is a better way to address some of our needs," she said.

She said a consultant will be cheaper than a full-time employee, though she acknowledged, "we want someone who knows this office and our process. We've had quite a few people leave us with legal backgrounds and recording experience who we expect will probably apply for it."

Jay Stewart, of the Better Government Association, said consulting contracts are often tailored to attract a "pre-determined favorite."

Governments "can't blatantly state who their preferred candidate is," he said, "so they will use facially neutral requirements, such as years of experience."



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