News Local/State

Champaign Co. Administrator Snider Hired For Rantoul Administrative Job

Welcome sign for the village of Rantoul, Illinois.

A welcome sign for the village of Rantoul, Illinois. Village of Rantoul

After 18 months as Champaign County Administrator, Rick Snider is leaving the post to become the village administrator of Rantoul, effective December First.

The Rantoul  Village Board voted 4 to 2 at a special meeting Thursday night, to hire Snider over a competing candidate from Harvey.  Snider will succeed Jeff Fiegenshuh, who left the position to take a similar job in the town of Rochelle.

Snider sought the Rantoul village administrator’s position, after Champaign County voters last year approved the creation of an elected county executive to oversee county government. Voters will choose their first Champaign County Executive in 2018, which could lead to the elimination of the county administrator’s post.

The Champaign County Board voted last month in support of keeping the county administrator’s position, but Snider says the future of that job remains uncertain.

“Certainly (the county executive office) wasn’t contemplated when I was originally recruited to come to Champaign County”, said Snider. “But, you know, you just have to work with what you’ve got, sometimes.”

Snider says he’s thrilled to be chosen as Rantoul’s new village administrator. He says quality-of-life issues will be among his big concerns in his new job, including implementation of the Crime-Free Housing Initiative that the Rantoul Village Board approved earlier this year.

Snider says the initiative could improve Rantoul’s tax base --- along with safety conditions at the village’s multi-unit rental housing.

“I think that’s one thing that people want, is to be able to feel safe and secure in their homes for the obvious reasons. But also, I think it supports property values. The E-A-V in the village has been constrained, and I think that has had an impact on providing services to the residents.”

E-A-V refers to Equalized Assessed Valuation, or property value for tax purposes.

Snider says he’ll also be devoting time to economic development issues. Noting the recent business and industrial growth on Rantoul’s west side, he says more needs to be done to develop the former Chanute Air Force Base site on the town’s east side.

Meanwhile, Snider’s departure from Champaign County government means a new county administrator will be needed on December First, which marks the start of the county’s fiscal year.

The News-Gazette reports that the Champaign County board could start negotiations with a new county administrator candidate next month.

The newspaper says that County Board Chair C. Pius Weibel hopes to get approval to start negotiations with a replacement candidate at a November 14 committee meeting, with approval of that person’s appointment by the full county board on Nov. 21. The replacement would serve until Champaign County’s first county executive takes office after the November 2018 election.