OTTAWA — La Salle County’s highway engineer moved up his retirement by two weeks and the county has to replace him — soon.

Monday, the La Salle County Board voted unanimously to give its Hiring Subcommittee the authority to submit a list of candidates to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which administers the test that highway superintendents must pass.

While the vote gives a few board members first crack at interviewing engineer Larry Kinzer’s potential replacements, county board chairman Jim Olson (D-Seneca) assured the board the hiring rests with them.

“Ultimately, it will come back to the board for a final decision,” Olson said, “but this will help keep the process moving along.”

Kinzer is retiring at the end of August and the window is closing to hire someone in time for Kinzer to pass the torch. Olson said IDOT will test up to five candidates, but the agency would prefer no more than three. Kinzer himself will sit in on the subcommittee meetings.

Candidates won’t be identified during the interviewing and testing process; the field of good candidates would shrink if their current employers knew they were sniffing around for Kinzer’s job.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or courtreporter@newstrib.com.

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Tom Collins is the NewsTribune Senior Reporter. He can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or courtreporter@newstrib.com.

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