Ex-county planning director accepts similar job in Illinois

May 20, 1999|By John Murphy | John Murphy,SUN STAFF

Former Carroll Planning Director Philip J. Rovang, who resigned in February as part of a staff shake-up, has been hired as the planning director for Lake County, Ill.

Rovang said yesterday that he will draw on his experiences guiding development in Carroll for 3 1/2 years to plan Lake County's fast-growth future.

Lake County, population 600,000, is between Chicago and Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. It is expected to grow by 250,000 during the next 20 years, Rovang said.

The challenge of the position will be to balance the needs of the county and its 52 municipalities, which contain more than 84 percent of the county's population, Rovang said.

In Carroll, that balancing act succeeded because the county and municipalities worked closely together, he said.

"I think it's really one of the key strong points in Carroll County planning and development. Municipalities are working together. Out there, they are struggling. Each one is doing its own planning," he said of Lake County.

Lake County officials selected Rovang after a nationwide search.

Gary Gibson, assistant Lake County administrator, said the county was impressed by Rovang's leadership skills.

"They wanted to get someone who was a strong manager," Gibson said.

Rovang, who has been in Westminster since his resignation, will start his job in Illinois on June 21. For Rovang, 53, the job will take him close to home -- Iowa, where he was born and raised. Rovang served as planning director of Scott County, Iowa, for 16 years before moving to Carroll in 1995.

Carroll County hired Rovang to update its master plan for growth and to develop a growth-control ordinance. He accomplished both goals before leaving.

Rovang resigned in February amid county staff changes made by the new board of commissioners. The board reorganized four departments and eliminated several key posts, saying the changes could save $300,000.

The commissioners replaced Rovang with Steven Horn, former planning department bureau chief.

Pub Date: 5/20/99

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