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Lake Geneva city clerk to take Darien administrator job

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Kayla Bunge
July 1, 2010

Diana Dykstra is moving from a city that in the last year has made its share of headlines to a village that has done the same.


The Lake Geneva city clerk submitted her resignation Wednesday. She starts as the Darien village administrator July 19.


Dykstra described the career change as an “opportunity.”


“I didn’t want to pass it by,” she said. “I love being a municipal clerk, but I want to move up, and this (position) allows me to have the best of both worlds.”


Dykstra has been the clerk in Lake Geneva since 2002. The city personnel committee will accept her resignation this afternoon and discuss a plan to fill the city clerk position. Dykstra has offered to help the city until the position is filled.


“It’s going to be an easy transition for them,” she said.


Darien officials were impressed with Dykstra. Evelyn Etten, village board president, said she stood out “exceptionally” among those who applied and against the other candidate who interviewed for the job.


“It was fairly easy to pick the top candidate when we were looking specifically for municipal experience,” she said. “We want someone who can hit the ground running and not have to wait a long period of time for training.


“We’ll probably get flak for not interviewing more people, but it was pretty obvious that she stood out.”


Dysktra will replace Marc Dennison, the former village administrator whose first day of work in December 2008 was the day village employees found surveillance cameras in the police department and the day the former village board president suspended the police chief.


Dennison resigned in April.


Etten said officials were looking for an administrator who had experience and could lead the village.


“We need some stability,” she said. “We need people who are sure of themselves and sure of the position.”


Dykstra said she can provide knowledge and longevity to the village.


“They need a stable person in the village, and I think I can offer them exactly what they need,” she said.


Dykstra will receive an annual salary of $58,000, Etten said. Dennison started at an annual salary of $50,000 and received a raise to $55,000 after six months, Etten said.


Dykstra lives in Sharon and is serving her first term as village president there. She said she will remain village president but might have to re-evaluate her schedule after a few months in her new job.


Gazette reporter Ann Marie Ames contributed to this story.

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