MORRIS – Maintenance man Larry Pelehowski has tended to leaky roofs, rusty faucets, dirty carpets and all manner of breakdowns in his six years at the Grundy County Administration building.
As of Tuesday, Pelehowski is the county’s newest supervisor of maintenance after the Grundy County Board approved his promotion 11-4, with members Vicki Geiger and Deb Warning abstaining. The board acted in accordance with the Facilities Committee, which recommended Pelehowski for the job at its Monday meeting.
“I am very excited about it,” Pelehowski said Monday. “I’ve been doing this job since January, so I think I can handle it. I like a challenge.”
The county’s previous maintenance supervisor, Joe Przenieslo, resigned in January after multiple years of employment with the county.
After posting for the job in February, the county hired Josh Foster in April, but Foster resigned mere days after starting the position.
According to members of the Grundy County Personnel Committee, Foster resigned because “he missed the social interaction” of his old job at Park Pointe Healthcare & Rehabilitation in Morris.
While the maintenance department was leaderless, Pelehowski and his two co-workers worked overtime hours to keep the department going.
Pelehowski absorbed the duties of supervisor during that time, including putting together project bids, compiling monthly reports and overseeing the department budget.
The full board discussed Pelehowski’s work in length in detail before taking their vote. Some members felt he was not capable of the new position, but the majority of members felt he was.
“He has grown and he is putting in the effort,” Facilities committee Chairman John Roth told the full board Tuesday.
The facilities committee discussed Monday hiring another part-time janitor to help with nighttime cleaning of the administration building.
“One thing we really need to do, because the department has been short-staffed since Joe left, we need to get somebody for that night shift,” Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson said Monday. “We just need some help. We’ve always had a staff of four and we’ve been running with three since Joe left.”
Money is already budgeted for another employee, Severson said, so it would not be a strain on the department’s budget.
County Administrator Heidi Miller said the county needs janitorial help, especially with some of the issues at the administration building.
“The janitorial issues, especially for this building, have been a concern,” Miller said.
Pelehowski will be performing added managerial duties and could to receive a pay raise. The Grundy County Personnel Committee will discuss his salary and the terms of his contract at its meeting Thursday.