PRINCETON – The Lee County administrator was hired Wednesday as Princeton’s new city manager.
Administrator Theresa Wittenauer gave her resignation to the Lee County Board Tuesday and will be leaving the position Dec. 13 before starting her new role Dec. 16.
She replaces Rachel Skaggs, who recently resigned after 4 years.
Wittenauer has 2 decades of public administration experience and was hired as the county’s first administrator in 2016 after a year and three hiring searches.
Wittenauer, who managed a broad spectrum of county offices, said she enjoyed the work but felt coerced into resigning for the last few months as the position was put under scrutiny because of budgetary concerns.
The county plans to keep the position open for the foreseeable future to weigh the pros and cons.
Wittenauer has master’s degrees in geography and public administration, both from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb; and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and science from the University of Illinois in Champaign, majoring in political science.
Mayor Joel Quiram said he is excited to welcome a person as skilled as Wittenauer to Princeton.
“Theresa quickly rose to the top of our choices during the interview process,” Quiram said.
He emphasized the progress that had been made under the leadership of Skaggs, and said Wittenauer will build on that platform.
“We had about 20 community members, managers and elected officials involved in the interviews of the final candidates. Theresa was the top choice in each of our groups,” he said. “She has sophisticated abilities and demonstrated successes. We have total confidence she is the right person to strengthen our team and keep Princeton growing.”
Wittenauer has been impressed by Princeton all of her adult life, she said.
“I have been traveling to Princeton for many years, making stops at the restaurants and, of course, the stores. To me, it always looked like Princeton had its act together,” she said.
“The city is doing a lot of the right things. When I saw the opportunity come up, I knew I wanted to be part of it.”
Wittenauer, 42, and her family will move to Princeton from Amboy.