Digital Access

Digital Access
Access theherald-news.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
Local News

Bolingbrook names acting mayor, co-village administrators

Management restructured after Claar's retirement

Mary Alexander-Basta was appointed to become acting mayor of Bolingbrook at a Village Board meeting on Thursday.
Mary Alexander-Basta was appointed to become acting mayor of Bolingbrook at a Village Board meeting on Thursday.

Two days after accepting the resignation of longtime Mayor Roger Claar, the Bolingbrook Village Board named an acting mayor and appointed co-village administrators.

The restructuring slashes the mayor's salary and reduces it to a part-time position after the April election.

The board on Thursday approved Trustee Mary Alexander-Basta to serve as mayor on an interim basis until a new mayor is elected. She was first elected to the board in 2019.

This comes after a change in village government in which the mayor's position will become part-time. Alexander-Basta said she will serve as "a full-time mayor" but will accept the part-time salary of $35,000 the board approved on Tuesday.

Claar made over $100,000 as full-time mayor.

Claar argued that keeping the job full-time could deter others interested in the position if they would have to give up their regular jobs.

On Tuesday, the board also voted to implement two co-village administrators, a move that allows Ken Teppel to retire from the police department and begin collecting a pension while apparently performing much the same duties on a salary of about $160,000.

Teppel, the village's director of public safety, and Lucas Rickelman, the village's director of public services and development, will be co-administrators.

They will essentially be in charge of the village business they already oversee. During Tuesday's meeting, Claar said in their roles as co-administrators, Teppel would be in charge of public safety and Rickelman would be in charge of public services, planning and engineering.

Trustee Bob Jaskiewicz said he had concerns about the new personnel structure including an annual automatic pay raise built in for elected officials. Claar argued the pay raise was only about 1.5% for a cost of living adjustment.

Jaskiewicz also said he had heard from residents who wanted the village to hold a town hall meeting on the change to a part-time mayor. Claar said trustees had been discussing the change for several months until Tuesday's vote, which included time for debate.

On Tuesday, Claar argued the solution was the best for the village and would save taxpayers "approximately $250,000." He said Teppel and Rickelman had the experience and knowledge in Bolingbrook to keep village business running smoothly as he left office.

Claar also said Tuesday that Teppel was retiring Friday as a member of the Bolingbrook Police Department after 29 years with the agency, which entitles him to collect a pension.

"He's earned every penny of it," Claar said Tuesday.

Loading more