ELBURN – Doug Elder said he had no idea that his time filling in for Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett could lead to a permanent job with the village. But he said it ultimately could have been viewed as an audition.
Elder was appointed Monday to be the village’s finance director, a position that recently was approved by the Village Board. He filled in for months while Willrett was on maternity leave, helping guide the village through the budgeting process and the update of its comprehensive land-use plan.
“I had no inkling that it would develop into this,” said Elder, who added that it wasn’t until after he began working for the village that he learned Village President Dave Anderson was looking to create the position.
The announcement was one of several made Monday at the Elburn Village Board meeting. New Village Board member Patricia Schuberg was sworn in, and the board paid tribute to Jerry Schmidt, who chose not to seek re-election to the board in April. Village leaders also honored Mike Greenen, who had served as the village’s treasurer. Elder’s new position will fulfill those duties.
Also, Randy Ream was appointed to the village’s planning commission, taking the spot vacated by Schuberg. Ream is the owner of Ream’s Elburn Market in downtown Elburn.
The meeting was brief, with a lighthearted atmosphere. Trustee Bill Grabarek recited a poem he had written in Schmidt’s honor, and trustees sang “Happy Birthday” to Anderson, who turned 69 on Tuesday.
The position of finance director was brought up earlier this year, with Anderson saying it would be a $79,000-a-year position, based on a 32-hour workweek. Anderson pitched it as an opportunity for Willrett to be able to focus more on economic development. Elder said the key difference between his duties as finance director and village administrator is that the village administrator position has broader responsibilities.
“The financial burden will be taken off of Erin and rest with Doug,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he had no idea that Elder would be the right fit for the new role, but he said that Elder stood out when candidates were interviewed for the temporary position to fill in for Willrett.