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Koenen in line for St. Charles city administrator post

ST. CHARLES – Pending St. Charles City Council approval, Public Works Director Mark Koenen will change his job title to city administrator Aug. 31.

“I have to say I was honored to be invited to accept the position,” Koenen said. “It seems right.”

Mayor Ray Rogina announced Koenen’s upcoming appointment Wednesday.

The St. Charles City Council is set to vote on the nomination Aug. 19.

“I expect a unanimous vote on Aug. 19,” Rogina said, noting aldermen have shown enthusiasm about Koenen considering the job.

Koenen will replace outgoing City Administrator Brian Townsend, who announced last month that he accepted the position of Schaumburg village manager.

About finding a new city administrator, Rogina said he asked himself whether there was an internal candidate who knows the town and the community.

“The answer came pretty quickly in the form of Mark Koenen,” he said.

According to the city news release, Koenen has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration.

In 2012, he was awarded Life Membership status to the American Public Works Association.

He has been with the city since 1982, when he began as a civil engineer, he said. He became Public Works director in 1990.

According to the release, the Public Works Department has 96 employees and a $92 million budget, making it St. Charles’ largest department.

Under Koenen’s leadership, the Red Gate Bridge was completed on time and under budget, and street and utility maintenance has been a priority, as has seeking state and federal grant funding and low-interest loans for infrastructure upgrades and replacement.

Koenen said he will miss his Public Works responsibilities – such as providing services that make people’s quality of life easier – but he also is looking forward to having a larger role in making St. Charles a special place.

Koenen said he will need to put together a plan about finding a new Public Works director.

In the meantime, he said, the assistant director, Peter Suhr, will step in.

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