New Brookfield village manager named tonight

Board will also seal fate of Buresh development

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By BOB UPHUES

Brookfield will name a new village manager tonight at a special meeting of the board of trustees. According to several sources both inside and outside of village hall, trustees will authorize a resolution allowing Village President Michael Garvey to enter into an employment contract with Riccardo Ginex, who most recently served as village manager of Downers Grove.

With the appointment, Garvey will make good on a campaign promise to fire Village Manager Dave Owen, who will remain on the job until Sept. 2. Ginex will officially take over the reins as the village's top administrator on Sept. 6.

While Garvey wouldn't confirm that Ginex was, in fact, headed to Brookfield, he said the resume for his top candidate was distributed to all of the village trustees and that "several" board members met with that candidate. No trustees, he said, raised any concerns about his choice.

"I'd like to think I have the support of the entire board on this one," Garvey said.

Ginex served as Downers Grove's village manager from 2001 until March of 2005, when he abruptly resigned from the job. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Ginex's resignation caught staff inside Downers Grove Village Hall completely off guard, and attributed it to a strained relationship between Ginex and Downers Grove Mayor Brian Krajewski. Few details about that falling-out have surfaced.

Prior to working as Downers Grove's village manager, Ginex served on the village's police force. He began his career as a patrolman in 1977, and was named chief of police in 2000.

Buresh vote on agenda

At the same meeting tonight, the Brookfield village board will vote on a variety of other issues, including a recommendation by the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant several zoning variances to the owners of the former Buresh Lobster House property.

On June 23, the zoning board reaffirmed its support for the variances, which would allow developers to build 18 townhomes and four single-family homes on the property, which has two separate zoning designations.

The northern half of the property is zoned for single-family residences, while the southern half allows for a multifamily use. Developers have been trying to reach a compromise with neighbors of the property since early 2004, when residents balked at plans that would have brought 18 townhomes and a 28-unit condominium building to the site.

In February, after several revisions to the plan, architect John Schiess and a majority of nearby residents reached a compromise that would scale the plan back to the present proposal. Although the development still exceeds the density requirements allowed by the village's zoning code, members of the Zoning Board of Appeals felt the proposal was a fair one.

In order to go ahead with construction, however, the variations need to be approved by a majority of the village board, whose members have not shown a strong inclination to either accept of reject the zoning board's recommendation.

Garvey said he is still wrestling with the matter, saying he's "struggling with the concept of hardship and if [the developers] meet it," adding that he thought Schiess had "made a good presentation."

While Schiess said that he also hasn't been able to get a clear read from village trustees, he's remaining positive about the proposal's chances.

"I'm positive about it because the neighbors came out and essentially said enough is enough," Schiess said. "They were endorsing it on its merits."

In other action, the board is expected to approve parking variations for two newly proposed businesses on Grand Boulevard, a wine bar and a new location for the Grand Central Bar & Grill. In addition, the board is expected to approve a resolution allowing motor fuel tax funds to be used for a crack sealing program for village streets and to allow private contractors to bid for the work.

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