By Bob Uphues
Brookfield trustees voted unanimously to approve hiring Timothy C. Wiberg as the village's new manager, following a six-month search, at their meeting on Monday, Sept. 10.
Village Clerk Brigid Weber swore in Wiberg as village manager following the vote, but he will begin his job in Brookfield on Sept. 24.
Wiberg was most recently the village manager in northwest suburban Lincolnwood from June 2003 until Aug. 31, 2018.
"[He] comes in with a tremendous amount of management experience," said Brookfield President Kit Ketchmark of Wiberg, who spent 15 years in the top administrative post in Lincolnwood. "He's dealt with a lot of issues there, certainly. Economic development has been on a broader scale. He brings a very professional approach to things."
Lincolnwood and Brookfield are similar in many ways. They are both urban suburbs of about the same physical size, though Lincolnwood is a bit smaller in terms of population.
While Brookfield has a growing Hispanic population, about 20 percent, Lincolnwood has a large Asian population, at about 40 percent.
While both have village manager forms of government, Lincolnwood is a home rule community, something voters there approved via referendum.
While Lincolnwood has a main commercial drag, like Ogden Avenue, in Touhy Avenue, that village also has a larger commercial/retail tax base. The village is home to the Lincolnwood Town Center shopping mall and several car dealerships. But it doesn't have a traditional downtown or three Metra stops, which Brookfield does have.
Wiberg told the Landmark that he sees potential in Brookfield's downtown and station area districts. He said he also knows the redevelopment of Ogden Avenue is a key goal.
"Frankly, Ogden needs some help; Ogden needs a vision," Wiberg said. "With a vision and with the right help, the village can help cultivate an environment that allows for property assemblages and so forth.
"It needs help, but it doesn't happen overnight."
While village manager of Lincolnwood, according to a career summary provided to the Landmark, Wiberg led economic development efforts to bring several car dealerships to that village. He was also involved in the village's strategic planning effort that resulted in a $40 million infrastructure plan to resurface roads and replace water mains.
From a management perspective, Wiberg said he sees himself as a leader who motivates professional staff and does not micromanage them.
"I like to hire the best and the brightest and I let them do their work," Wiberg said. "I'm here to help, I'm here to lead, I'm here to give them the guidance they need, but I'm not here to do their jobs for them."
Wiberg, a resident of Glenview, announced his resignation as village manager of Lincolnwood in June, six months after the Lincolnwood village board voted 4-3 not to automatically renew his contract for another two years.
He said he saw the writing on the wall after a 2017 election ushered in a new president and three new trustees, tipping the balance of power on that board.
"It's a hazard of the profession," Wiberg said. "It became pretty clear that they wanted to choose their own guy, so to speak. It was hard. It was a difficult thing for me to go through, but I learned a lot from it.
"I still love that staff and the village, and I'll never forget things I worked on there [and] the people I met, but it was obviously time for me to move on."
While his contract was not renewed, Wiberg received plaudits from former three-term Lincolnwood Mayor Jerry Turry upon the announcement of his resignation.
"You are an outstanding village manager," Turry was quoted as saying in a June 8 article in the Lincolnwood Review. "You are ethical, you are honest and you are fair, and that goes for staff, residents and your board."
Wiberg's new contract in Brookfield will pay him a base salary of $165,000. If, within his first nine months, Wiberg achieves a set of goals and objectives to be determined by the village board, his salary will increase to $175,000 on or before July 1, 2019.
The village will also pay an amount equal to 6.5 percent of Wiberg's salary into a deferred compensation plan in addition to his participation in a pension plan through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
Additionally, the village will pay Wiberg $6,000 annually as a vehicle allowance. At this time he is not participating in the village's health insurance plan, and unlike his contract in Lincolnwood, this deal does not automatically renew after two years. While its term is indefinite, it will not exceed the term of the village president. The next presidential election in Brookfield is in 2021.
Prior to Lincolnwood, Wiberg was deputy city manager of Highland Park from 1996 to 2003, according to his LinkedIn page online. He also was administrative assistant to the city manager of Crystal Lake for three years.
Wiberg, a native of Chicago's North Side, is married with three children. He has a bachelor's degree from North Park University and a master's in public administration from Northern Illinois University.