Fresh on the heels of hiring a new fire chief, Brookfield Village Manager Riccardo Ginex announced this morning that he’s added an assistant village manager to his staff. Starting Jan. 3, 2006, Keith Sbiral will serve in a dual capacity as the assistant village manager and code enforcement director. Ginex said Sbiral’s annual salary will be $93,000.

A certified planner with a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa, Sbiral is currently employed as director of planning in Downers Grove, where he worked closely with Ginex previously. Ginex was Downers Grove’s village manager from 2001 until August 2005, when he was hired to take over as Brookfield village manager, replacing Dave Owen.

“Keith has a tremendous amount of ability and job knowledge,” said Ginex. “He sees the board has a vision, and sees it as a great challenge. I’m excited to have him.”

As director of planning in Downers Grove, Sbiral, 30, supervised a staff of four and was involved in some major development projects, including Acadia on the Green, a mixed-use retail/condo development in the downtown area of Downers Grove along the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe railroad line.

The four-building development will add 126 condo units and 33,000 square feet of retail space to the district. Work on that project was expected to begin this month. Prior to working in Downers Grove, Sbiral was a senior planner in Barrington.

In Downers Grove he worked as a liaison to that village’s Plan Commission, assisted in negotiations with developers and wrote planning recommendations for projects.

“I think the background [Ginex] has is very complementary to what I have,” Sbiral said. “We want to put together projects that make sense for the village.

“There are a lot of similarities between Downers Grove and Brookfield,” Sbiral said. “For example we’ve been working with our Ogden Avenue corridor and implementing our Ogden Master Plan now. Redevelopment is also important, taking places that exist now and redeveloping them in a way that’s compatible with the existing community.”

Ginex said that Sbiral would work closely with him to court developers and guide them through the planning process. In addition, some village departments may also report directly to Sbiral, while Police, Fire and Public Works will continue to report directly to Ginex.

“At this point things are still flexible,” Sbiral said. “I know that I’ll be working with code enforcement and planning, and begin to work toward implementing the village’s master plan.”

As director of code enforcement, Sbiral said that one of his first duties will be to begin overhauling the village’s code book, which in many cases runs contrary to the vision of the village as proposed in the 2020 Master Plan adopted by the board in February.

“We need to eliminate things that are at odds with each other and cause confusion,” Sbiral said.

Ginex called updating the building code “extremely important.”

“Our code is extremely antiquated,” Ginex said. “We need to bring it up to date. It might take some time, but it’s also a great challenge for us to do that.”

Hiring someone to lead the code enforcement department will also refocus the village’s efforts on property maintenance, Ginex said.

Sbiral was hired after interviewing with a team of village staffers that included Ginex, Finance Director John Dolasinski, Police Chief Thomas Schoenfeld, Human Resources Director Michele Robbins and Administrative Assistant Karen Boone.

The group interviewed a total of four candidates for the position; some 52 applicants sent in resumes for the job.

“Keith just stood above and beyond any of the candidates we looked at,” Ginex said.