Just over five years after entering Brookfield’s political fray, Village Clerk Dan Raddatz is calling it quits. Raddatz confirmed Monday that he is planning to move out of the village to the southwest suburbs and that his last day on the job will be June 30.
Raddatz’ house in Brookfield has been on the market for several weeks, and there was some speculation that Raddatz might be considering a move out of town. Raddatz, who was reelected to the clerk’s position in 2005, said the move was a “cost configuration for my family.”
“It hurts me to leave, but I have to take care of my family,” Raddatz said.
While Raddatz has not officially handed in his letter of resignation to Village President Michael Garvey, he expects to do so soon. Once that resignation is official, Garvey said he will seek resumes from interested candidates for the job.
“I’ll put it out to the board and public to submit resumes,” Garvey said. “Then I’ll nominate a person and look for a majority of the board to fill the remainder of the term.”
Actually, whomever is appointed to the position will serve until 2007, when an election will be held to fill Raddatz’s unexpired term, which will have two years remaining next spring.
Until someone is appointed by Garvey, Deputy Clerk Theresa McCarthy will perform the clerk’s duties. The clerk’s position, while elected, is a part-time position. McCarthy, who works full-time at village hall, handles most of the day-to-day functions of the office.
“I’m sorry to see Dan go,” Garvey said. “I’ve seen a lot of village clerks in my time on the board, and Dan is one of the best. He took the position to a new level and really dedicated himself to the job. He leaves some big shoes to fill.”
Raddatz was actually a Garvey opponent in 2001, when he made his first run at the clerk’s job as a member of the VIP Party slate along with Bill Russ, Kit Ketchmark, Wil Brennan and Gail Cabala.
VIP, running a reform campaign, defeated Garvey’s first bid for village president and swept his PEP Party from a decades-old virtual stranglehold on village government.
When he announced his candidacy in 200, Raddatz said his goal was to make information more accessible to trustees and the public.
“No matter who it is or at what time, if a trustee told me they needed something, I would have no problem going down to village hall to get it,” Raddatz was quoted in the Nov. 15, 2000 Landmark. “And, for residents, I would ensure speedy return on Freedom of Information Act requests.”
The years following the 2001 victory were hard ones for VIP. Cabala and Ketchmark left the party to become independents, and the board was polarized by political bickering. Raddatz, however, seldom became involved in the political battling. But he also began drifting away from VIP after a time.
Labeled the “invisible man” by VIP Party colleagues, Raddatz by 2003 was no longer active in the party he once served as its chairman. By the summer of 2004, his disenchantment with VIP was complete. Along with Ketchmark, Raddatz jumped ship to his formal rivals in the PEP Party.
In 2005, the PEP slate of Garvey, Ketchmark, Raddatz, Catherine Colgrass Edwards and Michael Towner reclaimed the village board for the Brookfield political party heavyweight.
“We’re not on the same track,” Raddatz said of VIP in August of 2004. “VIP lost sight along the way, and personal agendas succeeded the party’s goals.”
Such talk did not sit well with VIP regulars such as Russ and Brennan, who, in the wake of the 2005 election defeat to PEP, complained about Raddatz’s job performance and ability. Last December, both Russ and Brennan complained to the Illinois Attorney General that Raddatz had not kept minutes of board budget workshops in 2005 and was overcharging for Freedom of Information Act requests.
The Attorney General’s Public Access office sent Raddatz a letter requiring minutes from the meetings in question and recommended the village lower its FOIA charges. Raddatz was stung by the criticism, saying he’d fix any errors “as soon as possible.”
But it isn’t politics that drove his decision to leave the village, Raddatz said.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in politics here,” Raddatz said.