Riverside’s board of trustees voted unanimously on Sept. 2 to hire Pietro “Pete” Scalera as village manager, inking him to a four-year contract.
The 38-year-old Scalera has worked the past 11 years for the village of Glencoe. For the last four years, he’s been assistant village manager. Previously, he was assistant public works director and assistant to the village manager.
He begins work in Riverside on Oct. 1. His starting annual salary is $114,000, plus benefits.
As assistant village manager, Scalera oversaw a $1.1 million renovation of Glencoe’s village hall and E911 center, and managed a brownfield redevelopment grant that transformed a former municipal incinerator into a commercial property housing two auto dealers. He was also involved in a successful referendum for a bond issue to do a downtown streetscape project.
Scalera lives in Bloomingdale with his wife and two sons, Giuseppe, 8, and Alessandro, 4.
He said he’s looking forward to tackling economic redevelopment issues in Riverside.
“I believe Riverside has the infrastructure; it’s a matter of enhancing that, attracting businesses and turning it into a vibrant downtown,” Scalera said. “I look forward to being part of that.”
Riverside Village President Michael Gorman expressed confidence that Scalera is ready to move into the manager’s office after four years as an assistant.
“We were looking for someone with budget experience, economic development experience, an appreciation of our heritage and preservation, and someone who has the fortitude to make tough decisions,” Gorman said. “I think Pete will be a very good leader.”
Scalera grew up in the Montclare neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side and attended Fenwick High School in Oak Park, graduating in 1989. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University in 1994 and received his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2000.
Before his years in Glencoe, Scalera was an aide to Ald. Eugene Schulter in Chicago’s 47th Ward.
The vote to hire Scalera was 5-0. Trustee Jean Sussman was unable to attend the meeting, but sent a letter of support for the hire, which Gorman read into the record.
“Peter will be a great asset to the Village of Riverside and I look forward to working with him,” Sussman wrote. “I join the rest of the board of trustees in welcoming him to Riverside.”
Scalera was chosen from a group of four finalists that included Interim Village Manager Robin Weaver. His selection followed a four-month search process triggered in April by the resignation of former Village Manager Kathleen Rush.
Scalera’s contract expires April 30, 2013.