Becker retires from Triton College board

Longtime Riverside resident Merrill Becker has announced he’s retiring from the Triton College Board of Trustees. A member of the Triton board for 22 years, Becker tendered his resignation letter to school officials effective Dec. 11, according to a press release issued by the school last week.

Becker was re-elected for a six-year term in 2005, the top vote-getter in a three person race for two spots on the board. Since 1987, Becker has served on the board’s finance committee, was chairman of the board’s academic and student affairs committee and served for just over a year as chairman of the board of trustees.

In 2001, the Triton College Foundation honored Becker for his efforts to push for the renovation of the college’s library.

Becker has also been active in Riverside, serving for many years on the village’s Economic Development Commission. He is president of Merrill, Becker, Knoll & Associates Real Estate in Oak Park.

According to the press release the Triton College board is looking for interested candidates to serve out the remainder of Becker’s term, which ends in April 2011. The board has 60 days to name a replacement and will meet in January to consider candidates, who can submit a letter of interest and resume to Susan Page, coordinator for the board of trustees at Triton College, Office of the President, A Building, Room 301, 2000 N. Fifth Avenue, River Grove, Ill., 60171 no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010.

Candidates must be at least 18 years old and have resided within District 504 for at least one year prior to the date of appointment.

Deputy clerk named FOIA officer in Brookfield

In order to comply with the state of Illinois’ beefed up Freedom of Information Act, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2010, Brookfield trustees on Dec. 14 voted unanimously to name Deputy Village Clerk Theresa Coady as Brookfield’s FOIA officer and Open Meetings Act compliance officer.

The new duties do not come with additional compensation. The FOIA law signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in August closes loopholes used by some governments to deny requests for public information and allows for fines against governmental agencies found to be in violation of the act.

Coady will have to complete an online training course created by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. For the time being, Coady will also be the point person for FOIA requests coming into the Brookfield Police Department.

Whether or not the village wants to dedicate a police department staff member to that task is a policy decision trustees can make at a later date. For now, all FOIA requests will run through Coady.

Riverside cop grants total $360K since ’07

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel on Dec. 7 reported to the village board that since 2007, his department had secured $360,000 in grants to pay for everything from traffic and DUI enforcement to squad car computers, radar units, bulletproof vests, portable radios, digital cameras, a bullying prevention program for school children and police training.

The grants were “non-match” awards, meaning the village did not need to contribute any money toward the purchase of the items or for personnel costs related to the additional enforcement hours.

Weitzel recognized Deputy Chief John Krull and Sgt. Frank Lara for seeking out and applying for the grant opportunities on behalf of the department.

“These grants have allowed us to deliver more efficient police services to citizens without putting any financial burden on the village and have allowed us to secure training and equipment that we could not have otherwise procured due to current budget constraints,’ Weitzel said in a press release.