As I finish my second term as Brookfield village president and move to my new role as village trustee, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you.

Being elected to serve my hometown as village president twice has truly been an honor and privilege. It occupied a lot of my time and there were many late nights, early mornings and missed baseball games and dinners, but it was worth it. My wonderful wife and kids, my parents and my entire family have been so incredibly supportive and I want publicly thank them.

I will never forget the kindness and support I received from the residents during my term, especially when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. You will never know how much the calls, emails and cards boosted my family and me. Brookfield is full of great people.

Being village president allowed me to see so much more than I did before. I always knew we had a good group of people working for the residents. However, my role for the last eight years allowed me to see even more.

We have a great, tremendously dedicated group of people who work for the residents. Department by department, we are staffed with people who truly care and work so hard, often under difficult conditions, to make our village better.

While they are all human and may have occasionally have a bad day or make a mistake, I have personally witnessed countless acts of extra effort and commitment to the residents by our employees and staff. While thank you does not seem sufficient, I want to publicly express my gratitude to each and every one of them I had the privilege to work with.

Outstanding leaders head our departments. Often times the public sees this during snowstorms or floods; I was able to observe the leadership of these fine people on a daily basis. Their dedication professionalism is inspiring. Thank you to them.

Finally, I thought about not naming names, but there were a few people who I worked most closely with and deserve my special thanks.

First of all, Theresa Mariani has guided me through so many things and been extremely helpful to me personally. Her experience and perspective really made my job easier.

Our assistant village manager and Building and Planning Department director, Keith Sbiral, has those official titles but does those and so much more. Like all leaders, he has faced criticisms and many unfounded personal attacks. He has handled these professionally and with incredible tact, hopefully because he knew the manager and I knew he was doing an outstanding job. I hope I conveyed that enough to him. I never knew Keith before he was hired. He has become more than a co-worker. He is a confidante and friend who has done much for Brookfield.

Last and by no means least, I want to publicly thank Village Manager Rick Ginex. Like Keith, he holds a position that makes him an easy target for criticism. His accomplishments are too numerous to list here.

It does not seem sufficient, but simply said, he has transformed Brookfield. Politics has been removed from the hiring process, budgets and planning are done in a timely and professional manner and we have been the leaders in the area for grant acquisition.

I have talked to or emailed Rick almost every day for the last eight years. His dedication and calm, reassuring tone has been invaluable to me. Brookfield is truly lucky to have him and I am lucky to have him as a friend.

I will take the time to privately thank these people, but I do want the public to know that I appreciate all our staff and employees and know that most of the things I receive thanks and credit for are really because of them.

Finally, thank you to all the commissioners, volunteers and my fellow village board members. You truly do the work that makes Brookfield so wonderful

As I step into my new role, I will be active. Now it is Kit Ketchmark’s time to lead and I am excited about the change in leadership. Kit, thank you for stepping up. Let’s get to work!

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