When it was all said and done, according to Brookfield Village President Kit Ketchmark, it was pretty clear the Keith Sbiral was the clear choice to take over as the new village manager.
For the past nine years, Sbiral has served not only as assistant manager, but as the director of the building department, the village treasurer, technology director, finance department supervisor, TIF district expert and principal grant writer.
On Monday, the village board made its support official, voting unanimously to elevate Sbiral to the manager’s post.
“Keith wasn’t your traditional assistant manager,” said Ketchmark, who has been a member of the village board for seven of Sbiral’s nine years in Brookfield. “Keith has been part of virtually every project and every new policy that’s come forward in the past nine years.”
Sbiral, 39, said Ketchmark approached him roughly two weeks ago about filling the shoes of Village Manager Riccardo Ginex, who announced his resignation on Aug. 25. Ginex is headed to Oak Brook, where he’ll be village manager.
There was some speculation that Sbiral might follow his mentor to Oak Brook. But he said on Monday that he’s ready to advance his career.
“I think I’m ready to do that, and I’m excited about it,” said Sbiral. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Sbiral said he’ll continue to focus on community and economic development, which has been gaining steam in the past year. Sbiral was instrumental in the village, creating the Ogden Avenue and Congress Park TIF districts. Two major retailers have already signed deals to develop properties within the Ogden Avenue TIF.
The village is also looking to update its building code, storm water ordinance, and open space plan. In addition, Brookfield on Monday received word that it has received a $20,000 grant through the Regional Transportation Authority to update its zoning code. The village is awaiting word regarding its application to the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency for a Local Technical Assistance grant.
“I think we have a great foundation to build on,” said Sbiral. “We can keep projects going on without missing a beat and refocus on community and economic development. We’ve seen really good success with that, and it’s an opportunity to take it to a whole new level.”
With Sbiral’s elevation to manager, there is sure to be some restructuring inside village hall. Since he’ll no longer be the building director, it’s likely someone will be hired specifically for that job.
There will be some restructuring with respect to positions,” said Sbiral. “We’ll take some time to put a plan together, but it’s crucial to my success to not just lose a body inside village hall.”
Sbiral’s contract runs through at least the spring of 2017, which is the next time voters will elect a president. His starting salary is $136,000.
In addition, the village will pay $5,000 annually into a deferred compensation plan. Sbiral will get 25 vacation days annually.
However, the village is not providing Sbiral with health insurance (he is covered under his wife’s plan). Neither are they providing anything toward a vehicle for him. Ginex, in addition to the village paying for his health insurance premiums, received a $5,100 annual vehicle allowance.
Ginex’s contract also called for the village to provide him with a cellphone and to reimburse him for the cost of high-speed Internet service at home. Neither of those provisions is in Sbiral’s contract.
He holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
He was hired as assistant manager in Brookfield in 2006. Prior to that, Sbiral worked as director of planning in Downers Grove. In that position, he worked closely with Ginex, who was village manager of Downers Grove until Ginex was hired by Brookfield as its village manager in August 2005.