The village of Brookfield is looking for a new director of public works following the departure of Dan Kaup from the position last week.
Kaup’s final day on the job was April 24. He is leaving Brookfield to become deputy director of public works in far northwest suburban Lake in the Hills.
“It was the opportunity I was looking for,” said Kaup, a resident of Gurnee.
Lake in the Hills is a bigger community both by area and population, covering more than three times the land area of Brookfield and including nearly 30,000 people. The public works department there has 60 employees, who maintain a large water system and a municipal airport. Kaup is also getting a raise from his $97,000 salary in Brookfield.
Kaup, 35, was hired as superintendent of public works in Brookfield in June 2012 and was given the title of director within a year. He came to Brookfield after serving as assistant village manager in Northbrook. He previously worked in that village’s public works department for five years as a maintenance employee in the water and streets departments.
In Brookfield, Kaup was responsible for changing the way the village approached sidewalk replacement, foregoing the old 50-50 program where residents could request squares be replaced and chipping in on the bill. He instead instituted a policy of replacing sidewalk squares based on their condition.
He also secured a $200,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant, which will be used to replace sidewalk squares throughout the village in 2015. In addition, Kaup authored the village emerald ash borer response plan after that pest turned up in the village early in his tenure in the village.
Kaup was involved in the project to repaint the Brookfield water tower and the Kiwanis Park improvement project last year as well.
“I definitely feel like we had some wins,” said Kaup.
During his tenure, he also hired new foremen to head up the forestry, sewer/water and streets/alley departments.
“I learned a lot in Brookfield,” he said. “I learned it’s important to try to work with the existing historical atmosphere of a community you come into. I’d like to think I’ve made some positive impacts.”
Village Manager Keith Sbiral said the search for Kaup’s replacement has begun. The position has been posted on the village’s website and the application deadline is May 15. The village is looking for someone with a minimum of five years in a public works management role and is offering a salary between $91,000 and $105,000, depending on qualifications.
“We’re looking for someone who’s had a pretty traditional role in public works, who can take a pretty good organization and move it to another level,” Sbiral said.
Sbiral said he hoped to have a new director in place sometime in June.