Brookfield is in the market for a new village planner after Emily Egan announced that she’s leaving for a new post in the city of Elmhurst at the end of June.
Egan, who has served as Brookfield’s planner since 2015, submitted her letter of resignation last week; her last day on the job will be June 29. She’s been hired as Elmhurst’s assistant city planner.
“It has been a true pleasure and honor to work for the village of Brookfield the past three years,” Egan wrote in her resignation letter. “I am extremely proud of the projects I have worked on with the community.”
Elmhurst City Planner Eileen Franz said the position in that municipality opened up due to the retirement of a longtime planner. Franz, who has been in Elmhurst for four years, was promoted to lead planner and Egan has been hired for a newly created position.
“We thought she’d be a great fit,” Franz said of Egan.
As a newly minted planner out of the urban planning and policy master’s program at University of Illinois-Chicago, Egan joined the village at a time when it was undertaking a number of important planning initiatives.
Egan, 35, had a hand in efforts such as the Station Area Zoning Modernization, and played an important role in the village’s Active Transportation Plan and its comprehensive plan, adopted by the village board last year.
“Those projects are really something I care about and I am proud of having worked on them,” said Egan in an interview with the Landmark.
The city of Elmhurst recently adopted a new downtown plan, said Franz, and is starting to work on implementation, in addition to sub-area plans and other zoning changes.
“Emily’s experience in Brookfield was very appealing to us,” Franz said.
Egan dealt closely with the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission, preparing reports and making recommendations on development applications, both residential and commercial.
“The experiences I’ve had with the [Planning and Zoning Commission] will continue to inform my professional work for decades to come,” Egan wrote in her resignation letter. “It is not only my opinion, but those of professional planners across the region, that Brookfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission is truly exceptional.”
In addition, Egan authored and co-authored a number of successful grant applications, including grants to improve the area in and around the Prairie Avenue train station, a grant to bring covered bike shelters to the Prairie and Congress Park Metra stops, a grant for HD surveillance cameras for key areas of the village, and Community Development Block Grant applications.
“Any planner that’s going to be coming in to Brookfield is very lucky,” Egan said. “I think a lot of people are going to be interested in this position.”
Village President Kit Ketchmark wished Egan well in her new job, saying it was a good opportunity for her to advance her career as a planner.
“She jumped right into things here, and I think she was pretty well received by the residents,” Ketchmark said. “I’m glad she started out here.”
Ketchmark said the village likely won’t begin the process of replacing Egan until a new village manager has been hired. The village has been without a full-time manager since the latter part of March, when Keith Sbiral resigned.
The search for his replacement is well under way, said Ketchmark. The list of candidates is down to 11 people and includes male and female professionals with varied backgrounds, including both public- and private-sector experience. A couple of the candidates live out of state.
In the short term, said Ketchmark, personnel in the village’s community and economic development department will pick up some of Egan’s duties. The village’s longtime consultant B&F Technical Code Services will also continue to augment internal plan review.
Asked if the changes afoot within the village manager’s office had anything to do with the timing of her search for a post elsewhere, Egan said the departure of the man who hired her was not a factor.
“I think with government work there’s always change happening,” Egan said. “I would have been excited to work with whoever comes in. It was a coincidence on the timing.”