What’s the old adage? Timing is everything?
For members of the Brookfield Village Board, that appeared to be what they were thinking on Sept. 10 when they voted unanimously to hire Timothy Wiberg as the village’s next manager.
If there’s one thing Brookfield can use after six months of uncertainty and change, an experienced hand at the tiller is a welcome addition.
Wiberg comes in with 15 years of experience doing exactly what he’s going to be doing in Brookfield. He saw a lot in his time as Lincolnwood’s manager, including many of the same issues that faced Brookfield then and continue to face the village moving forward.
He cut staff and streamlined departments in the face of the economic recession that followed the 2008 crash; he even privatized some departments — the Lincolnwood Building Department, for example — and eliminated others.
Wiberg has worked on strategic plans and has had success in the realm of economic development. He’s put together major infrastructure campaigns and has won millions in grants to help pay for them.
He has also seen how political winds blow and their fickle nature, and how he could be a casualty if they blew just the wrong way.
It appears as though Wiberg will be able to hit the ground running in Brookfield during a time when residents expect economic development successes after years of hearing promises and when they are seeing property tax bills swell as the village completes long-needed infrastructure repairs.
There’s an election in 2021, and while the PEP Party has shown itself to be remarkably resilient in the face of challenges during the past decade, the national stage proves there are no guarantees, except for volatility.
You can be sure Wiberg will have that in mind as he approaches managing Brookfield during this time and implementing the board’s vision for the downtown area, Ogden Avenue, and Eight Corners.
For their part, almost every elected official on Sept. 10 stated how excited they were to hire Wiberg and embark on a new chapter in Brookfield’s history.
They were upbeat enough to agree to a contract with Wiberg that will make him the highest-paid manager in Brookfield by some margin, with a large raise likely nine months from now. That alone will make some in town swallow hard.
The proof will be in the results. They won’t be immediate, and we’re guessing that Wiberg is going to align village hall staffing in a way he deems appropriate, so there may be more transition ahead.
But there’s a level of comfort knowing that Brookfield’s next manager has a track record of longevity and success in the same job elsewhere. We’d like to welcome him aboard and wish him luck.