The old became new again as Michael Garvey returned to the village president’s chair on May 10 during a formal swearing-in ceremony at Brookfield Village Hall.
Garvey, who served briefly as village president in 2001 and then from 2005 until 2013, begins his third full term as president, taking the gavel from Kit Ketchmark who has been village president for the past eight years.
Garvey served as a village trustee for the past while eight years while Ketchmark was president. Now they are trading places, with Ketchmark returning to his former position as village trustee.
Either Garvey or Ketchmark have held the village president position for the last 16 years. Brookfield prohibits elected officials from serving for more than two consecutive terms but places no limits on how many terms any one individual can serve. On Monday evening, Garvey and Ketchmark simply traded chairs on the dais.
Garvey was unopposed in the April election as were PEP Party trustee candidates Ketchmark, incumbent Ed Cote and Jennifer Hendricks.
The new trustee, Hendricks, a landscape architect who has served on the Zoning and Planning Commission for the past seven years replaces Nicole Gilhooley, who just finished her second consecutive term.
Garvey, 53, noted some people think it is time for someone other than he or Ketchmark, two longtime fixtures in village government, to become village president but noted that no one else filed to run for the office.
“If someone wants to run against us, I’m open to competing and putting my name and reputation out against someone else,” Garvey told the Landmark in a telephone interview before the village board meeting.
In his final remarks as village president, Ketchmark thanked the village board and the village staff and pointed to road and park improvements as highlights of his eight years as president. He also pointed to business improvements and getting rid of 4 a.m. liquor licenses.
“We have made big investments in our business districts and found more ways for our residents to have fun with new events and new programs,” Ketchmark said. “And we are no longer the last stop in the suburbs for last call.”
Over the past year Ketchmark led the village through a challenge that neither he nor anyone else could have predicted, the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe that this village board, along with staff, have done an enviable job of guiding our village through uncharted and unsettled waters,” Ketchmark said. “And though we are done yet, the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter and brighter.”
Ketchmark said he tried to let all residents be heard during his time as village president.
“One of the challenges we have, not only as a village board, but as a society, is to hear all the voices, and not just the loud ones,” Ketchmark said. “A car has four equally important wheels, not just the one we hear. We have heard so often that Brookfield is a diamond in the rough. For the past eight years as your village president, I hope that I’ve been able to add a little bit of polish to this gem.”
Immediately after being sworn in as village president by Cook County Judge Edward Maloney Garvey thanked his family which stood behind him.
“They have been my support system forever,” Garvey said. “The first time I got sworn is a village president Jake was five years old. He just celebrated his 21st birthday. They put up so much of me not being home, not being around, sometimes missing the ballgame, missing things and every time we go out to eat in Brookfield they know that I’m going to have to talk to someone and they handle that very, very gracefully.”