By Bob Uphues
Brookfield officials will meet with a representative from the recruiting firm GovHR USA this week to begin a search for a new public works director, following the departure of the former director, Amy Wagner, last month.
In the meantime, village trustees voted unanimously on Oct. 8 to approve a contract with the company to hire Robert Hartnett as interim public works director for a two-month period ending Nov. 30.
The agreement can be extended by mutual agreement for another two months, through January 2019, if the village's search for a permanent replacement extends past November.
Harnett, whose first day on the job actually was Oct. 1, is retired from a long career with the public works department in the city of Rolling Meadows. He spent 38 years with the department, starting out in 1977 as a laborer and working his way through the ranks to assistant director of public works before retiring in 2015.
"I'm really here to help staff do what they need to do to get their jobs done," said Hartnett, who is not applying for the open director position. "The foremen are great; they all know their jobs."
Hartnett said he's spent the past week wading through paperwork, becoming familiar with infrastructure projects under way in the village and getting a handle on the technology used by the village.
He has a bachelor's degree in public administration from Roosevelt University and is being paid $70 per hour. Brookfield Village Manager Timothy Wiberg said the interim position is a full-time, 40-hour-per-week job, meaning Hartnett will earn $2,800 a week.
The village will pay GovHR for Hartnett's services on a bi-weekly basis, according to the terms of the agreement.
GovHR owes the village of Brookfield a "free" employee search since Wagner, who was also recruited by Gov HR, left her position before 24 months. The village will only be billed for incidental costs related to the current public works director search.
"I think this can be somewhat streamlined," said Village President Kit Ketchmark of the new search for a public works director.
Wiberg said he believed that a new permanent public works director could be hired by the end of 2018, though the holiday season might play a part in delaying when that person might actually begin the job.