By Bob Uphues
Kathryn Angell, who has worked for the past two years as deputy village clerk in Niles, has been hired on staff at Brookfield Village Hall as a full-time management analyst.
Angell, who started the new job on Nov. 11, is a 2017 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in public policy. While attaining her degree, Angell served as an administrative assistant in the clerk's office in the village of Mount Prospect.
"I was very lucky enough to have the opportunity to have a very rich municipal government background, so I have a lot of that base knowledge for those day-to-day things," Angell said.
She is the second former Niles staffer to land in Brookfield in recent months. Ross Klicker, the village's new community development director, came from Niles, though Angell said she had applied for the Brookfield position before Klicker was approached by the village of Brookfield to interview.
Angell was one of eight people interviewed for the management analyst position and will report directly to Assistant Village Manager George Issakoo, who was hired earlier this year to fill that post.
Issakoo said that in addition to day-to-day administrative tasks, Angell will lead special projects, such as the village board agenda management process, using new software that will make agendas easier to access for both elected officials and members of the public.
"It'll streamline the workflow for all the people involved in developing the agenda," Issakoo said. "And it's also going to be an outward-facing tool as well., so our directors will not only be able to get this stuff to us, we can get that information to our board, and then our board can better sift through the packet. And the public ultimately will be able to access the information more easily."
According to Angell, that special project "is all rooted in transparency in government."
"I think most of us get into government wanting to work and help people, and transparency is a huge element of that," Angell said. "And that's what drives a lot of communities to use agenda management software."
Another key focus of Angell's job will be to serve as a village ombudsman and as the customer-service face of the village for residents calling village hall with concerns and complaints.
She will be the one monitoring the village's help line, assisting with Freedom of Information requests and responding to people via phone and email.
"Her being able to handle some of that stuff will free up our time to really focus on the things we should be focusing on," Issakoo said, referring to special projects like technology infrastructure and implementing the new GIS initiative. "It can certainly get overwhelming, and you certainly want to answer everybody as fast as we can."
Improving customer service at village hall has been a perennial goal, sometimes achieving mixed results in the past.
"We want to set a tone, an expectation from our public, any stakeholder that reaches out to us, that they're getting excellent customer service and that the village wants to be responsive to their concerns and requests," Issakoo said.
Angell will be paid $55,000 annually to start, according to Village Manager Timothy Wiberg.
The departure of Scott Bernacki, the village's former building permit services coordinator, late last year to become village planner in Schiller Park, cleared the way for hiring a management analyst.
Megan Shilney, who previously worked in an administrative role in the village manager's office replaced Bernacki in the permit services job, which is part of the village's Community and Economic Development Department.