By Bob Uphues
The search has begun for the village of Brookfield's next community and economic development director, but for the next several months the role is being filled by a retired, veteran municipal administrator.
Martin Bourke, who was village administrator in Bloomingdale until his retirement in 2014, began serving as interim community and economic development director in Brookfield on July 1.
At their meeting on July 8, members of the Brookfield Village Board voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with the firm GovTemps USA, which specializes in providing experienced local government professionals to local municipalities on a temporary basis.
The village of Brookfield has used the firm before on at least three occasions in the past couple of years to plug important holes while permanent replacements could be found. Most recently, in 2018, the village used the firm to hire a management consultant while the village board searched for a permanent village manager and another person to manage the public works department.
According to the agreement approved by the village board on July 8, Bourke will be paid $91 an hour and will work up to 32 hours per week, for a weekly maximum of $2,912.
"I'm just trying to familiarize myself with the things Brookfield is doing uniquely," said Bourke of his first week on the job. "I have experience with TIFs, economic development and zoning subdivisions, and I've been reading up on what Brookfield has been up to."
Village Manager Timothy Wiberg said he was familiar with Bourke through their many years operating in the same professional circles and called him "well-respected and well-regarded."
Bourke will manage the day-to-day operations of the Community and Economic Development Department, which includes handling building permits, property maintenance and development applications. Because Bourke also has experience with TIF districts, he'll also be involved in the two TIF initiatives in process right now in Brookfield – amending the map of the Eight Corners TIF and establishing a TIF district in downtown Brookfield.
Wiberg will handle the search for a new permanent community and economic development director. He said he is finalizing the job description and will post it in the next week or so.
"I'm hoping within the next two months to have a person identified and, hopefully, in place by then," Wiberg said.
The term of the agreement with GovTemp USA expires Sept. 6, but it may be extended for up to two months, through Nov. 1, should Bourke and the village agree. Bourke is an employee of GovTemps USA and will be paid by the company, which will invoice the village every other week.
Bourke's career as a top municipal administrator stretched more than 30 years. For seven years beginning in 1986, he was village manager of far west suburban Winfield. From 1993 to 2000, he served as village manager of Western Springs before embarking on a 10-year stint as city manager of Oakbrook Terrace.
His later full-time management job was in Bloomingdale from 2010 until his retirement in 2014.
Since that time, Bourke has served on a consulting basis through GovTemps USA, which counts among its ranks many suburban Chicago municipal managers. Former Riverside village manager Kathleen Rush is a vice president of the company, specializing in city/county administration.
Bourke was placed through GovTemps USA most recently for five months at the end of 2018 in the village of Westmont, where he also served as interim director of community development.
There, he oversaw the development process for two large apartment complexes in a TIF district there.
He spent almost two years in 2016-18 as interim building supervisor in Schaumburg, working through GovTemps USA and a short stint as interim assistant village manager of LaGrange Park in early 2016.
While Wiberg will remain the primary point of contact for development inquiries, Bourke said he will also interface with developers during his time in Brookfield.