As the summer ends and autumn begins, I feel it is good time to reflect back on the first five months of my administration to see what we have accomplished.
The Village Board appointed a new police command staff. Congratulations to Chief Christian Ehrenberg, Deputy Chief David Kopka, and Commander Christopher Boenzi, as well as newly promoted Sergeant Raul Pelayo. Thank you for taking on these critical leadership positions, we wish you much success in your new roles, and appreciate your service.
The Board passed a temporary ordinance in early July, establishing shorter business hours for village bars and taverns. It was a difficult decision that involved listening to residents and business owners, as well as extensive discussions amongst board members. While recognizing that shorter hours put a strain on our business owners, the Board’s vote ultimately came down to the need to reduce the increasing amount of early morning disturbances occurring in the residential neighborhoods around these businesses. The Board will considering making the ordinance permanent in the coming months.
The end of an era is upon us, Tim Kutt, the Village’s longtime Director of Public Works retired on September 30th. Throughout the years Tim’s knowledge of the infrastructure of the Village has been invaluable. His love of our Village is evident in everything he does, including going above and beyond for our residents. His shoes will be hard to fill, but fortunately for the Village, Vince Ranieri, a 20 year Public Works employee applied for and has been hired to take over the position. I am confident that Vince will continue the tradition of Village first. Congratulations to both of them as they embark on their new endeavors.
Once again our Recreation Department, with the assistance of every other department, provided residents with a patriotic Fourth of July celebration and an outstanding Autumn Fest, complete with the requisite chili tasting. The attendance at both events was high and it was heartwarming to see our community gather together again after such a difficult year. The Autumn Fest ended the night with a spectacular fireworks display that seemed to summarize everyone’s joy at being able to gather together once again.
As I closeout this missive, I would like to take the opportunity to remember the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on our great nation. A special thank you to Fire Chief Bob McDermott and the entire North Riverside Fire Department for creating such a moving remembrance ceremony at the Fire Department. While remembering the lives that were lost and honoring all the heroes who gave so much, I thought back to that time and the sense of unity it created in our country as every city, town and village reached out to offer their assistance and support. North Riverside was no different, once again showing that we truly are a “Small Community with a Big Heart”. It makes me proud to be a part of a community that continually lives by that motto.
I will be updating this webpage on a regular basis and invite you to check back for additional information on ongoing municipal directives, as well as activities and events happening around town.
Mayor Joe Mengoni