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Channahon hires new village administrator

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 10:47 p.m. CDT

CHANNAHON – The village board this week hired a new village administrator and other top officials.

Thomas Durkin, now village administrator in Crete, will replace Joe Pena, who retired from the same position in Channahon in May.

Durkin’s salary will be $112,000 plus $300 a month in vehicle allowance. He will begin the position July 28, and his contract will expire on the expiration of the term of the current village president in 2015.

Durkin will not be required to live in the village at this time. According to his employment agreement, he may be required to move to Channahon after working in the position for four years.

“He comes from a very well-rounded background,” Channahon trustee Sam Greco said Tuesday. “He has economic development experience, he’s done contract negotiations, and he was by far the best candidate ... I’m excited. I think we’re assembling a great team. We’ve got the start of something great.”

Current Director of Community Development, Mike McMahon, is leaving July 3, and the village board approved replacing him with Mike Petrick, who now works for the village as its information technology geographic information system coordinator. According to Village President Joe Cook, Petrick began as an intern with the village when he was only 17 years old and has been a dependable and highly competent staff member.

The title of the position has changed with Petrick’s appointment. He will be director of community development and information systems. Petrick will be responsible for planning, organizing and directing the village’s zoning, building and code enforcement programs, in addition to developing and maintaining its information systems and technology.

“We had the right person to do the job right here,” Cook said Tuesday, “and he’s ready to take on the new position. He’s from Channahon, he lives in Channahon and he’s done some wonderful work for us.”

Petrick’s starting salary is $79,000.

The third position appointed was a new finance director to replace Bob Guess, who is retiring. Erik Bush, formerly business manager at McClain County Unit 5 School District and more recently village administrator of Hampshire, will assume the position next week.

“Erik has been a village administrator, a county finance officer for Peoria County and the finance director at a large school district,” Cook said. “He’s also a veteran of the U.S. Navy.”

Cook said the finances of Channahon are solid and stable and that Bush should add to its strength.

“I know he will enhance what we have now,” Cook said, “in technology, investments and money management.”

Cook acknowledged it was unusual to have so many senior staff officials to replace at one time. Pena retired, Guess took early retirement and McMahon resigned to look for employment in a different location.

“These are high quality individuals taking on these roles,” Cook said. “It’s a very dynamic team that’s going to enhance our existing team. I think our executive staff is going to be the envy of many.”

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