Algonquin Village Manager Bill Ganek announced Wednesday he plans to retire in early 2013 after having served in Algonquin for two decades, and village officials say whoever follows is going to have big shoes to fill.
The exact date of his retirement will depend on the hiring of his replacement, Ganek said, adding he hopes the next village manager will be involved in budget discussions for the next fiscal year, he said. "That's a good time to pass the baton," he said. "I want to make the transition as easy as possible for the village."
Ganek, 58, was hired as village administrator in 1992, and later became village manager. His salary is about $200,000.
Before that, he was director of planning in Crystal Lake, and a senior planner for the McHenry County Department of Planning and Development.
"After over 35 years of public service, I think it's time for a change. I've done a lot here for the village. I think it's a good opportunity for a transition," said Ganek, who lives in Algonquin with his wife, Mary, a nurse, and the youngest of their three sons. "I've worked with a lot of great people, elected officials, certainly great staff. As I retire, I won't have that, so that's always kind of bittersweet."
Ganek said he hasn't decided what's next.
"All options are open," he said, including getting a new job, even in public service. "I'll spend time with family. I'd like to a little more exercise, bicycling, more travel."
Algonquin Village President John Schmitt said it's hard to overestimate the positive impact that Ganek has had on Algonquin. "Bill Ganek is the guy that negotiated and made almost everything that Algonquin is. He really did," Schmitt said.
Ganek spearheaded the implementation of border agreements with neighboring towns, and oversaw the development of the Randall Road business corridor, Schmitt said. Under his supervision, several parks and buildings -- including village hall, the police station and the public works facility -- were built. The village always had a balanced general fund budget under Ganek.
The relationship between Ganek and village board members has been based unfailingly on mutual trust and cooperation, Schmitt said. He estimates that, on average, he's talked to Ganek on the phone at least once a day since he was elected to the village board in 1993. "He's been very important to this community, and he will be sorely missed," Schmitt said.
Village officials will work with Voorhees Associates of Deerfield to advertise the position, Schmitt said. "Because this is such a well-run community and a stable community, we will probably see a significant number of resumes," he said.