For the first time in 20 years, Arlington Heights has a new village president.
Longtime Trustee Thomas Hayes was introduced with the words "Congratulations, Mr. Mayor" after taking the oath of office Monday night, succeeding retiring Mayor Arlene Mulder, who has held the job since 1993.
Mulder started her last meeting with hugs and thanks to many of the community leaders and friends in the standing-room-only crowd before recognizing outgoing Trustee Norm Breyer. Breyer, who collectively served 12 years on the board, lost his seat in the April election by a margin of only 20 votes and decided not to ask for a recount.
"I won't need to wear suits anymore. I guess that's a good thing," Breyer said after thanking his family and people who had helped him along the way.
Mulder also said one more thank you to the residents before leaving her chair in the center of the dais one last time.
"You're in fantastic hands with your new mayor," Mulder told the crowd before introducing Hayes, who recited the oath of office, led by Judge Martin Agran, a former Arlington Heights trustee.
Hayes, who has a reputation for being reserved and quiet, joked about an online comment he saw during the campaign that said he had as much personality as the downtown clock tower.
"I'm working on being more outgoing," he said.
Hayes thanked Mulder for her mentorship, as he served as president pro tem under her for the past 14 years. He also thanked his campaign staff and his wife, children, in-laws and a variety of other family members who were in the audience.
Hayes then swore in incumbent Trustees Bert Rosenberg, Joseph Farwell and Thomas Glasgow, before calling on Jim Tinaglia, whom he called the "new kid on the block."
Tinaglia, who was on the design commission and has an architecture firm in town, said he was a little nervous but humbled by the support in the April election where he earned the second-highest number of votes.
"The last four months have been quite a journey. I have a lot to learn and I plan to get busy doing it here," Tinaglia said.
Tinaglia and the rest of the board then got down to business, a quick meeting that included recognition for retiring Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 board member Ken Nielsen and a sign variation approval for the Napleton Car Dealership, 1155 W. Dundee Road, which is expected to open this month.
Mulder didn't stay for the rest of the meeting, which went on as usual, except for a few quick fumbles by the village clerk and Hayes himself, referring to himself as a trustee rather than the mayor, which were laughed off as old habits proved hard to break.
One other piece of unfinished business -- appointing a new trustee to finish the two years left on Hayes' trustee term -- will be wrapped up soon.
Hayes said he will move quickly to name the new trustee and that he or she will be sworn in at the May 20 village board meeting.