Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana Wilks banged her gavel for the last time Tuesday night, bringing to a close 22 years of serving the village and ushering in the administration of the new mayor, Arlene Juracek.
Juracek later noted that each Mount Prospect mayor has built on their predecessor's legacy as she and village trustees paid tribute to Wilks.
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"The bar has been set high by your actions, since even before 1991 when you became a trustee," Trustee Steven Polit told Wilks.
Trustee A. John Korn, Wilks' former campaign manager, said, "We know that you're not going to go ahead and disappear. So I want to thank you for all the service that you have given Mount Prospect and for all the service you will be giving to Mount Prospect."
Wilks peppered her final remarks as mayor with humor, noting that one of the consequences of having village meetings televised is that residents have seen her progression of hairstyles.
"I did leave my office in very good order, because (Village Manager) Mike Janonis told me that if I did a really good job of cleaning it up, I might get my security deposit back," she added.
Former Mayor Gerald "Skip" Farley was on hand to present a letter of appreciation from the mayor of Mount Prospect's sister city, Sevres, France, along with a souvenir book of photos commemorating the exchange.
In her first remarks as mayor, Juracek promised the village would provide services efficiently and cost effectively.
"As we approach our hundredth anniversary in 2017, I am very realistic about the challenges that this community faces in this still uncertain economy," she said. "But I am buoyed by a huge sense of optimism about the opportunities that we have to successfully build on here in Mount Prospect. We're blessed with a legacy of dedicated professionals and hardworking leadership and staff.
"There is so much cynicism these days about politics and politicians. I hope you'll remember that those of us up here are moms and dads, husbands and wives, residents, taxpayers and community volunteers, just like you," she added.
Sworn in alongside Juracek were trustees Steven Polit, John Matuszak, Michael Zadel, and Richard Rogers, who was appointed to take Juracek's spot on the village board.