Former Algonquin village manager Bill Ganek has been honored with an award from the Illinois City/County Management Association for his more than 35 years in public service, 21 of which he spent in Algonquin.
Ganek, who retired from the village in May, received the association's special service award during its annual conference in June in Galena. He was one of its four recipients and he said it marked the first time the association had ever honored him.
"The (association's) a very respectable group in our profession and they do a lot of good work for the profession," Ganek said. "I'm very honored to get the award and certainly thank the village, the staff and the elected officials and the residents for assisting me to do the best job possible."
Ganek had been Algonquin's village manager since 1992. He started his public service career in 1977 as a senior planner in McHenry County, a job he held for five years. Ganek then worked nine years as director of planning for Crystal Lake.
Ganek come to Algonquin when the village was just starting to grow, Village President John Schmitt said. It had added a few subdivisions and Ganek was hired to ensure Algonquin's development ran smoothly.
"The most important thing that he brought was planning," Schmitt said. "His background and knowledge, coupled with his management style, created the right atmosphere for what we needed. Our village staff was going to be growing and he was the right manager to bring in."
A portion of Ganek's legacy is tied to his creation of various village departments that remain in place today, Schmitt said. Algonquin also honored the longtime manager by renaming village hall the William J. Ganek Municipal Center.
Ganek says Algonquin wouldn't be where it is today if it wasn't for the staff.
"I feel most proud of the team we built -- the staff members, the employees that really worked hard day to day to accomplish everything we tried to for our residents," Ganek said. "None of the other stuff could have been accomplished without having a top-notch team working in the village."
The association was founded in 1953 to support and improve municipal and county management, to strengthen local government and to promote effective governing, according to its website.
Its more than 700 members include city, village, and county managers, county administrators, students and consultants, according to the website.