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Article updated: 7/19/2013 3:17 PM

New Schaumburg manager is current St. Charles administrator

Brian Townsend

Brian Townsend

 
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St. Charles City Administrator Brian Townsend will be the next village manager of Schaumburg, Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson confirmed Friday.

Townsend was the Schaumburg assistant village manager before going to St. Charles in 2005, and apparently was high on the list of candidates from day one.

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"I was very impressed with Brian Townsend when he worked for the village of Schaumburg," Larson said. "I thought he'd done a fine, fine job."

When Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz announced his impending retirement last month, Townsend occurred to the village board right away as someone who could hit the ground running, Larson said.

"He knows Schaumburg. He still has ties to people here. So it's a good fit," Larson said.

Though Larson reached out to Townsend fairly quickly in Schaumburg's search process, Townsend needed to have some time to discuss the potential move with his family, Larson said.

Townsend could not be immediately reached for comment Friday, but released a written statement through the village of Schaumburg.

"St. Charles has been a wonderful community to work for," Townsend wrote. "I have enjoyed projects that have been both challenging and rewarding. However, when an opportunity to work as village manager in a community like Schaumburg is offered, you can't pass it up."

Townsend also honored Fritz, with whom he worked for eight years.

"I commend Ken on so many years of dedicated service to Schaumburg and congratulate him on his retirement," Townsend wrote. "He served as a mentor to me early in my career and helped me to succeed in a difficult position."

The Schaumburg village board expects to vote on Townsend's proposed appointment at its meeting at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 23.

If Townsend is approved, he's expected to start on Aug. 31, just when Fritz is planning to retire.

"It should be pretty seamless," Larson said.

The process won't be quite as easy in St. Charles. City officials extended Townsend's contract on a month-to-month basis three times while they attempted to negotiate a new deal with him.

Townsend is the highest paid city employee in St. Charles with a total compensation of $217,376.63. The first real signs that Townsend might leave arose when word leaked that the severance clause was a major sticking point in the talks.

The clause says the city must pay Townsend one year of his aggregate salary, plus all employment benefits except for a vehicle allowance if aldermen and the mayor terminated his deal.

That obligation potentially disappears when Townsend secures a new job, as he will with Schaumburg. However, if Townsend's compensation in Schaumburg is less than what he is currently paid, St. Charles will be on the hook for the difference for one year.

The details of Townsend's new deal with Schaumburg have not yet been made public.

St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina said there are no personal grudges or professional shortcomings that led Townsend and the city to part ways.

"The last offer on the table was ours," Rogina said. "In his mind, he's going to a better position. As for Schaumburg, they are getting a fine leader. I had a good relationship with Brian when I was an alderman. And in the two months I've been mayor, he's been deeply involved with every move we've made. No one is going to say they didn't get along with him.

Rogina said St. Charles will move quickly to find a replacement by Sept. 1. If a new hire isn't found by then, Rogina said the city council will appoint an interim city administrator.

Townsend's departure marks the second loss of a senior staff member during Rogina's tenure. Chris Aiston, the city's director of economic development, announced his retirement earlier this week. Rogina said he isn't concerned about the loss of institutional knowledge and experience.

"Don't discount the fact that there's 10 city councilmen who know the city well," Rogina said. "The mayor knows the city well. And existing city staff know the city well. We might even get some internal applicants for Brian's position."

During Townsend's tenure, St. Charles built a new fire station headquarters, remodeled and expanded the public works facility, built new water and wastewater treatment facilities and improved the reliability of the city's electric system.

Construction of the Red Gate Bridge and the first two phases of the First Street downtown redevelopment project were also achieved.

During the same time, Family Circle magazine recognized St. Charles as the No. 1 city for families in 2011.

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