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updated: 8/21/2013 7:38 AM

Otto Engineering CEO Roeser upset with Carpentersville officials

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  • Tom Roeser, president and chief executive officer of Otto Engineering, discusses his displeasure with Carpentersville officials, who fined his contractor $150 for installing a driveway of concrete pavers on a Washington Street retail property Roeser owns. Though these sorts of driveways violate village codes, there are two other elsewhere that the village has not fined.

       Tom Roeser, president and chief executive officer of Otto Engineering, discusses his displeasure with Carpentersville officials, who fined his contractor $150 for installing a driveway of concrete pavers on a Washington Street retail property Roeser owns. Though these sorts of driveways violate village codes, there are two other elsewhere that the village has not fined.
    Lenore Adkins | Staff Photographer

  • A contractor Tom Roeser hired to install these pavers at a retail property he owns on Washington Street was fined $150 because they violate village codes. But Roeser, who complains of mismanagement in the community development department, found out that two other businesses use the same sort of pavers in their driveways and have never been fined. Roeser refuses to redo the driveway.

       A contractor Tom Roeser hired to install these pavers at a retail property he owns on Washington Street was fined $150 because they violate village codes. But Roeser, who complains of mismanagement in the community development department, found out that two other businesses use the same sort of pavers in their driveways and have never been fined. Roeser refuses to redo the driveway.
    Lenore Adkins | Staff Photographer

  • Two Rivers Head Start Agency on Lake Marian Road uses the same sort of pavers in its driveway as Tom Roeser but was never fined because they were approved as part of a larger site plan that had to go through the fire department, said Jim Hock, director of the community development department. This driveway is for emergency vehicle use only, not the public, Hock said.

       Two Rivers Head Start Agency on Lake Marian Road uses the same sort of pavers in its driveway as Tom Roeser but was never fined because they were approved as part of a larger site plan that had to go through the fire department, said Jim Hock, director of the community development department. This driveway is for emergency vehicle use only, not the public, Hock said.
    Lenore Adkins | Staff Photographer

  • Merlin's Muffler & Brake on Route 31 in Carpentersville uses the same sort of pavers in its driveway that Tom Roeser's contractor was fined for using on a property Roeser owns on Washington Street.

       Merlin's Muffler & Brake on Route 31 in Carpentersville uses the same sort of pavers in its driveway that Tom Roeser's contractor was fined for using on a property Roeser owns on Washington Street.
    Lenore Adkins | Staff Photographer

 
 

Tom Roeser, who says he's repeatedly received miscommunication and misinformation from Carpentersville Community Development Director Jim Hock, implored village trustees Tuesday to "deal with these issues" and stopped short of asking them to fire Hock.

"Your community development department continues to be a mess of inaccurate information, inconsistent code enforcement, abysmal management, and they are arrogant," said Roeser, adding he has lost faith in the board's ability to build on the village's progress and vows to run his own slate of candidates in the next election. "Many of the same players are here that I've talked to you about for years with the same poor service, and you have got to fix this."

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While Village President Ed Ritter says trustees shouldn't get involved in day-to-day operations, senior Trustee Paul Humpfer said trustees were due to discuss a related personnel issue in closed session the same night.

"It's pretty disappointing to hear that situation going on there," Humpfer said of the issues Roeser brought to the board. "But we'll talk about that later on tonight."

Roeser is president and chief executive officer of Otto Engineering, the village's largest employer, and he has spent millions improving his headquarters, its surrounding areas and more.

There are two main things at issue. The first is the delay it took for Roeser to obtain six permits to replace driveways at some of the foreclosed homes he's fixing up.

Roeser said the delay took seven weeks, while Hock said it was closer to six and occurred because of a staffing issue. Trustee Kay Teeter, whom Roeser asked to look into the matter, told Roeser the delay was because he failed to submit certain paperwork with his application.

Roeser contends he was never asked to provide additional documentation and wants to know who gave Teeter that information.

"Someone's not telling you the truth," Roeser said. "And I'm telling you, if I had an employee that lied to me, I would ask for their immediate resignation."

Tuesday, Hock said the delay was a combination of the staffing issue and the lack of documents. Once his department got to Roeser's request, employees discovered some of his paperwork was missing, Hock said. "All of the information that trustees and I have provided him is accurate," Hock said.

In another example Roeser cited, the village fined his contractor $150 for installing a driveway of concrete pavers at one of Roeser's commercial properties.

The materials violate village code for driveways, but Roeser pointed out that Merlin's Muffler & Brake and the Two Rivers Head Start Agency use the same material in their driveways and have never been fined.

In protest, Roeser refuses to redo the driveway, which he installed without a permit.

Hock confirmed Merlin installed its driveway without a permit and may need to be removed.

In Two Rivers' case, its driveway was something the fire department required as part of a larger site plan and is reserved for emergency vehicle access only, said Hock, who was hired last November.

Ritter, meanwhile, doesn't point the finger at one particular person.

He said there's room for improvement across the board."We need to communicate better. A lot of the problems are all related to communication," Ritter said, adding that sometimes the village doesn't get enough information from Roeser. "So it's a two-way street. We need better communication in both directions. There's a difference between a lie and a misunderstanding."

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