This week, the Mount Prospect village board took time to honor some of its longtime employees, including those at the highest staff levels.
In the Community Development department, one 30-year employee, Frank Krupa, was honored, as were three five-year employees, Tammara Lewin, Brian Simmons and Consuelo Andrade.
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Community Development Director William Cooney said Andrade, a senior planner, is responsible for the review of all developments throughout the community and is the liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission. She also deals with residents making improvements to their homes.
Cooney said Krupa, health inspector, is "responsible for everyone being able to go out and have a pleasant meal at any restaurant" in Mount Prospect. He said Krupa inspects more than 200 restaurants each year, making sure the restaurant community is complying with the health codes.
In the Finance Department, Deborah Amaro, a 15-year employee; David Erb, 10 years, and Thomas Kang, five years, were honored.
Erb, as finance director, has been one of the most visible village employees.
Village Manager Michael Janonis paid tribute to Erb, saying, "He is the guy that's responsible for making sure the budget is balanced."
Janonis noted that Erb has steered the village through some difficulties, most notably in 2010, when head count was reduced by 10 percent.
However, Janonis added, "Services stayed intact ... Dave is the architect of keeping our finances in order."
Employees in the village manager's office who were honored are Village Clerk Lisa Angell, Assistant Village Manager David Strahl and the man in charge of the village's television operations, Howard Kleinstein.
Janonis said Angell, who is celebrating 25 years with the village, was initially hired in the Public Works department, working in solid waste.
"I knew she had talent when I saw her diving in the Dumpsters and going through other people's garbage to find out who was fly dumping," he said. "I took her out of public works, (where) there are people who are still mad at me about that."
Janonis reminded the audience that Strahl, a 20-year veteran, was one of his first hires as village manager.
"I would not trade Dave for the best (human resources) attorney in the country," Janonis said. "He knows his stuff. He takes care of our personnel. He does our union negotiations. He's very good with the public."
Janonis added the current village hall building was Strahl's project.
Kleinstein, a 15-year employee who is on the other side of the one-way glass during village board meetings, as he records the proceedings, is responsible for two village channels and has expanded operations to include Web streaming.
His work has won a number of awards, and he also created the opening montage for the broadcast of the board meetings.
Two five-year employees of the village manager's office were recognized -- Nell Pietrzyk and Deborah Kaczorowski.
Angell said Pietrzyk's fluency in Polish has been valuable. She said Pietrzyk once helped a man whose wife had died, "and that man came in personally to thank Nell for her assistance."
Mayor Arlene Juracek congratulated the group.
"One of the hallmarks of our community is its highly professional staff," she said. "What we see before us are not only examples of longevity and service, but professionalism, compassion and the ability to really create a village that takes care of itself here."