A new village administrator whose vision is planning for Hampshire's growth while keeping its rural flavor, has officially taken the reins.
Erik Bush, 45, began his first full week on the job Monday. He replaces Doug Maxeiner, Hampshire's administrator since 2011, who resigned late last year to take the same job in Wauconda.
Bush has his sights on expanding the village's retail base and development while maintaining the small-town feel to which residents are accustomed.
"Hampshire's a great community and I'm really honored that I get the opportunity to come in and serve them," Bush said. "Hopefully, I can do the job that best serves the residents and the board."
Before arriving in Hampshire, Bush worked about four years as the business manager and treasurer for the McLean County Unit 5 School District in the Bloomington/Normal area. Prior to that, he was chief financial officer for Peoria County, a position he held for almost three years.
He also was city administrator in Flora, Ill., for about two years and director of finance and information services in Warrenville for six years.
The village board signed off on a contract last week for Bush, who will earn $97,500 a year. Bush also will receive, among other perks, up to $10,000 in transitional housing assistance and a $250 monthly car allowance for the use of his personal vehicle.
George Brust, one of the board's longest serving members, predicts Bush's biggest challenge will be maintaining the level of service Hampshire residents have come to expect, with the funds that are available.
"We're definitely not for raising taxes," Brust said.
The board selected Bush from more than 40 applicants, Brust said.
Trustee Michael Reid Jr. said Bush seemed invested in Hampshire from the start and that he did his homework about the village.
"I'm really excited about Erik being hired in the village and I think he's going to do some great things," Reid said. "I think he's got a lot of energy. I think that he's got a lot of experience in different facets of running governments ... that we can all learn from and help the village grow."