Schaumburg officials have selected David Lawry -- a longtime employee of Elgin -- to be their new director of engineering and public works beginning Monday, April 7.
Schaumburg Village Manager Brian Townsend said Lawry was chosen from among 57 applicants for the job, which has been vacant for more than a year.
Lawry worked 23 years for Elgin, holding positions that included public works director and public services director, Townsend said.
After leaving Elgin in 2012, Lawry had a short stint as director of village operations in Wauconda and most recently has been working for the Chicago-based private firm of Chastain & Associates.
"I think he'll be a great candidate for us," Townsend said of Lawry. "He obviously has a lot of public works experience."
Lawry has held the position of director of municipal services at Chastain & Associates -- putting into practice much of his previous experience.
But Lawry said he missed the human contact he had working in a public works department. In Elgin, he oversaw a staff of 150 people. At Chastain & Associates his department was a staff of one.
He said he's looking forward to working in Schaumburg, which he sees as a particularly progressive community, and helping prepare it for the year -- and following winter -- that lies ahead.
Though police and fire departments earn well-deserved kudos for the life-and-death emergencies they respond to, Lawry said public works is an important first-responder in its own right.
"Public works is a 24/7 commitment because you don't know what's going to happen within a community and how public works is going to respond," he said.
Taking the past winter as an example, Lawry said there are always new lessons to be learned in his industry -- including how to be prepared for and respond to a winter of nearly 80 inches of snow.
Schaumburg's position of engineering and public works director was filled on a deliberately interim basis for much of 2013, while Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson has been overseeing the department more recently.