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updated: 5/29/2014 6:24 PM

One Metra vacancy down (almost), one still open

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  • Marc Munaretto

    Marc Munaretto


An Algonquin businessman is poised to sit on the Metra board while another spot representing northwest Cook County is still in play.

Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider is accepting applications for the position currently held by former Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder, who steps down in June.

Meanwhile, McHenry County Chairwoman Tina Hill has selected former county board member Marc Munaretto to replace outgoing Metra Director Jack Schaffer. Her pick will be voted on by the county board Tuesday.

Munaretto, who runs a real estate brokerage firm specializing in commercial and industrial properties, previously chaired the county's finance and audit committee.

"Marc has the financial background and strength needed at Metra," Hill said.

"I have business and political skills that can be put to work to help represent constituents in McHenry County," Munaretto said.

In the long term, he hopes for service expansion to Huntley and Marengo. But "I have both feet planted in the real world and I know that takes capital ... which seems to be in short supply."

Munaretto, who commuted to downtown Chicago for 18 years, added "I understand the importance of reliability."

Scheider, who with several other commissioners is responsible for choosing Mulder's replacement, said candidates with a background in engineering or transportation are ideal and should possess leadership qualities.

The agency's had a rocky several years with the suicide of CEO Phil Pagano in 2010 and exit of former CEO Alex Clifford amid accusations of political patronage in 2013.

Schneider said he would consider an open interview process, similar to ones used by other Cook County commissioners in filling two Metra vacancies last year where candidates presented their credentials in public.

"There's no question keeping the process as open and transparent as possible will give the public a greater belief we're selecting the best possible candidate we can and not just someone who's a friend of a friend," Schneider said.

Interested candidates for the northwest Cook Metra vacancy must live in the townships of Barrington, Palatine, Wheeling, Hanover, Schaumburg or Elk Grove. For more information or to apply, email

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