A 22-year Rolling Meadows resident has been appointed Ward 2 alderman to fill the remaining term of Jerry Hill, who died unexpectedly last month.
Mayor Len Prejna's appointment of Nick Budmats to the city council seat representing the north side ward was approved 6-0 Tuesday night by the city council. Hill was elected to a 4-year term in April, but Budmats will serve only until the next municipal election in 2019.
Budmats, 53, was the only person to submit a letter and résumé to Prejna, who said others called him to express interest in the job, though they never followed up with formal, written interest.
Hill, 64, died at his home Aug. 13. City officials haven't released a cause of death.
Prejna was Ward 2 alderman from 2013 until he won a three-way mayor's race in April.
Budmats admits he doesn't have any political experience but says he had been considering getting into public service as he nears retirement.
"I just want to participate and do my part," Budmats said after a swearing-in ceremony at Tuesday's city council meeting.
He is general manager of Schaumburg-based Jeffrey Elevator Co., which manufactures and installs elevators for businesses in the Chicago area. He's been involved in the family business since age 13, when he started learning the ropes from his father. Budmats is also co-founder of Vertex Corp., which provides consultations to property owners on elevator performance evaluation.
Budmats said he would be familiar with city council meeting structure because he knows Robert's Rules of Order from his time as board chairman for a religious summer camp in northern Wisconsin.
In his first action as alderman, Budmats voted "present" on a proposal to approve a three-lot subdivision for new houses next to his house on Benton Street.
The developer proposed having two lots of 10,000 square feet each and one at 9,209 square feet -- which would've required a zoning variation. Budmats' wife spoke earlier in the meeting against it.
The request was voted down 4-2, as the council sided with neighbors who said the smaller lot size would be out of character with the area.