Wheeling hires Arlington Hts. development coordinator

Updated 4/17/2013 7:38 PM
  • John Melaniphy

    John Melaniphy

John Melaniphy, the business and development coordinator for Arlington Heights, is resigning to take a job Monday as director of economic development in Wheeling.

Melaniphy, who works to retain and bring in businesses in the village, told officials and colleagues that his decision was based on pay, a department head position and the departure of longtime Mayor Arlene Mulder.

"Mayor Mulder's strong leadership was one of the factors that originally attracted me to the village," Melaniphy said in an email dated Tuesday. "I feel I have made a positive contribution to the economic development efforts in the village during my tenure; however, it is time to pursue other interests."

Melaniphy applied for the open position in Wheeling after former Economic Director Peter Vadopalas left to become the assistant to the village manager in Skokie.

"I think he's got a pretty good track record looking at what Arlington Heights has done the past few years," said Wheeling Village President-elect Dean Argiris. "I'm excited and looking forward to working closely with him."

Before Melaniphy accepted the job in Wheeling, Arlington Heights made a counteroffer in an attempt to keep him because his contributions have been so important, Village Manager Bill Dixon said Wednesday.

Melaniphy reported to Planning and Development Director Charles Witherington-Perkins, but Dixon said Mulder would often accompany him to meetings when her sway was needed to attract or retain businesses. Melaniphy has been with the village about four years, Witherington-Perkins said.

"We certainly thank John for his hard work and efforts over the past few years, and as a team we've accomplished a lot during some difficult times," he said. "But we will keep moving forward to replace him and keep Arlington Heights on the right track."

Witherington-Perkins said he doesn't have a timetable to replace Melaniphy because he wants to make sure to get the right person in the job.

Dixon said he isn't worried about others leaving as Mulder prepares to hand the reins over to Trustee Tom Hayes, who was elected mayor on April 9.

"I don't hear or sense any comments about people leaving because they mayor is leaving," Dixon said. "Certainly Mayor Mulder is going to be missed, but we have Mayor-elect Hayes, and I'm sure he's going to do a wonderful job and the village will continue to provide the best services we can."

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