DuPage forest preserve picks interim directors
Two longtime DuPage County Forest Preserve employees will share the district's top administrative post for less than a month until their new boss starts work.
Commissioners on Tuesday appointed Michael Palazzetti and Robert Vick as interim executive directors until John Lapinski assumes his responsibilities as executive director on Oct. 1.
Palazzetti, who is deputy director of operations, and Vick, who is deputy director of natural resources, had been helping commission President D. "Dewey" Pierotti Jr. oversee the district for nearly a month.
Pierotti said he had been doing interim director duties since the board decided to part ways with former Executive Director Arnie Biondo. After being placed on paid leave Aug. 5, Biondo officially stepped down Tuesday.
Commissioner Shannon Burns said the board appointed Palazzetti and Vick because commissioners didn't want to continue to make Pierotti do the work.
"The board felt we needed to have clearer lines of authority in the very short interim between Arnie (Biondo) leaving and (John) Lapinski coming in," Burns said.
Meanwhile, Palazzetti and Vick "know the district inside and out," according to Burns. Vick has been with the district for nearly 30 years; Palazzetti has spent 32 years with the district.
Commissioner Tim Whelan said he isn't sure the district needs an interim executive director, but since the board wanted to fill the position, he's pleased it was done internally.
"I was not in favor of bringing somebody in from outside for a month," he said.
Whelan said Palazzetti and Vick are "completely capable" of filling their expanded roles. They won't get additional pay for their extra work.
Vick receives a base salary of $138,226 annually; Palazzetti is paid $137,302.