Island Lake may hire new building inspector Thursday
Two weeks after Island Lake's building inspector angrily resigned on the same night he was introduced to the public, the village board on Thursday may hire a successor.
The nominee, Round Lake Trustee Russell Kraly, already has begun work, even though Island Lake's village board hasn't approved his employment.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Kraly said he began work Monday at the direction of Mayor Charles Amrich.
Amrich said he reached out to trustees to make sure there was consensus about bringing Kraly aboard. He said he wanted Kraly to start Monday because summertime is building construction season.
"We were under the gun to get somebody in here," Amrich said.
None of the trustees could be reached for comment.
Kraly, 73, a retired home inspector and electrician, has been a Round Lake trustee since 2014. He previously served as Round Lake's village administrator, as a building official in Hainesville and as a trustee in Round Lake Beach, among other elected and appointed municipal positions.
Amrich liked Kraly's professional experience.
"He's got a good background and seems very knowledgeable," Amrich said.
Kraly is set to be paid $30 per hour and work a maximum 25 hours per week, according to village documents. He said he'll remain a Round Lake trustee because that elected job doesn't conflict with the Island Lake position.
Island Lake's previous building inspector, Ken Adkins, resigned during a June 27 board meeting just minutes after being publicly introduced.
According to multiple audience members, Adkins criticized the trustees' contentious behavior during the meeting, insulted them and walked out of the boardroom.
Adkins had replaced longtime Building Commissioner and Amrich political ally Wayne Schnell.
Trustees fired Schnell in May, saying he inconsistently enforced local ordinances and lacked sufficient knowledge for the job.
Schnell is one of several village employees who've been fired in the last year or so.
Kraly said he interviewed for the job because he worked in the building industry much of his life and wanted a part-time job.
Kraly isn't concerned about the turmoil at village hall.
"I'm there to do a job for the village," he said. "Politics and personal feelings don't have anything to do with this job."
Thursday's board meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.