Wheeling names inauguration day for ousted village president
Although Wheeling Village President-elect Pat Horcher will take the oath of office Monday, his fellow trustees-to-be and top village employees have proclaimed the occasion as a day to honor the embattled incumbent he's replacing.
Outgoing first-term Village President Dean Argiris won't get another four years, but trustees dubbed Monday as "Dean Argiris Day" to honor his service to the community. Voters ousted Argiris this month amid criticism of how he used a taxpayer-funded village credit card and SUV.
Village Manager Jon Sfondilis, who has since implemented policies banning elected officials from using a village credit card and restricting their use of village vehicles, has temporarily renamed Community Boulevard "Dean Argiris Way."
A black street sign with the new name for the street, which meanders past village hall, the police department and park district buildings, will be given to Argiris as a keepsake after Monday.
Argiris' supporters say he is a hard worker with a passion for the village, and they displayed their appreciation during his final village meeting last week, clapping and rising for standing ovations.
State Rep. Carol Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat, attended the meeting to laud Argiris' four years as village president.
"I would say you jumped into this job with both feet, with your heart, with your soul," Sente said.
Trustees presented the proclamation honoring Argiris and congratulated him for his service. Argiris in turn offered congratulations to Horcher.
"I'm leaving you guys with a great foundation that we've all been part of," Argiris said. "It's really time to build. Let's not go back 20 years; let's move forward 20 years."