Interim village manager appointed in Vernon Hills
Vernon Hills officials have approved an agreement with former Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer to serve as interim village manager, but they remain mum on the circumstances involving the sudden departure of his predecessor.
Fleischhauer has been on the job since March 16, when he took over for John Kalmar, who left the building that day after meeting with Mayor Roger Byrne and has not returned.
The board on Wednesday began its regular meeting with a 90-minute closed session to discuss litigation and personnel. The agreement with Fleischhauer was approved 5-0 during open session, but there are details to be finalized. Trustee Thom Koch was absent.
Fleischhauer will be paid $15,000 a month and receive a monthly vehicle allowance of $400 to $500 and village insurance coverage.
"Because it's an interim position and because it's a month to month and of uncertain duration, the value of the deal is substantially less that the former village manager was making," special counsel for the village Keith Hunt said Thursday.
Kalmar served 14 years as assistant village manager and director of community development overseeing several major projects, incentive agreements and other matters before replacing retiring Village Manager Mike Allison in early 2014. Kalmar's annual salary for the 2017-18 budget year is $200,415.
The sudden turn of events started after an exchange Feb. 13 between Byrne and Kalmar during a special board meeting on the budget. Byrne asked Kalmar whether money had been budgeted for a "recently retained special counsel" and Kalmar replied there wasn't.
Byrne has not returned calls, and trustees have declined to comment on what precipitated Kalmar's departure.
"The village's position is at this time, it has no comment but it will have a statement in the near future," Hunt said.
The village would not comment on Kalmar's status and presumably is negotiating with him on terms and conditions of his departure. There was nothing on the agenda Wednesday for the board to consider in direct regard to Kalmar, and a process to fill the opening has not been determined.
Fleischhauer retired last June after 17 years as Vernon Hills' police chief. Two months later, he was named interim chief in Highland Park and served until February, when a permanent chief was hired.
His employment agreement was approved and is expected to be signed by Byrne next week when details are finalized.
Later in the meeting after the vote, Byrne swore in Fleischhauer as interim manager.
"Thank you very much, and I appreciate the trust and the confidence and support of the entire village council," he said, to the applause of all trustees present.