Larson receives ovation at final full meeting in Schaumburg

  • Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson thanks the village board and those in attendance after presiding over his final regular meeting Tuesday. He will open a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. April 30 for the swearing-in of newly elected and re-elected board members that will be followed by a reception at village hall.

      Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson thanks the village board and those in attendance after presiding over his final regular meeting Tuesday. He will open a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. April 30 for the swearing-in of newly elected and re-elected board members that will be followed by a reception at village hall. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Fire and Police Commissioner Peter Justen, left, congratulates Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson at the conclusion of the mayor's final regular village board meeting Tuesday.

      Fire and Police Commissioner Peter Justen, left, congratulates Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson at the conclusion of the mayor's final regular village board meeting Tuesday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • After 32 years in office, Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson presides over his final regular village board meeting Tuesday.

      After 32 years in office, Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson presides over his final regular village board meeting Tuesday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson prepares to take his seat to preside over his final regular village board meeting after 32 years in office Tuesday.

      Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson prepares to take his seat to preside over his final regular village board meeting after 32 years in office Tuesday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 

As low-key as Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson tried to make it Tuesday night, the final regular village board meeting he presided over after 32 years in office ended with both a round of applause before adjournment and a standing ovation just after.

"That was off the record, of course," he quipped.

After the various resolutions, ordinances, proclamations, liquor license requests and the payment of bills, it fell to Trustee Marge Connelly right before the gavel strike to acknowledge it was Larson's final business meeting and convey the board's best wishes on his imminent retirement.

This triggered the first round of applause from the trustees, village staff and audience as well as further comment from others.

"As that other old boy used to say, 'Thanks for the Memories,'" Trustee Frank Kozak said, citing the song popularized by Bob Hope.

Larson, who'd already skipped an opportunity to speak during the scheduled mayor's report, returned the gratitude by saying all the past and present trustees he'd worked with were equally deserving of applause.

"I could not have done anything positive over the years without the support of my fellow board members," he said.

His closing of the meeting was then followed by all in the village hall meeting room rising to their feet and applauding again.

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If anything during the meeting demonstrated how long 32 years are, it was that an agreement with AT&T to install small cell antennas on village-owned light poles fell on the consent agenda of multiple items approved by a single vote.

Larson said he remembers well when objections about cell antennas were common. But the world's and village's embrace of technology has changed to such a degree, he said, that a greater concern today is people not looking up from the Pokemon Go augmented-reality game on their smartphones while crossing the street.

Larson will open a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, for the swearing-in of his successor, longtime Trustee Tom Dailly, as well as Trustee-elect Brian Bieschke, re-elected trustees George Dunham and Mark Madej, and Village Clerk Marilyn Karr who was unchallenged in the April 2 election.

The special meeting will be followed by a reception toasting the past and future elected officials at village hall, 101 Schaumburg Court.

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