Longtime Barrington fire chief will retire in March
With a state-mandated retirement age looming, longtime Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie will exit early next year under an agreement that was approved by the village board Monday night.
Under the deal, Arie's retirement will be effective March 6. The agreement also calls for Arie, who started in Barrington in 2003, to receive a $30,000 lump-sum payment along with cash compensation for all earned and accrued vacation and personal time.
Arie, 64, said the village is working with Northbrook-based recruitment firm GovHR USA in seeking applicants for his replacement through Jan. 22. He said he'll turn 65 on Aug. 3 and that by state law he would have had to retire the day before. Instead, he chose to exit five months early.
"Every day I've been here they've been wonderful and they treated me great, and it will be something that I will miss," Arie said in an interview at village hall Monday. "Wonderful place. A lot of good people."
Barrington officials credited Arie for his leadership in public safety and promoting the need for a Northwest Highway underpass at the Canadian National Railway tracks near Lake Zurich Road. He stressed how the underpass would eliminate train blockages for ambulances trying to reach Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital from Barrington's southeast side.
Village President Karen Darch said she's grateful for Arie's years of service to Barrington.
"Our village often faces unique public safety issues centered around the significant railroad presence in our town," Darch said, "and Chief Arie has been very diligent in keeping abreast of those issues and ensuring that our Barrington community has the proper public safety responses in place at all times."
Arie was the Frankfort Fire Protection District's deputy chief when Barrington hired him for the top post in 2003. Barrington's village manager at the time Arie selected from among 65 candidates with assistance from three advisory committees and a professional fire chief assessment center.
He started his career as a firefighter and paramedic in Urbana in 1976 and shifted to Champaign in 1979. In 1987, he became the first director of the ambulance service for Champaign's city hospital.
In 1995, Arie became deputy fire administrator of the New Lenox Fire Protection District. He became deputy chief of the Frankfort fire district in 1998.
He was a regional leader during his time in Barrington, working with other suburban fire chiefs on the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System and other efforts. He most recently has been Barrington's emergency operations coordinator on top of his fire chief duties, which village records show paid a roughly $132,000 base salary.
Arie, who was married over the weekend, said in retirement he plans to travel, "play bad golf" and keep up with his son who is in the military.
"A lot of good things going on," he said, "and it's a good time."