Retiring Round Lake Beach mayor endorses successor
A day after Round Lake Beach Mayor Richard Hill submitted his resignation, he has endorsed Trustee Scott Nickles to take his place.
Hill announced he was retiring Thursday after holding the office for nearly 20 years. Hill said Nickles, a retired Chicago police officer, has been seen as his successor for some time.
Hill said he expects the village board will choose the next mayor Sept. 21, after which he will step down Sept. 30.
Nickles could not be reached for comment.
"I'd really like to thank the residents of Round Lake Beach for letting me be a part of their life and the community over the years," Hill said Friday. He added that he's happy to be able to focus on other endeavors and his family in retirement.
Retirement from public office was a long time in the making, Hill said. He had chosen not to run for reelection in the spring and stepped down now because of the increased workload he deals with as a human resource manager for nine Ace Hardware stores, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he's been unable to perform his duties as mayor with the full attention he believed the position deserves.
First elected as a trustee in 1995, Hill was elected mayor in 2001 and has been a well-known figure for decades in the village.
Achievements he's most proud of include overseeing construction of the village's Cultural and Civic Center at 2007 N. Civic Center Way, building the Rollins Road and Route 83 overpass, improving ComEd's services throughout the village, and making Lakefront Park more handicap accessible.
When he first ran for election, Hill uncovered budget errors that shorted the village $1.25 million of a $6 million budget. He helped balance the budget, according to the resignation letter he submitted to the village.
"He's done monumental things for this village and his tenacity in his role and his excitement of being the mayor at Round Lake Beach has always been noticeable," village Trustee Paul Stout said.
Stout said Hill will be missed by the board and the community. However, Stout said, he is not surprised Hill is retiring.
"Mayor Hill's been doing this for quite some time, almost 20 years," he said. "Eventually you want to retire. I think we all that hope that we can."