Antioch police chief to serve dual roles as acting village administrator

Veteran Antioch village administrator Jim Keim has taken an early retirement incentive ending a 20-year career with the village.

Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow was appointed acting administrator in consecutive actions Wednesday by the Antioch village board. Guttschow will hold both positions.

Guttschow joined the Antioch police department in 1999, was named sergeant in 2007 and held various posts after that. He was named interim chief in March 2020 and permanent chief in August 2020.

Guttschow was at the helm through COVID, the Kyle Rittenhouse arrest and times of national social unrest, officials said.

Mayor Scott Gartner said his role as police chief "underscores his ability to lead through complex situations."

An Antioch resident, Guttschow served several terms on the Antioch Community High School District 117 board and is known for community policing initiatives.

His appointment as acting administrator reflects his "steadfast commitment to public service and exceptional leadership during challenging times," according to the village announcement.

Gartner said Keim's retirement is voluntary.

"This isn't like any type of termination or anything," Gartner said. "We've been talking for some time about (Keim) winding down or transitioning."

The agreement calls for Keim to retire effective March 15, 2024. He'll be on paid accrued time off until then and in the interim continue to accrue sick, holiday, personal and vacation time in the usual manner. That combination will carry through to the retirement date.

Keim no longer is at village hall but, according to the agreement, will provide advice on reasonable request by answering questions and being available for phone calls and occasional meetings.

An Antioch native and Antioch High School graduate with family and friends in town, Keim, 53, is considered a fount of institutional knowledge. He joined the staff as village engineer in 2001, left in 2003 but returned in 2007 in another administrative post before starting as village administrator June 1, 2009.

His fiscal year 2023-24 annual salary was $183,330. Guttschow makes $154,500 as police chief and will be compensated for added responsibilities but the amount hasn't been determined.

During his time, Keim oversaw the development of the village's wastewater treatment plant, opening of the Antioch Aquatic Center, various redevelopment efforts and considerable work on the ongoing uncovering and revival of Sequoit Creek as a centerpiece of a gateway park under construction in downtown.

Completing the $12.5 million park and development of a new village hall and/or public works facility are among ongoing considerations.

Keim is the first to avail of the early retirement program being revived by the village. More employees are expected to follow as about 11 would qualify for the program.

"There definitely will be a cost savings. That all depends on who takes it," Gartner said.

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Jim Keim
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