Cary public works director leaving

Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 4:58 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 11:48 p.m. CDT

CARY – As one department head vacancy is filled, another leadership position in the village is about to open up.

Public Works Director Cris Papierniak is leaving Cary to work for Arlington Heights. His last day is Dec. 27.

Papierniak has been with Cary for nine years, and has also served as village engineer. He was making $113,500.

Papierniak goes to Arlington Heights, a village with almost 75,800 people, and will earn $125,000 a year as its assistant director of public works, said Scott Shirley, Arlington Heights's director of public works.

Village Administrator Chris Clark said he anticipates possibly bringing in interim private sector management to help keep current public works projects moving forward. A search for a full-time replacement for Papierniak also is expected to be handled by the village administration over the first half of next year, he added.

When vacancies happen, it allows the village to step back and see what is the best way to serve the needs of the community, Clark said.

"Any organization evolves over time," Clark said. "We've been blessed to have some solid professionals [who] have been able to give us substantial service to the community, but in such a way help build their own careers. It's a normal part of the process in local government."

Cary is poised to finalize a contract with Patrick Finlon to be the police chief. Finlon was selected after a search process that started in September to find a replacement for Steven Casstevens, who left for Buffalo Grove.

Village President Mark Kownick said it's flattering when Cary employees move on to different jobs in bigger communities.

"We do such a good job and our employees are so dedicated," Kownick said. "Sure Cris Papierniak will be missed ... he does a phenomanal job. I have a lot of confidence in him and his abilities and what he's been able to do for the Village of Cary. But moving on, he has to look at his career, and he's still a young guy."

In other changes, John Fitch has been hired to be the village's building and zoning official. Fitch will earn $85,000 a year. He previously worked for the Crystal Lake as the plans examiner.

Clark said Fitch will handle plan reviews, building inspections, project consultation, among other things for Cary.

"That will be a key addition to our staff in terms of providing the high-level customer service and business service to the community," Clark said.

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