Oakwood Hills appoints new trustee after Kurt Hummel resigns

Oakwood Hills resident Jessica Alm was appointed to the Village Board after the board accepted Trustee Kurt Hummel’s resignation during its meeting Thursday night.

Village President Chad Rider said Hummel was working as a trustee up until Thursday despite submitting his resignation earlier. The reason for Hummel’s resignation, Rider said, was a professional change.

“He informed me that he had a career opportunity that he couldn’t refuse,” Rider said.

After Hummel’s resignation, Rider put out a notice to some groups and residents that he was looking for a new trustee, and Alm responded.

Alm and her husband have lived in Oakwood Hills for almost five years.

She said she feels it is important to become active in the community, which drove her decision, especially given the dissolution and deannexation proposal on the March 17 ballot regarding Oakwood Hills.

Last year, a group of residents successfully petitioned to put a referendum on the ballot asking voters whether to dissolve the village.

However, after the petition was submitted, the same group submitted a proposal to the board to disconnect the Chalet Hills subdivision of Oakwood Hills from the rest of the village as an alternative.

Although voters would decide whether the village is dissolved, the board would have to approve a deannexation of Chalet Hills.

“I know that there’s a lot of things that are going on within the community, and there’s a lot of dividing between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ And I don’t want to have an us and them mentality,” Alm said. “To me, we’re just a community, and I want to be able to help support that.”

To do that, Alm said, she will reach out to people in the community.

“I’m very active in regard to making sure that everybody has the information that they need, the facts that they need,” she said.

As a trustee, Alm said her focus will be on the deannexation and dissolution questions, but she also wants to work on improving the lake and parks.

Alm, a consultant for a human capital management company, doesn’t have any previous political experience.

“It’s not something that I’ve been used to, but it’s something that I’m really willing to dive into and become a part of just for the community itself,” she said.

In preparation for her new role, Alm said she has been attending the Finance Committee and Public Safety Committee meetings for the past month. She has not yet been assigned to a committee as a board member, but Rider said that he would work on that in the coming days.

Trustees receive $100 stipends for their work on the board.

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