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Mokena persuades retiring supervisor to stay through snow season

Updated: January 14, 2013 7:18AM



After Craig Heim’s more than 37 years of service, Mokena can’t quite let go of the utilities superintendent.

Village administrator John Downs said Heim intended to retire in November after being employed by Mokena since 1975, 25 of those years in a supervisory capacity. But Heim agreed to stay on for four more months to get Mokena through the snowplowing season, Downs said.

After Heim officially retires March 31, Downs said the village will downsize the public works department by one employee. Although the village is in better financial shape now, the reduction will continue a trend of staff reductions made over the past three years to deal with the economic downturn that began in 2008.

Downs said the reduction will “shift some management responsibilities around” but won’t result in any less service to residents.

Downs said he was “very confident” about the restructuring, saying the village hopes to get its engineering staff more involved in day-to-day operations.

In return for agreeing to stay on four additional months, Heim, whose salary is $99,717, also will receive health care benefits for a year after he retires, at the same 90-10 split of the cost the village’s employees now have, Downs said.

”It’s very good for us, because if he left, we would have had to shift other people around,” Downs said. “That would have put us a little short during the critical snowplowing season. This helps us greatly.”



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