BOLINGBROOK, IL — The village board made a significant change to Bolingbrook's public safety administrative structure during its Sept. 8 meeting. Trustees voted to reinstate the positions of the police and fire chiefs — due to the creation of the co-administrator positions — and eliminate the role of the public safety director.
The change comes after former public safety director Ken Teppel became a co-administrator for the village in July, when longtime mayor Roger Claar decided to step down and the trustees approved the appointment of Mary Alexander Basta as the interim mayor until the elections next April.
Teppel and Lucas Rickelman, the village's former director of public services and development, were appointed as co-administrators. The restructuring reduced the mayor's salary and turned it into a part-time position
"When we moved to a co-administrator form of operations, the public safety director position was no longer needed," said Village Trustee Michael Carpanzano. "The public safety director position was not in the organizational chart that was approved back in the July village board meeting."
He said the public safety director position was most likely created to reduce full-time equivalent hours in response to the 2008 economic downturn. Teppel was appointed in this role in 2017 after Tom Ross retired.
During the Sept. 8 meeting, the board also named Deputy Police Chief Michael Rompa as the new chief of police. Carpanzano said Rompa has "put in countless hours nearly every single day during the COVID-19 assisting in all aspects of protecting and serving our community."
"Rompa is a dedicated police professional, and has long-standing roots in this community," he said. "Our community is truly blessed to have leadership that is community-involved, deeply rooted, and respected by our residents."
Teppel told the board that the village's budget would not be impacted by this move since Rompa would not see an increase in his salary.
Basta said the local firefighters' union supported this shuffling of the roles as they want a chief to lead their department. Carpanzano said that the village will name a fire safety chief "soon."
Even though this is a significant change for the village residents, Carpanzano said that the public is accustomed to this structure in the realm of public safety since most municipalities are run by fire and police chiefs.
"As the Village of Bolingbrook shifts day-to-day operations to our two co-administrators under the direction of Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta, I have full confidence that there will be continued proactive steps being taken to keep our village safe," he said. "This organizational change will only work to strengthen our efficiencies as a village."