Village of Kirkland, Illinois

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UPDATE – One Month In as Kirkland Village President…

Greeting Kirkland Residents!  I hope that everyone had a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend and enjoying the ‘unofficial’ start of Summer.  It has already been a month since taking office at the Village of Kirkland and the past month has been a fast-paced, exciting time!  There has no doubt been a lot to learn and I am trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible.  I have been fortunate to have a few individuals step up and assist to ensure the front office is functioning at full capacity while we work to identify a clerk.  I would like to thank Trustees Ziegler and Harvel for their countless hours donated to the Village to ensure bills are paid, payroll is completed and Water Billing is handled.  I would also like to thank Carol Stiegman who donated her time for a week, while on vacation from Hampshire, to train myself and our trustees on the systems we utilize.  Her knowledge and expertise were critical to ensuring the office did not miss a beat during the transition period.  Lastly, I would like to thank Wanda McMurray for filling the Acting Clerk position while we finish up the process of appointing a new clerk.  All of these ladies have dedicated a lot of time away from family and friends to ensure we move forward.  Overall, all the trustees and myself have done a great job at making a smooth transition and building teamwork and collaboration between the Trustees and Village President.  I look forward to growing this relationship with the trustees and imploring even more positive interactions between us!

As for my transition, I have had great conversations and progress with our Village Engineer (Fehr-Graham), Village Attorney (ZMFR) and Building Inspector (B & F Construction Code Services) to understand current issues facing the Village and developing a plan of action to prioritize and complete them.  We have made great progress in our permitting process and look to continue to improve that with web-friendly documents that make it simpler for residents to inquire about and apply for permits within the Village of Kirkland.  Our Public Works department has met with Fehr-Graham to review the condition and needs of our Village roads and sidewalks.  We will look to address some of these needs this year in an effort to improve the infrastructure of Kirkland.  During the last meeting, May 15th, we appointed Adam Davenport as our new Chief of Police for Kirkland.  Chief Davenport has already begun working to identify the 2017-2018 needs for the Kirkland Police Department and review of the budget.  Chief Davenport is also working on a 30-60-90 Day Plan relative to the Police Department and its functions and we look forward to seeing that report in the next couple of weeks.  Overall, the first month has been very productive with these departments and we will build on that over the next several months.

The next 30 days for me will be focused on completing the transition and appointments for the Village of Kirkland.  We will look to finalize the Village Clerk position and appoint an Auditor.  These last two appointments will complete the transition of positions needed.  There will also be a lot of time and effort spent on the 2017-2018 Budget.  We are looking to ensure we meet the current needs within the Village while also being conscious of future projects that need funding.  We will ensure that we are utilizing funds as efficiently as possible in every department and work towards a balanced (or surplus) budget for 2017-2018!  Lastly, we will look to ramp up the work needed to prepare and execute for the upcoming 4thof July festivities that will take place in Kirkland.  We want the visitors and residents of Kirkland to have pride in their town and have a positive experience during these festivities.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone for the kind words and support I have received since taking office on May 1st.  I have no doubts we have made progress in the first month and we will continue to do so in the months and years going forward.  I appreciate everyone’s patience as we finalize the transition and improve the functionality from the Village of Kirkland!  I wish everyone a safe and fun summer ahead and will provide another update before the 4th of July.

All the best,

Ryan Block
Village President

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