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Vernon Hills village manager to step down

VernHills Assistant Village Manager John Kalmar pictured will move up after Jan. 31 retirement current Village Manager Mike Allison. |

Vernon Hills Assistant Village Manager John Kalmar, pictured, will move up after the Jan. 31 retirement of current Village Manager Mike Allison. | Sun-Times files

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Updated: January 6, 2014 1:12PM



After more than a decade with Vernon Hills, Village Manager Mike Allison has announced his retirement.

His last day is Jan. 31.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a time,” Allison, 63, said. “It has nothing to do negatively with what I’m doing here ... I just feel it’s time.”

He steered the village’s day-to-day operations for 15 years, a tenure that saw Vernon Hills taking on the construction of a large sports facility and overseeing retail developments like an expanded Westfield Hawthorn mall.

Mayor Roger Byrne said Allison managed to deftly respond to developers and residents as the village’s retail sector exploded over the years.

“He’ll be missed,” Byrne said.

Trustees were set to name Assistant Village Manager John Kalmar as his successor at the Tuesday, Dec. 3 board meeting.

Byrne recommended Kalmar to the post.

His proposed salary is $155,000, according to village documents.

Kalmar previously worked as the Hawthorn Woods village administrator and Lake Forest’s assistant city planner.

Vernon Hills hired him around the same time Allison joined the staff. Kalmar has helped negotiate tax incentives and organized banner events like the Winter Wonderland light show.

“He’s highly qualified,” Byrne said.

Officials expect to fill the vacancy left by Kalmar’s promotion over the next several weeks, Byrne said. The village board will likely search for a newcomer to the staff.

“I think we’re definitely going to bring someone in,” Byrne said.

Allison said planning the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex is one of his proudest accomplishments.

“When you work on such a big project that so many people in the community participate in or derive enjoyment from, it’s really a wonderful thing,” he said.



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