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New accountant impresses Worth officials

By Joe Boyle

Kelly Zabinski wanted to make it clear that she was not your typical accountant.

“I don’t come in with pencils or pens in my top pocket,” Zabinski told members of the Worth Village Board Tuesday night. “I’m not like most accountants. I have a sense of humor. If you have any questions, I would like to go out and have a cup of coffee and we can talk about it.”

Zabinski attended the board meeting in an effort to be considered to become the new finance director for Worth. Her Zabinski Consulting Services Inc. was also being considered for professional financial services for the village.

At the last board meeting, a decision to hire Zabinski was tabled so the trustees could get an opportunity to meet her. Zabinski did not attend the last meeting, a decision she now regrets.

“I had some vacation time and wanted to get it in,” Zabinski said. “But in hindsight, I should have been here.”

During the previous meeting, Trustees Rich Dziedzic and Kevin Ryan stated that although Zabinski has impressive credentials, they wanted to meet her personally. She is replacing Dwayne Fox, who suddenly decided to retire due to a medical condition.

Ryan asked if Zabinski would be working in the village? Zabinski said that she would indeed be here two to three days a week, along with an associate.

“I have served the last 15 years exclusively in Justice and I have been their treasurer,” Zabinski said. “I fell in love with government as an auditor.”

Dziedzic admitted he was concerned when Zabinski was not present at the last meeting, especially since Fox has served Worth for so long.

“In Dwyane’s defense, you have big shoes to fill,” Dziedzic said. “And I have no doubt that you will. You do have great credentials.”

Zabinski, perhaps sensing these concerns, reminded the board of her southwest suburban roots.

“I grew up not far from here in Palos Hills,” Zabinski said. “I know this area, I grew up here. My number one goal is to take care of your constituents’ money. I can help you.”

Zabinski has served as a municipal auditor for about 15 years with CroweChizek & Co. LLP, William F. Gurrie & Associates, and most recently, Virchow & Co. She has also served as the assistant finance director for Woodridge.

She has an MBA in Finance from DePaul University and is a licensed CPA in Illinois. Zabinski started her own firm in 2006.

The board thanked Zabinski for answering their questions. The board officially approved her appointment as part of the consent agenda later in the meeting.

Fox will stay on for the next few weeks to advise and assist Zabinski.

In other business, Trustee Pete Kats, who is the head of the Public Safety Committee, reminded the board and residents that the Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Worth Police Department, 7112 W. 111th St.

Residents are advised to keep medications safely away and bring outdated drugs to Take Back Day. DEA’s Take Back Day provides an opportunity for residents to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

Trustee Brad Urban, who is the head of the Public Works Committee, said the water samples collected by the water department on Sept. 13 and 28 were found to be satisfactory.

Urban said that there was one mainline event during the month in the 11400 block of South Harlem Avenue, which has since been repaired.

“Our street program is just about complete,” Mayor Mary Werner said. “The asphalt has been put down. I know the residents who live on those blocks are very happy.”

Trustee Laura Packwood, who is the head of the golf committee, said during the month of August, sales of food and beverages were much higher than a year ago. She added that LED lights have been installed along the driving range.

A business license was given tentative approval for the Worth Auto Finance Inc., 6655 W. 111th St., Suite 5. Owner Hasan Hussein said the business, which is moving into a former dry cleaner, will just be selling vehicles and no repairs will be made there. They will also offer online service and plan to have a website up soon.

The Worth Park District Halloween Haunted Trails will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22 and 23, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30, along the Worth Boat Launch Trail at 11500 S. Beloit Ave.

Werner mentioned that volunteers are being sought for the event. Many of the volunteers being sought could be of high school age, who may serve as “ghouls,” the mayor said. High school students could receive service time from their respective schools if they volunteer.

Village Clerk Bonnie Price reminded residents that the Worth Lions will be holding their Candy Days Friday, Oct. 8. Volunteers will be found at 111th and Harlem, 111th and Ridgeland and 115th and Ridgeland. Money raised from the event will go to benefit individuals who are hearing and visually impaired.

Price also said that Halloween trick-or-treat hours in the village will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31.

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