Willow Springs expected to hire Lyons official as village administrator
By Steve Metsch
Ryan Grace, public works director in Lyons for the past four years, is expected to be hired as the Willow Springs village administrator tonight.
The village board is expected to approve his hiring during its 7 p.m. meeting.
Grace, 38, said he was offered the job by Willow Springs Mayor Melissa N. Neddermeyer and he has accepted the offer. Grace said he has already met with department heads in Willow Springs.
All that’s left is official approval from the village board. Neddermeyer could not be reached for comment.
On Jan. 18, Grace discussed his new job before attending his last Lyons Village Board meeting.
“This is something I’ve been working towards for several years,” Grace said. “It’s a good opportunity with a very well-run community.”’
Grace starts his new job on Monday, Jan. 31, three days after his last day as public works director in Lyons.
He thinks his years in public works have prepared him: “In my role here, I’m involved in just about every project the village (of Lyons) does.”
“They have great department heads already in place,” he said of Willow Springs. “Mayor Neddermeyer has a good vision for the community.”
“She wants to do a lot of things we do here in Lyons,” Grace said. “They want to expand on community events, work on capital improvements, (and offer) more resident services.”
Grace served on the Lyons Village Board in 2011 as a trustee. He also has worked as director of buildings and grounds at Lyons School District 103.
Grace has been working in his hometown. He grew up in Lyons, and is a graduate of Robinson School.
“That’s unique about working in Lyons,” he said. “A lot of people I knew growing up are still here. Friends. Their parents. When they call, it’s always first-name basis.”
“Show me a picture of a house and I can probably tell you what street it’s on,” Grace said. “It’s a comfort level I’ll have to work towards in Willow Springs.”
He admitted that it’s hard to leave.
“Tremendous people here,” he said. “That’s why we’re all successful. It’s a good team here. It’s tough to leave, but I know they have a great team in place (in Willow Springs).”
“It’s a big change, a big move, but it’s really exciting, the next progression in my career,” Grace said.
Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty said Grace will be missed.
“He’s done a fantastic job. He’s accommodating to all our requests. He’s responsive to the residents. Professional. Follows through,” Getty said.
“He’s at any type of event or work being done – snow plowing or a water main break – (and) he gets along with everybody. A good, young leader. I think he’s going to do a fantastic job in Willow Springs,” Getty said.
During the meeting, trustee James Veselsky, who oversees public works, thanked Grace for “all your help and congratulations on your new job as village manager in Willow Springs.”
The mayor, trustees, and department heads then broke into applause.
Grace, his wife, son and daughter live in Darien.
Grace will be replacing Brent Woods, who was hired in 2017 and who left last summer to become public works director in Homer Glen. Woods is also a Palos Township trustee.
Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony
The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…
Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title
By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…
Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…
Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney
By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…
Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…
Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials
Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…
‘Small Island, Big Song’ workshops enrich classroom learning at MVCC
From staff reports Coming from some of the smallest islands in the world, performers from “Small Island, Big Song” talked about climate change, indigenous cultures and island history from their homelands to students in select sociology and geography classes at Moraine Valley Community College last month. The group performed their musical and spoken word endeavor…
Pathlights names new executive director
From staff reports Elaine Grande has been appointed Executive Director by Pathlights’ Board of Directors effective May 30. Grande brings more than 30 years of successful leadership experience and becomes only the third Executive Director in the Palos Heights nonprofit’s 46-year history. She currently leads all Pathlights program and services as Director of Program Development…
Grand reopening Friday for Bedford Park Walmart
Bedford Park residents can get a first look at the newly remodeled Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave., on Friday, May 20. The store will celebrate its ReGrand Opening with activities for the community beginning at 9 a.m. Along with a disc jockey who will play hit tunes, community residents are invited to enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks…
Oak Lawn community honors late beloved coach
Varsity baseball park renamed Skip Sullivan Field By Joe Boyle Friends and associates of Skip Sullivan said that he was always a ray of sunshine even on the dreariest of days. The sky was actually overcast over the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball field on Tuesday afternoon. But those who knew Sullivan said…
Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’
By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the number two Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, never imagined landing the role of state representative – or that he would leave office feeling that he has been successful at it. The first openly LGTBQ leader in Illinois History,…
11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday afternoon, a Cook County judge found Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith in contempt of court for the 11th time for violating court orders to move children to proper placements. The 11-year-old girl at the center of the case has…
Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The official misconduct case against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center senior staff member was dismissed on Thursday. Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp dropped the charges, related to a cover-up of abuse at the state-run facility, against Choate’s quality assurance manager Gary Goins. The…
ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.” Those two sentences may be coming to a gas pump near you…
CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday, May 19, suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial census…
Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial…
Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has resumed participation in the federal Title X family planning program after refusing to take part for the past three years in protest over a Trump administration policy regarding abortion services. Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that the state has been awarded $5.4 million…
Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFILED – Owners of firearms that do not have serial numbers – referred to as ghost guns – will have 180 days to take them to a federal firearm dealer to have them serialized or they will risk being charged with a misdemeanor. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the…
What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved
By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Amid a campaign season in which every constitutional office and seat in the Illinois General Assembly will be up for vote, rising crime and a landmark criminal justice reform passed in 2021 have become dominant topics for Republicans trying to loosen Democrats’ hold on state government.…
Cost of Statehouse renovation higher than estimated but within state’s budget
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The cost of renovating the north wing of the Illinois Statehouse will be more expensive than officials initially estimated. Only one bid came in for the project, which is about to get underway. CORE Construction Services of Illinois Inc. priced the job at $243.5 million, well…