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Longtime Lombard manager calls it quits
By Kathryn Grondin | Daily Herald Staff

William Lichter

 

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Published: 11/8/2007 12:28 AM

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Lombard's longtime village manager is preparing to turn in his keys to the municipal building.

William Lichter is planning to retire June 1 from the manager position he's held for nearly 23 years.

"For him to stay for years speaks very highly of his abilities," Village President William Mueller said. "He's done an excellent job for our community. He's very professional. He's a man of character."

Trustee Richard Tross called Lichter "a true professional."

"Philosophically, we are at different ends of the spectrum," Tross said. "But he has been outstanding."

Tross praised Lichter's staffing decisions and ability to keep the village "focused and moving in the right direction."

"He will be very difficult to replace," Tross said.

Lichter came to Lombard in January 1985 after serving as the assistant city manager in Mentor, Ohio. Previously, he was an administrative assistant in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Before entering government, Lichter spent five years volunteering in the Peace Corps, serving in the Philippines and on Saipan in the Mariana Islands of Micronesia (near Guam).

"I was interested in seeing other parts of the world, living with other cultures and trying to do whatever I could to assist," Lichter said. "It was a very interesting experience."

During Lichter's tenure, Lombard has grown from a bedroom community to a bustling suburb with a diverse mix of residences, retail, manufacturing and other businesses.

Significant infrastructure improvements, including roads and sewers, have been completed. There also been significant planning for the future.

"All those things have been very gratifying," Lichter said, adding, "It's not just my doing. It was everybody's doing.

"We have a very professional staff here, well qualified people who care about what they are doing," he said. "The village board works very well together."

Trustees have adopted an extensive series of financial policies and procedures that Lichter proposed to guide financial operations and provide consistency in financial matters.

"During his career, Bill has consistently created new programs and techniques to address the community's issues and needs," Assistant Village Manager David Hulseberg said in a statement.

"His quiet demeanor and vision have made him an unsung hero of our community," Hulseberg said. "He has provided the steady leadership to transform the community from its past to the present, with a vision for its future."

Lichter, who lives in Lombard, said he will spend part of his retirement traveling. He also plans to teach or consult in city management and, possibly, do some work abroad with his wife, Jane.

Lombard officials are expected to conduct a national search to find Lichter's successor. The specifics of the process will be discussed in the coming weeks.