Public Works Director Out as Part of Staff Reorganizing
All that has been said surrounding the departure of Orland Parks Public Works Director Ed Wilmes is that it happened Thursday.
Updated, 2:10 p.m. Wednesday
Ed Wilmes, who served as public works and engineering director since 2010, spent his last day in the position on Feb. 16. The village is taking transportation, planning and engineering responsibilities from public works and placing them within development services, and changing the public works director position, said Orland Park spokesman Joe LaMargo.
“I think it will flow a lot better the way it is structured now,” LaMargo said Tuesday. “The recommendations by Matrix (Consulting Group) to move transportation, planning and similar work to development services make sense.”
On Jan. 3, Edwardsville-based Matrix Consulting Group submitted a staffing assessment recommending that Orland Park Public Works be refocused into a repairs and maintenance unit, taking on similar work that was done by the parks and buildings departments, while handing over engineering and similar project management to development services.
From the assessment:
“Engineering Services should be consolidated within the Village to provide a single unit responsible for overseeing all engineering design review, inspections, and planning efforts.”
“To better focus efforts, all maintenance functions from the Parks and Building Maintenance and Public Works Departments should be combined into a single organizational unit. (i.e. Infrastructure Maintenance).”
Public works will be renamed infrastructure maintenance, and will focus on repairing and maintaining village water systems, utilities, streets, sidewalks, village vehicles and lighting among other tasks.
John Ingram, who worked as utility superintendent since 1986, now has the new title of infrastructure and maintenance director, LaMargo said. The public works director position will be reclassified as a transportation, projects and planning management role under development services, and the opening will be posted publically, LaMargo said.
Projects in play, such as the completion of the 143rd Street and LaGrange Road intersection, as well as nearby areas, and the eventual widening of LaGrange Road, will continue as planned, LaMargo said.
“Nothing is held up and nothing will be put on hold,” LaMargo said. “When we work on projects we have a number of people working on them.”
On Feb. 9, Wilmes spoke at length in front of a joint meeting between Orland Park and Tinley Park officials and staff about the years-long undertaking to widen LaGrange Road, among other sizable projects.
LaMargo declined to comment whether Wilmes had prior notice that the position would be altered before his last day.
Wilmes declined to comment on Wednesday.