LANSING | If Village President Norm Abbott gets his way, he will be the final full-time executive leader of his south suburban community.
On Tuesday, Abbott said he’d like to see Lansing follow the lead of nearby municipalities such as Munster and South Holland, both of which have part-time village or council presidents who work with a full-time professional administrator to run their local governments.
Abbott said he has given the issue much thought in recent months. On Tuesday, he asked village trustees if they would oppose such a change. When no opposition was expressed, the issue was put on the July 17 Village Board agenda.
Abbott said he’d like the Village Board to formally create the position on that date and engage in a hiring process that would pick someone for an administrator position by Sept. 1.
Currently, the village president position for Lansing is a full-time job that pays a salary of about $110,000. Abbott said that if the post becomes part-time, he thinks the salary should be cut to $15,000, with another $5,000 for the duties he fulfills as liquor commissioner.
Such a change would take effect as of May 2013, which is the next time that newly elected officials will be sworn into office.
Abbott said there is a time factor involved if the change is to be made, since any change in municipal compensation has to be approved 180 days prior to the beginning of a term.
Abbott said an administrator would run the village government on a daily basis, but would have to follow the dictates of the Village Board. Trustees and the village president would continue to set the village tax levy and determine a long-range vision for Lansing.
“We would still set the legislative direction for the village,” Abbott said. “I think it is time that we consider looking at having a professional, which seems to work very well in other communities.”