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Village of Hazel Crest Appoints New Manager

Lee Edwards | 3/20/2014, 11:15 a.m.
The Village of Hazel Crest’s Board of Trustees recently voted to appoint the village’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Marlo Kemp, ...
"We want Hazel Crest to be seen as an area where businesses can come and flourish. That’s not only good from a revenue perspective but also a quality of life perspective.” - Marlo Kemp

The Village of Hazel Crest’s Board of Trustees recently voted to appoint the village’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Marlo Kemp, to the position of Village Manager after the retirement of Kemps’ predecessor, James Whigham, Sr., who served the village for two years, until he officially stepped down on February 28.

Kemp is expected to be officially sworn in at the next village meeting later this month where he will also sign a contract with the village.

Village President
Vernard Alsberry, Jr.

Village President Vernard Alsberry, Jr.

“One of the things I want to do is expand the economic base and revenue sources. We really want to expand the economic footprint of the village, " Kemp said. We want to make sure that we get revenue from not only property taxes and the like but also encourage village residents to patronize Hazel Crest businesses. We want Hazel Crest to be seen as an area where businesses can come and flourish. That’s not only good from a revenue perspective but also a quality of life perspective.”

Kemp is now positioned to serve as both village manager and village CFO and will be temporarily at least, juggling both responsibilities.

However, Kemp told the Chicago Citizen Newspaper that he and the village have a system of checks and balances in place to insure his dual role is managed properly.

“As the Village Manager, trying to do both jobs concurrently, there needs to be someone looking and making sure those things are done correctly and while I certainly feel there are enough checks and balances at least on my computer to make sure I don’t mess anything up, we need another set of eyes to look over it,” said Kemp

“We’re going to try and separate those positions,” Village of Hazel Crest President Vernard L. Alsberry, Jr. said. “We’re not sure if he is going to do both positions, we haven’t discussed that with the board as of yet.”

Hazel Crest’s village managers responsibilities include providing oversight for department leaders within the village, managing the administrative staff, negotiating with unions, attracting new business to Hazel Crest, and increasing the village’s tax base. The CFO is responsible for the village’s payroll, balancing monthly statements, budget presentations, the village’s annual audit.

The board’s decision to appoint Kemp deviates from the village’s historical practice of forming a selection committee which would allow the general public to apply, interview and potentially be selected for the position.

“I would prefer it to be a posted position,” said Alsberry, Jr. “It could be a position where we could’ve gotten some other people to apply to so we chose the best applicant out of the selection process. The appointment this time was done by the board, it’s not what we usually do but it’s done so we’re moving forward.”

Kemp earned his bachelor's of science in chemical engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) then earned his MBA in analytic finance and accounting from the University of Chicago.