Kenilworth, News

Kenilworth brings on acting village manager and offer spirited sendoff to Patrick Brennan

Kenilworth now has an acting village manager, after village trustees on Monday approved a contract that will allow Dawn Wucki-Rossbach to serve in that position while the village seeks a permanent replacement for Patrick Brennan. 

Brennan, who has been village manager for 12 years, announced in March that he has taken the same post in Northfield. His final day with Kenilworth will be Friday, April 19, and he takes up the administrative reins in Northfield the following Monday, April 22. 

The contract bringing Wucki-Rossbach to Kenilworth will be signed between the village and GovTempsUSA, a Northbrook-based company that will provide her services as both the acting village manager and as acting assistant village clerk, for an estimated $3,528 per week. Wucki-Rossbach, who attended the board meeting via a video call, will work with Brennan for the rest of this week, he said. 

Wucki-Rossbach has worked in village administration in Chicagoland for 30 years, according to her LinkedIn profile, serving the City of Waukegan, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, most recently the Village of Maple Park and more in that time.

Her stint in Kenilworth could last for the next three to four months, which is how long the Village Board expects its search for a new village manager to take. The board has hired Northbrook-based GovHR which, like GovTempsUSA, is a subsidiary of Florida-based MGT Consulting Group, to undertake the search. 

Monday’s Village Board meeting was Brennan’s final with the board, and trustees took the opportunity to thank him for his service. Their words came after Board President Cecily Kaz surprised Brennan with an official proclamation, saying she hoped it passed muster with him, while Brennan joked that he wasn’t given time to edit it.

The proclamation praised Brennan for wearing many hats and for initiatives including the village’s two-phased Green Streets program, its water main replacement efforts, and the creation of a tax increment financing tool for Kenilworth’s Green Bay Road business district, as well as for what Kaz said was his developing “a culture of dedication to the community.” Kaz also used the resolution to thank Brennan for his “ethics, attention to detail and honest counsel to the board.” 

Trustee Walter Kelly said, “I don’t think the proclamation can capture on paper the dignified and conscientious way you approached your job.”

Former Village President Ann Potter, who attended the meeting, said Brennan helped her learn the ropes as a new president: “It was a great relief.”

Trustee Christopher Ottken agreed, saying, “You have genuinely cared for the village and the residents. We could spend many more hours talking about your accomplishments here. We’ll miss you.”

The evening ended with an affectionate roast of Brennan, courtesy of Police Chief Bryan Carlson. Carlson told trustees he knew “a few things about Patrick that you might not know. He’s incredibly well-groomed, always overdressed and he has impressive penmanship. 

“He’s a cat lover. He goes home for lunch, and I believe it’s to spend time with his cats,” Carlson said.

On a more serious note, he thanked Brennan, a former police officer, for his strong support of the police department, adding, “He knows police issues. He’s pro-police so we’ve got a lot of things without having to jump through hoops.”

Brennan finally got his chance to speak, saying it didn’t seem he’d spent 12 years with the village. He praised what he called the professionalism of the boards under which he served.

“This has been a pleasure, and you have allowed me to be creative as I worked. Thank you very much for allowing me to serve you,” he said.

Brennan served 14 years as a police officer in Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology and a master’s of public administration from the University of Dayton (Ohio) before coming to Highland Park, where he first served as an assistant to the city manager, and then deputy city manager. He was hired by Kenilworth in 2012.

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Kathy Routliffe

Kathy Routliffe reported in Chicago's near and North Shore suburbs (including Wilmette) for more than 35 years, covering municipal and education beats. Her work, including feature writing, has won local and national awards. She is a native of Nova Scotia, Canada.

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