Skokie Hires New Village Manager: John Lockerby

Nearly 70 candidates were considered for the position, and eight interviewed. Here's why the board chose Lockerby, who will not have to move his desk very far.

Skokie will have a familiar face to lead village staff after Village Manager Al Rigoni steps down at the end of the year.

The village board has named John Lockerby, who has worked as assistant village manager for the last nine years, to succeed him. 

It wasn't a simple "you're promoted" decision, however, according to the village. The village board conducted a nationwide search and interviewed eight candidates, three of them extensively.

As late as last week, there were reports that Skokie had tried to court the city manager of Sterling Heights, Mich., who worked for Skokie until 2004.
In the end, the village chose Lockerby, for what Mayor George Van Dusen said is his proven track record, dedication to excellence and extensive experience with municipal budgeting.

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Following is the press the release the village issued late Tuesday.

The Village of Skokie announced today that it has completed its extensive search for a new village manager to commence the leadership of the Village on January 2, 2014. “I am very pleased that John Lockerby has accepted the Village Board’s request that he serve as village manager,” said Mayor George Van Dusen. Lockerby was chosen after a nationwide search, coordinated by a professional recruitment firm, which began during the summer of 2013.

“John’s proven track record in local government service, his extensive experience with municipal budgeting and dedication to excellence in municipal operations made him our unanimous, first choice to be the next village manager. His community-oriented, collaborative and accessible approach will serve residents and businesses well and become part of the values of Village operations,” Mayor Van Dusen added.

Lockerby has worked in municipal government for nearly 20 years, including service in three municipalities in metropolitan Chicago. During his nine years as Assistant Village Manager in Skokie, he listened to residents and worked tirelessly to assist with their concerns about Village matters. In addition to his experience, Lockerby holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Northern Illinois University and has earned the designation of Credentialed Manager from the International City/County Management Association.

“In considering what I have accomplished during my tenure as Assistant Village Manager in Skokie, I am proud of maintaining our strong financial status, retaining our AAA bond rating and planning for the community’s long-term economic vitality, even while experiencing the most difficult economic conditions in decades,” said Lockerby. “I also am proud of the Village’s high-quality programs and services, and look forward to leading the team of dedicated Village employees who serve the community each day. Together, we will collaborate on best practices and innovations to strengthen the quality of life in the Village.”

In the search for a person to succeed retiring Village Manager Al Rigoni, the Village Board considered nearly 70 candidates from around the country. The Board vetted eight candidates in person and invited three finalists for extended follow-up interviews.

Frank December 10, 2013 at 08:23 PM
So we can expect business as usual at Villge Hall...why am I not surprised? Rather than get out and find some fresh thinking we hire from inside and continue the ongoing breakdown of this community.
shp December 10, 2013 at 09:36 PM
The best to Mr. Lockerby. He knows the issues in Skokie and I actually find him quite pleasant. Let's hope he choses to address the on-going issues in Skokie and not keep the status quo.
Jackie Brown December 10, 2013 at 11:09 PM
I agree with you Frank. I had hoped the replacement would be from outside the village to bring new inspiration to Skokie. We can expect Al to continue to run things, Lockerby will be on the phone with him for every issue he can't resolve.
Cathy December 10, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Mr. Lockerby needs to start out by removing Chief Scarpeli and Deputy Chief Peckter and bring back some trust to our police department. I talked with several officers at the White Hen and they said that they were talking about a no confidence vote for Scarpeli and Peckter.
Scott Holtz December 11, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Cathy, if you post this often enough do you hope it will actually happen? You could at least spell their names right.... My favorite was the Thanksgiving post you added this to. I think we get your point. Congrats to John and best wishes for the future.
Amkor December 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Give Mr. Lockerby a chance, how about that? He KNOWS Skokie, he's YOUNG, he's HONEST and, at least from my experience as a Skokie resident, he SOLVES PROBLEMS. That's a good enough reason to congratulate him, and us all.
Patch reinstates deleted accounts! December 11, 2013 at 01:33 PM
@ Scott Holtz, You wrote EXACTLY what I've been thinking for a long time now. I didn't write it before since, when someone just keeps repeating themself on any/every story, they're usually not too open to feedback, but let's see what happens...
Cathy December 11, 2013 at 09:57 PM
The Caucus Party likes to keep everything status quo. Skokie has changed much in my forty years here. The section 8 housing and the violent crime are out of control. All you have to do is walk down Oakton street and look around, but do it quickly. The police department, (Chief Scarpeli) says crime is down and he wants to buy a 'mobile police substation' rather than hire more police officers to patrol our streets. That is his priority. There are less police officers on the street than there were when I moved here some forty years ago. The streets of Skokie were certianly a lot safer then. The recent actions by Officer Hart and Chief Scarpeli's failure to take action against Hart will cost us taxpayers several million dollars. I certainly have a right to say that I want a new police chief - someone who will protect my family & property. It is time to change the direction of the Skokie Police Department. We need more police, a new police chief and less toys.
Oliver P. McCracken December 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Cathy, I admire how many ways you're able to be racist without actually saying that you're scared of and do not like black people! Quite an accomplishment, young lady! And to think old ways of thinking were dying off!
Amkor December 11, 2013 at 11:13 PM
You can't ignore the fact there IS a problem with escalating home-grown crime in Skokie, Mr. McCracken. I'm not sure Cathy's magic solutions are the answer, but to blame someone of being a racist just because she complains about the streets of Skokie becoming less and less safe, that's improper.
Oliver P. McCracken December 12, 2013 at 08:00 AM
I was commenting on her quote: "All you have to do is walk down Oakton street and look around, but do it quickly. I traverse Oakton Street most every day, either by hansom cab or being pushed in my "wheeled chair" by my nurse, and have never felt unsafe. Her inference was that it is some stretch of dangerous highway where one'll be robbed or beaten or worse. And those claiming Skokie is becoming less safe are doing so based on how it LOOKS (Cathy's "look around, but do it quickly), i.e. the how its demographics look these days (people of different colors, instead of just elderly whites like myself)...I won't even get into the whole "Section 8 housing" debate....
Steve Mottel December 12, 2013 at 09:18 AM
Oliver, Section 8 has ruined Skokie. Stay warm my friend.
Amkor December 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Mr. McCracken, you must be a bit detached from the reality in Skokie today. Just talk to store owners (better, talk to the managers and workers at the local 7-11 joints)... Read more local news... Skokie is one of the most diverse suburbs in the area (not only African Americans, there are more Asians, Assyrians, people from India), which has never been an issue here. STILL, NO MATTER WHO'S TO BLAME, IT'S A FACT, CRIME IS ON A RISE HERE.
shp December 19, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Thank you Mr.. McCracken for bringing attention to the on-going issue in Skokie - unsafe areas! I don't believe CAthy mentions race in her comment. Just read the Skokie crime reports, very telling.
Skokie Resident December 21, 2013 at 08:50 AM
Oh please. Every time someone mentions "Section 8" everyone knows it has become the go-to derogatory term for black people. So yeah, she mentioned race. No one has seen any rental agreements of anyone-they see a black person and assume Sec 8 based on race. This has gone on for years everywhere and now the ignorant of Skokie are screaming Sec 8. And just as ignorant to defend the people who continually say "Sec 8 is to blame" when everyone knows it is derogatory for saying "those black people".
ko December 24, 2013 at 08:53 AM
You're right Skokie resident. In fact, these people complaining about "section 8" are probably part of a great right wing conspiracy. They are probably filing false police reports and giving false descriptions of the perpetrators. The shocking truth is all of this crime is most likely being committed by the traditionally violent Jewish community of Skokie.
Patch reinstates deleted accounts! December 24, 2013 at 01:39 PM
ko: At first, I chuckled since I thought you were being facetious. But now I'm not sure if you are serious. Oy vey!


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