The most vivid memories the city’s mayor and department heads will carry of exiting City Administrator Brian Townsend, who leaves later this month for a similar position in Schaumburg, will be the leadership he showed as St. Charles entered the Great Recession.
Townsend, who came to the St. Charles in 2005, was at the city’s helm when the Great Recession began raking the nation in late 2007, bursting the housing bubble and triggering a massive surge in unemployment, foreclosures and corresponding losses in tax revenues that forced cities, towns, school districts and other governmental entities to slash budgets and pair their own work forces to bring spending in line with actual revenues.
One by one, the city’s department heads came to the podium to praise Townsend’s leaderships during those years, an economic downturn Townsend said no one could have predicted. Key to the cutting process that followed, according to such figures as Public Works Director Mark Koenen, Police Chief Jim Lamkin and Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet, were the efforts to make cuts but keep the city running efficiently.
Koenen, by the way, will take Townsend’s spot as city administrator after Townsend leaves to become village manager of Schaumburg.
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