Aimone ends 14-year run as village president

 

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

After nearly a decade-and-a-half as Union Grove’s top elected leader, Mike Aimone closed out his last meeting with reflective comments about the village itself and his elected colleagues.

Aimone, who has been Union Grove’s village president for 14 years, lost his bid in this spring’s election for re-election. Aimone’s opponent, Steve Wicklund, garnered 463 votes, compared to the 391 votes Aimone received.

Mike Aimone

The April 8 Village Board meeting is Aimone’s last, since he will be out of town and unable to preside over the upcoming April 19 session. Wicklund is set to begin his duties as village president next month.

“I want to thank everybody for what you’ve done,” Aimone said. “It’s been a pleasure working with you.”

In his closing remarks, Aimone praised each trustee for the contribution he or she has made while sitting on the board alongside him.

During his comments, Aimone especially acknowledged veteran trustee and former village staffer Jan Winget for the expertise she brings to the table.

“Jan, you were an incredible mento

r to me when I first started,” Aimone said. “It’s been a pleasure serving with you. Your knowledge base is amazing when it comes to the Planning Commission and everything else that you bring forward, plus the historical stuff that you bring forward.”

As he prepared to depart, Aimone also extended kind words to Village Administrator Mike Hawes, who filled the longtime vacant position two years ago.

“You’re a good thinking partner — you really are,” Aimone said to Hawes. “You keep everybody on their toes.”

Several board members also paid tribute to Aimone as he closed out his last meeting, lauding him for his professionalism.

“Thanks for everything you’ve done, especially in the days before we had an administrator,” Trustee Christopher Gallagher said to Aimone.

Gallagher said he believes Aimone saved the village “many millions of dollars,” taking on some of a village administrator’s traditional roles.

“Obviously you have a passion for this community.” Gallagher said. “You’ve showed that everyday, every meeting. You’re a mentor to me.”