By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

After an extensive search, Union Grove’s elected officials have hired an administrator who has worked in various capacities in Racine County in a nearly four-decade span of time.

After having gone without one for nearly a decade, the Union Grove Village Board on Oct. 23 named Mark Janiuk to its long vacant village administrator post. Janiuk previously served in comparable positions east of Interstate 94.

Janiuk most recently served as village administrator in Caledonia from 2012-15. In the preceding six years, he was Sturtevant’s village administrator.

Most of Janiuk’s career, however, has been with Racine County, where he served as corporation counsel for a 25-year span of time. He retired from his longtime post in 2005 before assuming the pair of municipal positions.

In a statement, Janiuk said he was drawn to Union Grove for a variety of reasons and is interested in helping the community realize its potential. His first day on the job was Oct. 30.

“Union Grove is a growing community with exciting potential,” Janiuk said. “I look forward to working with the Village Board, the staff and the citizens of Union Grove in moving the village forward.”

The appointment of Janiuk to the top-level post within village hall ends a somewhat rocky recruitment process that was paused on multiple occasions.

A year ago, amid planning for the 2017 budget, Village President Mike Aimone led an effort to have a village administrator back on the payroll, arguing it would help the municipality with its ramped up economic development goals.

The village has saved nearly $1 million since officials decided to leave the administrator position vacant in 2008.

But during last year’s budget deliberations, Aimone and many of his elected colleagues said the benefit of having an administrator’s expertise in-house outweighed the savings of not having the position on the payroll.

Initially, the board had planned on having a village administrator on the staff roster this summer to assist in assembling the 2018 municipal budget.

Those efforts, however, were stalled, in part because the elected body operated without one member this spring and summer.

In September, the board extended an offer to a candidate, but it was turned down at the eleventh hour, prompting officials to hit the restart button and review the position description.

Speaking to the appointment of Janiuk to the position, Aimone said he believes the Racine County veteran will achieve the objectives laid out a year ago.

“(He) has an impressive record in achieving success in public funding and economic development initiatives, along with navigating redevelopment projects and challenges,” Aimone said.

The hiring of Janiuk, Aimone said, extends beyond his well of expertise.

“The Village Board was very impressed not only with Janiuk’s level of professionalism and extensive background, but also his attitude, leadership skills and strong vision to move the village forward,” Aimone said. “He will be a great asset to Union Grove, bringing a fresh perspective to the table.”

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