After receiving seven inquiries for Joan White’s vacant village clerk position, Vanessa Moritz, 43, a 13-year resident of Forest Park, won the council’s approval and will begin work on April 12.
Moritz was appointed to the position by Commissioner Timothy Gillian, who heads up the Accounts and Finance Commission, responsible for the village’s office personnel.
“This position, because it is a hybrid position?”encompasses not only the duties of village clerk but also human resource director,” Gillian said. “I needed a person who had some experience with human resources and Vanessa does have experience. But more importantly, I needed a person who possessed terrific organizational skills and things of that sort.”
Like Gillian, Mayor Anthony Calderone said he was pleased with the appointment.
“It seems from the individuals that they took a look at and based on the resumes, it looks like she will have the ability to perform the central functions of village clerk,” Calderone said. “She has had some management skills and all those things coupled and weighed against other candidates gave her the upper edge.”
Moritz’s salary will be similar to White’s who received approximately $50,000 a year, village officials said.
Moritz said she was thrilled about the appointment.
“I am real excited about it. I have been working with the same people for 16 years; it is a big life change,” she said. “I felt it was the time in my life to make the change.”
Fellow staff at Village Hall also praised her qualifications for the position.
“Moritz has the skills we believe will make her best suited for the office of village clerk,” said Village Administrator Michael Sturino in a memo to the village council. “Importantly for the office of village clerk, Vanessa Moritz appears to be extremely organized, a problem solver and meticulous about record keeping and files. I believe she will work well with fellow staff and project a positive, professional image for the Village of Forest Park.
Moritz, who lives approximately three blocks from village hall, has had diverse duties and has 24 years of work experiences.
Before joining the village, she worked as an assistant property manager for the Levy Organization Management in Schaumburg, where she conducted lease negotiations, handled tenant relations and the day-to-day operations and budget management for nine office buildings.
She also worked for Levy Restaurants in Chicago as a project coordinator, where she coordinated renovation and remodeling for 12 Levy restaurants.
Moritz initially worked as a residential property manager for Downs, Mohl & Company in Chicago, where she handled lease negotiations and building management for 150 units in scattered sites and managed the real estate office, including administration of employee health and life insurance enrollment,
COBRA and property insurance tracking for 40 properties.
This human resource experience, village officials said, is what will make her a valuable asset to the village.
Moritz is a graduate of the Oak Park and River Forest High School and attended Triton Community College where she studied business. She has an Illinois Real Estate Sales license, an Illinois Real Estate Broker’s license and a City of Chicago Sanitation Certificate.
As clerk, Moritz will be in charge of issuing notices for the village council and keeping track of village resolutions and communications; she will keep the corporate seal of the village and all papers belonging to the village and receive all petitions, remonstrances, bids, bills and other communications addressed to the council.
She will also attend all council meetings and keep full records of all proceedings, record all ordinances passed, make preparations for the village elections, file the annual tax levy ordinance and perform other additional duties prescribed by the village, including human resource functions and risk management. Finally, she will serve as the FOIA officer for the village.
Moritz will be sworn in at a later date.