Longtime village employee John Doss has been appointed as the village’s assistant director of public works, adding a new chapter to a career that has seen him fill virtually every role the department has to offer.

“I’ve done almost everything. Most recently I was the head of the tree department, so I was in charge of most of the tree trimmings, but I’ve really done everything across the board,” said Doss, a 23-year veteran of the public works department.

He will work under Public Works Director Bob Kutak, who was once again given the department’s top job after the May resignation of Curt Cashman. Cashman was hired in January to replace Kutak, who had been serving as interim director for about 18 months, and Kutak served as Cashman’s assistant during his brief tenure.

Doss, who began his career with the village during summers as a student at Proviso East and joined the public works department full time after graduating in 1984, said he looks forward to furthering the positive relationships he has built with Kutak and the rest of the public works employees.

“I want to keep the good working relationship with the guys that we’ve developed over the years,” he said. “Bob and I go back. He’s been here a little less time than I have, so we’ve been working together for about 21 years.”

Commissioner Patrick Doolin, who, as the commissioner in charge of public improvements oversees the public works department along with Commissioner Terry Steinbach, said he hopes the move will help continue to restore normalcy to the department after the political controversy that engulfed it for much of last year.

“He’ll work real nicely with Bob – they’ve known each other for years and especially with all the theater that’s gone on there for last 18 months, it will be good for the department,” he said.

A candidate for the director’s job brought forth by Doolin and Steinbach was voted down by the remainder of the village council last year, with the council majority stating that they would prefer to give the job to Kutak, a longtime employee of the village, than an unproven outsider.

Doolin and Steinbach felt that the decision of the majority was a politically motivated attempt to undermine their ability to lead the department.

“As summer comes and we get into what is certainly our second busiest time of the year, especially now with the Village Improvement [road and alley resurfacing] Project, the decision was made that Bob did need some help,” said Doolin.

Doolin said that all parties were in agreement that seeking an outsider for the job would be impractical at this point, as the position will be up for reappointment following the April 2007 elections and it is unlikely that anyone from outside would want a job that can only be guaranteed to them for nine months.

He said that the assistant director position, which is a non-union job, will pay $70,000 per year.