Glen Ellyn Terminates Village Forester Position
Peggy Drescher worked as the forester for 23 years. Her duties will be divided among other employees of the public works department.
In part of restructuring the village public works department, Glen Ellyn officials terminated the village forester position.
On Wednesday, Village Manager Mark Franz issued a release announcing the village was terminating Peggy Drescher, the part-time village forester who worked for the village for 23 years. Drescher worked an average of 25 hours per week earning an annual salary of $65,000.
“Peggy did a great job in her role as forester and we really appreciate all she did for the people of Glen Ellyn,” Franz said.
Drescher’s work will be divided among different employees of the Public Works division. Her salary will also be used to offset organizational changes in the department. Public Works Director Julius Hansen said the elimination of the forester position will increase the efficiency of service provided to the citizenry. Hansen said his department has two certified arborists on staff and they will be able to handle tree and landscaping concerns throughout town. Hansen said the certified arborist replacing Drescher will be able to directly handle many tree concerns and issues himself. Hansen said the role of forester was not “hands on” when dealing with tree trimming or removal. Under the old system he said Drescher typically responded to a call and then had to request someone from the public works department to carry out the work.
“This person is highly trained in forestry matters and can respond to a request from a resident … and could evaluate and fix the problem at the same time,” Hansen said of the new arborist.
With two arborists on staff, Hansen said eliminating the position of forester eliminated “overlap of expertise” in the department. One trained arborist will focus on trees in the village and the other will look after village landscapes.
“This will make things more efficient,” he said.
Franz said Drescher was not aware her position was in jeopardy of being eliminated during the departmental restructuring.
“This wasn’t something to take lightly, especially since this is not a good job market, but we had to make a tough decision,” Franz said Thursday afternoon.
Hansen agreed it was a tough decision, but one that needed to be made.
“The old style of service was dysfunctional,” he said. “It’s best to restructure the department and save a few dollars.”
Franz said he does not expect to see any more terminations as village staff prepares the 2013 budget.
“These are tough economic times and you have to do more with less,” Franz said.
Drescher’s termination comes after the village decide to fold the Glen Ellyn Economic Development Corporation. After deciding to bring the work in-house, the village is looking to hire a new economic development manager.