Cook County Judge Joanne Rosado administers the oath of office to new Indian Head Park Mayor Amy Jo Wittenburg. (Supplied photo) 

Cook County Judge Joanne Rosado administers the oath of office to new Indian Head Park Mayor Amy Jo Wittenburg. (Supplied photo) 

A familiar face takes the reins in Indian Head Park

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By Steve Metsch 

A new chapter in the history of Indian Head Park began at last week’s village board meeting.

Amy Jo Wittenberg – who served two terms as a village trustee – was sworn in as the new mayor.

Wittenberg, 59, who works in marketing for a printing company, lost re-election as a trustee two years ago.

She regained interest in public service thanks to a groundswell of residents rallying against a proposal to widen Wolf Road.

“We created a group called the Wolf Road Advocacy Group, a bunch of concerned citizens,” she recalled.

Residents were not happy with Cook County’s plans to widen Wolf Road, she said.

“They were going to put their normal curb and gutter, three lanes or five lanes, showed the plan to everybody, the community was in an uproar, very upset about it,” she said.

The original plan called for two homes to be demolished, she said. “People thought that whole process could have been handled differently,” she said.

The group was heard and there will be more local input in any widening, she said. During the process, she realized that she missed public service, and decided to run for mayor.

Wolf Road is among issues on the front burner.

There’s the triangle development, the southwest corner of Joliet Road and Wolf Road, that is a Planned Unit Development.

“It will be very nice for the village to have development done in a more structured way,” she said. “We’re glad we have a PUD framework because there are five or six different land owners (on the site).”

First and foremost, however, is her getting up to speed on various departments and staff.

“I want to understand what their needs and priorities are, what the board’s needs and priorities are. Then we’ll put together an action plan for what we’ll do the first 100 days and after that.”

She needs to hire a new village administrator as John DuRocher has announced his plans to retire in June.

“Big shoes to fill and we’ll be working on that,” she said during a May 1 interview. “We’re looking to fill that job as soon as possible.”

“And we have to talk with our staff, understand what their issues are, what they feel is important,” she said.

On the campaign trail, she “of course, heard about projects on Wolf Road and Plainfield Road.”

“Other things we have on the table are infrastructure challenges. We’ve had those for many years. … We’ll look at the sewer and water infrastructure,” she said.

As with most suburbs, there are flooding issues in some parts of the village. “Everybody has to look at that, just like other suburbs.”

She looks forward to working with mayors in neighboring towns like Sean McDermott in Countryside, saying it’s important to help each other.

“We’ll be integrating with them, as well as the county, as well as the state,” she said.

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