Lyons police chief gets extension
Two more years, option for third for Keating
By Steve Metsch
Pleased with his performance since he was hired in February 2016, the Lyons Village Board has rewarded Lyons Police Chief James Keating with a contract extension.
It’s a two-year contract with an option for a third year. The first year pays $125,000, the second pays $130,000 and the third pays $135,000, Mayor Christopher Getty said.
The board voted 6-0 in favor of the deal at its Nov. 7 meeting.
Getty said Keating “has been doing an excellent job. I am very happy with his service to the village, as is our village manager (Tom Sheahan). That’s why Tom and I discussed this and decided to put a personnel contract in place.”
“I thought it was necessary for us to retain Mr. Keating. Mr. Keating does an exceptional job. He is an excellent leader. He is very diligent and professional, and has taken our police department to a much higher standard. I thank him for his service,” Getty said before the board voted its approval.
Getty said he is “impressed” with Keating’s work on a regular basis.
“I’m happy we can retain his expertise. The board is overjoyed with his performance and all he does,” Getty said.
After the meeting, Keating, 63, said he is happy to be part of the “hard-working community of Lyons.”
“This is a tremendous community, no doubt about it. With the leadership of the mayor and the board, they’re very supportive of the police department, and the public safety initiatives we have put in place. This agreement shows the community at large the confidence the mayor and board have in us. I’m grateful and humbled,” Keating said.
Keating, 63, said his philosophy is “every day when you get up, you can do a better job.”
He plans to have the department “more proactive with public safety measures in the community at large.”
“It’s all about the quality of life. If people feel safe in their homes, walking down their streets, shopping, going to church, going to school, you’ve got a great community. And, this is a really fine community,” Keating said.
Keating, trustee James Veselsky said, played a key role in helping the village recover $16,000 for repairs to damaged village property in 2016, and another $68,000 through this year.
“This is for fire hydrants, light poles, street poles, grass and everything. We weren’t collecting this before. Now we’re collecting it. So, good job, Chief, Veselsky said.
In other business, the board voted 6-0 to install a flashing beacon sign at a new crosswalk on Lawndale Avenue. The walk connects Smith and Veterans parks, and is just north of the village hall.
The village will pay no more than $16,512 to Utility Dynamics Corporation, of Oswego, for the sign. It was the lowest of three bidders that included H&H Electric and Lyons Electric.
The crosswalk was installed this summer. “There was never a crosswalk there before,” Getty said. The cost to Lyons is defrayed by a $10,000 grant from ComEd.
“Obviously, we want to keep everybody, children, families, and senior citiznes safe as they cross. It will be push-button activation to slow and stop traffic. This is the first location for us. It’s a big step. It’s good,” Getty said.
The village is also receiving $300,000 in federal community block grants and dispersed by Cook County for a water main project next year on Leland Avenue between Ogden and Salisbury avenues. The work is expected to cost more than $300,000, Getty said, “but this will help with the total cost.”
The work will be done during the summer, with the goal of finishing before school resumes at nearby Washington School, Getty said.
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