LA GRANGE – La Grange Village President Tom Livingston plans to resign from office because of professional obligations.
“It is with optimism and confidence that sometime in the first quarter of 2020 I plan to transition out of the office of La Grange village president,” Livingston said in a letter to residents and the business community.
Livingston has been named head of state government and community affairs by his employer, CSX Transportation, “and my family is getting more dynamic in their travel and activities,” he said.
“Both are great opportunities to do more,” he said. “No date has been established yet for our transition, but we will keep everyone informed.”
The mayor thanked his wife, Casey, who he called “a great leader in her own right”; his children, Will, Avery and Hayden; and CSX for their support of his public service.”
“I have been at a full sprint during our epic tenure together, and I don’t want to diminish that record while meeting greater work and family obligations,” Livingston said. “I am confident that your village board and other citizen volunteers are strongly positioned to lead La Grange into next year.”
He said he had strong confidence in Village Manager Andri Peterson and the village team to continue to be outstanding good-government leaders in the region.
According to law, the Village Board will select a replacement from its existing members until next year’s election.
“I recommend our most senior trustee, Mark Kuchler, take my place as village president,” Livingston said. “Mark has been a critical part of our leadership team in La Grange and is a thoughtful policymaker. Mark and the team have also affirmed that they will respect recent village decisions on video gaming, cannabis sales and other topics after I pass the gavel until the next election.
“I have enjoyed every moment of service to the people of La Grange and will work with results in mind until my final hour as your village president,” Livingston said. “I have served on the village board since 2003, with a short break to take on two major civic leadership positions in Illinois, and then back in 2013 as village president.
“Accordingly, I have had a front-row seat on La Grange’s growth and development. I never cease to marvel at you, the citizen, and you, the business leader, who time and again have pushed La Grange to new heights. I am truly honored our community trusted me with the aspirations of their hometown. I also relied on many long-standing fellow citizens and new La Grangers we brought to leadership positions.”
He also expressed pride in the goals the board has reached, including gains in economic growth, safety, infrastructure, stormwater management and village finances.
“It was also an honor to represent La Grange in the media, to other government officials at all levels, and in major civic organizations,” he said.
“When we started, La Grange was already a great community, but there were challenges. Borders bookstore had gone bankrupt, the YMCA property had been shuttered for over five years and the PNC Bank Building [now Anderson’s Bookshop] was vacant on La Grange Road. We had goals to tackle and did so during our tenure together and so much more. We automated, we innovated, we merged nearby community dispatch and we saw record amounts of new residential and commercial construction.”
Livingston said the community’s Realtors, educators, hospital leadership, churches, nonprofits, park district team, library, newcomers, and La Grange Area Historical Society and La Grange Business Association members also can take credit for the growth.
“We have had a strong relationship with our local Cook County commissioners, state legislators and member of Congress. We thank them for their dedication to our village,” he said. “Like before, you may always call on me to lean into the future if there is a task on behalf of La Grange to be done. Again, thank you for the opportunity to work alongside you to make La Grange a place we are proud to call home.”