After months of debate and the ., the village has hired its own economic development director.
Tony Lucenko will start work with Oswego Sept. 6. The Plainfield resident’s last municipal economic development position was with the village of Grayslake. He left that post in 2009. He’s also work with the village of Lisle and spent time working in Ukraine.
Lucenko said following his appointment, which passed the Oswego Village Board with a unanimous vote, that he plans to build transparency into the department. He said he plans to commission an economic development strategic plan that will outline clear goals.
“There needs to be accountability with this,” he said. “We’ll be focusing on long- and short-term goals.”
An economic development commission made up of community stakeholders may also be in the works.
“Villages have been saddled with economic development but this is really a community effort,” Lucenko said.
Lucenko also plans to commission studies of the village’s hotel, retail and light industrial sectors to be able to better market Oswego to potential businesses.
The move to bring economic development into Village Hall was made after the board voted in April to suspend the village’s annual contribution to the OEDC. The OEDC closed up shop May 31. The board went on to vote in June to create the village’s own economic development department.
Village staff have projected an annual budget for the department of about $240,000. Trustees Judy Sollinger and Gail Johnson, who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, had argued economic development couldn’t be done properly for that amount of money.
Lucenko said Tuesday night that the village’s projection seems doable and that figure is comparable to what he was working with in Grayslake.
Village President Brian LeClercq said he’s looking forward to Lucenko getting to work.
“Economic development is something that affects the entire community,” he said. “I think we can all agree on that.”