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Hispanic named acting mayor of Village of Summit

Summit names acting Mayor to succeed Strzelczyk

Sergio Rodriguez, Acting Village President of Summit, Illinois

Sergio Rodriguez, Acting Village President of Summit, Illinois

The Summit Village Board of Trustees on Monday voted unanimously to name Sergio Rodriguez as the acting Village President to fill the remaining term of Mayor Joseph Strzelczyk who passed away May 17.

Rodriguez, who was elected as a Trustee in Summit in 2005, said that he was humbled and honored to complete Strzelczyk’s term which ends in May 2017.

“Mayor Joe served the Village first as a trustee and then as Village President for 18 years. He loved this job and was dedicated to public service. He was instrumental in bringing businesses such as Portillo’s into town, after the closing of the Candlelight Theatre,” Rodriguez said.

“During his tenure he was able to secure more than $2.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and bring in the Summit senior housing. Mayor Joe saw and believed in the Village’s potential.”

Calling Strzelczyk a “dear friend to many,” Rodriguez added, “Mayor Joe served to help all Summit residents. His respect for all was evidenced by how he treated people and got to know them. He remembered the names and faces of everyone he encountered and was an extremely generous man.”

Rodriguez told the board that Strzelczyk believed that strong communities are built around quality schools and that he hoped to do the same.

“This belief led me to pursue a career in education. I have been working in education for the past 13 years. I have held several positions including special education teacher, dean of students, special education coordinator and department chair,” Rodriguez said.

“I have big shoes to fill, but I have had the honor to serve our Village for 10 years as a Village Trustee. Although I understand that this transition will require addressing the many challenges that face the Village and the State, I see this as an opportunity for Summit to thrive and progress as a neighborhood for the people. Making Summit a community in which residents look out for each other and come together to celebrate successes is a primary objective of mine.”

Both of Rodriguez’s parents attended Graves Elementary school and Argo Community High School in Summit. His mother was a stay-at-home-mom, he said, and his father worked at Reynolds and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War where he saw combat.

The current board also includes Clerk Sergio Garcia, and Trustees Tyrone Modiest, Marvel Parker, Karen Wasko, Aleco Julius, and Setvi Darwoski.

Rodriguez said the board will appoint a candidate to fill his trustee position that he vacated to accept the position of acting village president.

“As Summit approaches its 125th anniversary, I look forward to the opportunity for all of us to come together,” Rodriguez said.

“As we work together to continue to make the Village of Summit a great place to live and work, feel free to reach out to me with your ideas, thoughts, and concerns.”