Former Daley aide to manage Elmwood Park
Paul Volpe (left), selected to be the next village manager of Elmwood Park, is shown in 2008 with Richard M. Daley, the Chicago mayor for whom he was chief of staff. | John H. White~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:33AM
A veteran employee of Chicago’s city government and onetime chief of staff to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will soon not have to travel far to his new job.
Paul Volpe, 49, who lives in the Galewood neighborhood, which borders Elmwood Park, has been chosen to be Elmwood Park’s new village manager, replacing John “Jay” Dalicandro who is retiring. Volpe was one of 37 applicants who applied for the job.
The West Central Municipal Conference screened the applicants with the Elmwood Park Village Board interviewing the top three candidates. The Village Board is expected to vote in favor of hiring Volpe at the June 18 board meeting.
Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri said contract negotiations with Volpe are still being negotiated in terms of salary and length of contract, but the negotiation matters should be resolved by the time the board meeting takes place.
Silvestri said he believes Volpe is the best candidate for the job because of his experience and ties to the Elmwood Park area.
“He will bring a lot of experience and management skill to the village,” Silvestri sad. “Paul is up for the challenges of the position. We are fortunate to get him.”
Along with previously being Daley’s right-hand man, Volpe was vice president of budget and capital finance for the Chicago Transit Authority. He was responsible for a $1.3 billion annual operating budget and a $3 billion capital improvement program.
He has also been Chicago’s chief financial officer and budget director. Volpe also served eight years at the Chicago Department of Aviation and was the chief of operations at the Illinois Toll Highway Authority.
Silvestri said Volpe’s résumé speaks for itself and, prior to Volpe’s interview for the job, Silvestri had never met Volpe.
“You look at his resume, and he brings a lot of talent and experience to the job,” Silvestri said.
Elmwood Park Trustee Carmen Forte said local officials chose Volpe, but all the finalists could have done a good job if selected.
“I’m happy that someone with his caliber will be manning the helm of Elmwood Park,” Forte said. “Certainly, Jay will be sorely missed, and we have been spoiled all of these years, and he has been a tremendous manager.”
Forte believes the village will be fortunate to have Volpe working for it.
“With his management experience and financial background, we were happy to snag him,” he said. “For someone to have the experience and qualifications of this caliber, we (village trustees) couldn’t be more pleased.”
Along with growing up in Galewood, Volpe’s wife grew up in Elmwood Park and graduated from Elmwood Park High School. Silvestri views this as a plus because Volpe already is familiar with some local issues.
Volpe’s brother, Peter, a member of the Elmwood Park School District 401 Board of Education, is pleased with the village’s selection of his brother.
“He’s really looking forward to it,” Peter Volpe said about his brother’s selection as the next village manager. “He looks at it as a great opportunity for him and is looking forward to serving the community.”
“He will do good for the town, and it will do good for him personally,” he said. “He really enjoys reinvesting in the community.”
“He’s a hardworking guy,” he said. “He’s very open-minded and will listen to everyone.”
Peter Volpe, who is vice president of retail banking and wealth management at ABC Bank, said his brother’s accomplishment also would have pleased his late parents.
“The only thing I wish is that my parents were able to see it,” he said. “Up in heaven, they are proud. My dad’s chest got about 6 inches bigger.”
Silvestri would like Volpe to work to complete the village’s flood mitigation project, stimulate more economic development and finish the park on Armitage Avenue.
Dalicandro, who has been village manager in Elmwood Park for 23 years, will help Volpe with his transition into his new job.