Longtime public works director retires
River Grove-Monday-03/31/08 River Grove Director of Public Works Brent Leder stops along a recycling route Monday morning. Allen Kaleta/ for Pioneer Press
Updated: August 6, 2012 11:24AM
RIVER GROVE — After more than 40 years as River Grove’s director of public works, Brent Leder has chosen retirement.
His last day was May 31, but he plans on remaining active in the community. He still can be seen at the office and village officials are finding it hard to accept his retirement
River Grove Mayor Marilynn May said Leder will be working in a different position within public works, which involves moving the public works department to another building.
“We have to have someone oversee something like that,” she said. “It’s a major endeavor. He’s going to be doing that and any other extraordinary projects he would like to oversee. He’s got a lot of knowledge. His father worked here and then he worked here.”
Still Leder is ready to retire.
“I worked around the village since 1996 when I was 15 years old,” he said. “I would come back while I was in college and they would let me work holidays. The village has been good to me and I wanted to be good to them.”
He’s done so by being a faithful steward for the village, working as firefighter for the village for 16 years and did a bit of police dispatching. He’s also a life-long River Grove resident.
“I’ve been in almost every department,” he said. “I kind of missed that when I finally quit.”
“I’ve lived here all of my life,” he said. “I’m fourth generation into River Grove. Have two more (grandchildren) after me.”
Now retired Leder said he’s busier now than he was working full-time, but he doesn’t mind it.
“I’ll always keep busy and look for some work down the road,” he said.
In the meantime he plans on doing some traveling with his wife and some of their friends. Still, May hopes to keep Leder within close reach because of his wealth of knowledge.
“In a little town like this people can’t retire,” she said.
Leder said he will always be active in the village.
“I’m heavy into the town,” he said. “I’ve been with the beautification committee since we started. Almost every organization in town, I’ve worked with all of them.”