Thursday, March 31, 2016 || By Michael Romain
Karl Palmquist (pictured), the planning and zoning officer for the Village of Maywood, has announced his resignation, according to multiple sources.
Palmquist, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was hired in 2014. According to the nonprofit government watchdog group Open the Books, Palmquist’s 2015 salary was $56,894. According to one source, Palmquist is scheduled to leave next month. No reason has been given yet for why he’s leaving.
This is the village’s second high-profile administrative vacancy this year and it only compounds the village’s general problems with respect to missing personnel.
In January, the village’s longtime HR coordinator, Wilhelmina Dunbar, was terminated. And at least two positions in the finance department, water supervisor and water technician, still need to be filled.
There’s a similar labor shortage in the public works and police department, which have been reeling from a lack of manpower for years. At a March 29 budget meeting, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley noted that the department currently has 41 patrol officers even though the village ordinance sets a standard of 54 officers.
“When I was doing the history of the department, [I learned that] at one time we had 71 police officers on staff here in Maywood and that’s probably what the community got used to,” Talley said. “We now have 41. [That’s] half of what everybody was used to.”
At one point last year, 13 officers were out of duty because of various issues, including work-related injuries and sickness, according to Talley and Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. That’s the approximate equivalent of an entire shift, they said.
Attempts to immediately contact Palmquist and Norfleet weren’t successful. VFP
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