Racich steps down from Plainfield board

Madhu Mayer | 12/21/2016, 2:59 p.m.
Racich served on the board for over 10 years and before that was the village's plan commissioner.
Plainfield Trustee Jim Racich

A decade of service to the Plainfield Village Board came to an end as Monday marked the final meeting for trustee Jim Racich.

Resigning because he is in the process of moving, Racich, who taught high school and community college classes for 35 years prior to his retirement, was lauded by his colleagues for service to the community and the board.

Racich was first elected to Plainfield Village Board in 2005 after serving as plan commissioner, an appointed position. His replacement will be elected in April as three four-year terms are available on the board, along with the mayor's seat.

As he read a proclamation that jokingly declared Feb. 30 "from here to eternity as James Racich Day in the Village of Plainfield," Mayor Michael Collins said his friend is so entrenched in serving the community that even President Abe Lincoln thanked him for his service.

Acknowledging everyone who spoke kind words about him, Racich said he wants people to take to heart what John F. Kennedy once said.

"Ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country," said Racich. I think that goes for community, too. Do what you can possible do to serve this community."

While promising he will never desert Plainfield, Racich said the community will "always remain close to his heart."

That sentiment touched trustee Bill Lamb, who said he always enjoyed the banter the two shared on the board.

"Jim has immense quotes and I will miss his enthusiasm for life and his dedication to the Village of Plainfield," said Lamb.

Trustee Garrett Peck said he was marveled when Racich, a Joliet native, took on bureaucrats and convinced Canadian National Railroad Co. to not block crossings with stopped trains in Plainfield.

Besides honoring Racich Monday, the board also made good on its previous promise to help residents save money amidst rising costs. The board lowered the capital improvement charge that is on the water bill from the current $7.50 to $7. Allen Persons, public works director, said the change will lower water and sewer revenues, but it is anticipated that sufficient funding will be generated to support operations in that fund.