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Tepper resigns as Glendale mayor

Cites finishing fire department funding formula as one of his top accomplishments

Feb. 12, 2014

Glendale — Mayor Jerome Tepper is stepping down from his leadership post, after holding the role for nearly eight years.

The Common Council on Monday considered Tepper's resignation, submitted in a letter dated Feb. 6 and effective Feb. 12. Tepper explained that his frequent travel since his wife took a job in Virginia about 14 months ago has taken a toll on him physically.

"I promised my wife that as soon as the resolution of the (North Shore) Fire Department modification was completed that I would tender my resignation and become a full-time husband," Tepper said. "This was the first opportunity for me to really do it at the right time."

Being able to work with the leaders of the six other North Shore communities to modify the fire department funding agreement is one of the accomplishments that stands out for Tepper since he first took on the role of mayor in April 2006. Although it took nearly eight years to complete, he noted, it was worth the effort.

Other accomplishments listed by Tepper include keeping taxes at a level the community can handle, under the leadership of City Administrator Richard Maslowski, running efficient meetings, and keeping Glendale Days alive — something he credits in part to resident Bryan Kennedy. When he recommended that Kennedy serve as chair of the Fourth of July Committee, he happily accepted, Tepper said.

"That's the kind of citizen participation that's so important to the success of the city of Glendale," Tepper said.

What Tepper will miss most about the job of mayor, though, is working with fellow elected officials and city staff. In particular, Tepper acknowledged longtime Alderman Bob Whitaker and former alderman Bill Huegel for their invaluable experience and guidance.

"We developed a nice relationship over the years and I think he's done a commendable job as mayor over his time," Whitaker said of Tepper. "He was always willing to put in the time to get the job done, and his work on the committee to keep the parade and the Fourth of July activities going is real evidence of that."

As for city staff, Tepper recognized the work of Police Chief Tom Czarnyszka, North Shore Fire Chief Robert Whitaker, City Attorney John Fuchs and especially Maslowski.

"He is just the best," Tepper said of Maslowski. "I'm sure he's not happy with me saying that, but it happens to be true."

Of course, he may have never served as mayor if Alderman Izzy Goldberg had not given him the idea to run in the first place.

"To Izzy I am grateful, because this job has been not only a pleasure for me, but I consider it a privilege that the people of the city of Glendale three times selected me to be the mayor," Tepper said. "That's in many ways very humbling and (something) for which I'm grateful to the citizens of the city of Glendale."

Those who worked with Tepper are equally grateful to him for his leadership.

"We thank you, all of us in the city of Glendale, for the service you've given us," Kennedy said.

The Common Council on Monday presented Tepper with a resolution and honorary plaque acknowledging his "competency, loyalty and dedication," and recognizing the numerous roles he held during his tenure.

Once his resignation takes effect, state statute dictates that Common Council President JoAnn Shaw will serve as acting mayor until the vacancy is filled. The council will discuss at its Feb. 24 meeting whether it wants to fill the position by appointment or special election. If a special election were to be held, it would occur this November. The regular term is up for re-election in April 2015.

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