The Hinsdalean - Community journalism the way it was meant to be

It takes a village - GEORGE PELUSO, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICES & ENGINEERING

 

Last updated 6/23/2021 at 2:33pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

George Peluso, Hinsdale's director of public services and engineering, said addressing the needs of the village's residents drives his work every day. (Jim Slonoff photo)

When you're working for nearly 18,000 people, it's difficult to know what any given day might bring.

Whether it's filling a pothole, trimming a parkway tree or clearing an icy street, George Peluso said his goal every day is to provide excellent customer service to everyone who calls Hinsdale home.

As director of public services and engineering, Peluso oversees the staff responsible for the village's roads, water system, parks and more. Everything from road repairs to maintenance of the swimming pool falls under the umbrella of his job - a job that he has held since December 2014.

"I was really interested in the opportunity to work in such a beautiful community," said Peluso, who holds a master's degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University.

He had become familiar with Hinsdale while working for the villages of Willowbrook and Western Springs and jumped at the chance to work in the village.

While planning for the village's long-term needs, such as road repaving and building maintenance, he also has to be ready to take care of whatever needs might arise.

Peluso said he begins each day with calls to the village's superintendents of public services, forestry and parks, and water and sewer to see what the day might entail.

They discuss the immediate needs, such as emergency repairs or road closures for special events, and map out the plan for the day.

Of course, plans don't always work out the way they're intended. Weather and water main breaks are just a couple of the many things that Peluso and his staff are always ready to address.

"You have to have this philosophy of catching things as they come through the organization," Peluso said of his job.

From the village's new parking deck to the 140-year-old Highlands train station, Peluso's staff oversees the maintenance of dozens of buildings throughout the village, along with the village's roads, water system, parks and trees.

"The care of trees is very important to our residents," said Peluso, which means it's a priority to him, as well.

It's that ability to address the individual needs of village residents that attracted Peluso to his career, which began with an internship with the village of Willowbrook.

He said he also likes the technical aspects of the job and the opportunity to constantly learn something new.

Hinsdale's relatively small staff and the unpredictability of his job means Peluso can sometimes be found fixing a water main break or driving a snowplow - just a couple of the many skills he's learned while on the job.

"I've been lucky to have some great mentors," said Peluso.

But he also learns things from his fellow village employees.

"They're some of the best people I've ever known."

Peluso and his wife, Lauren, make their home in Frankfort, but a part of him lives in Hinsdale.

"I plan on being here for the rest of my career," Peluso said.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean

Email: [email protected]

 
 

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