New public works director focused on serving Clarendon Hills residents
Mike Millette is the new public works director in Clarendon Hills.
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:10AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Mike Millette has a tough act to follow. The self-proclaimed Civil War buff took over in August as public works director in Clarendon Hills. Millette replaced John Hays, who worked in that job for about 25 years and was employed with the village for 41 years before retiring. Millette came to Clarendon Hills from Downers Grove, where he was an assistant public works director. He also worked in Schaumburg and Lombard.
Q. What appealed to you about coming to work in Clarendon Hills?
A. Part of it was an interest in moving on to be a director. I also wanted to stay in DuPage County; I know a lot of people with the county. I also liked Clarendon Hills. I thought it was a nice community.
Q. What did you like about Clarendon Hills?
A. The sense of it being a positive version of a television community. There are a lot of people involved in a lot of things here.
Q. What do you like to be involved in when you’re not working?
A. I like hiking and camping and bicycling. And, of course, I am a Civic War buff. I’ve been involved with that for about 20 years and take part in reenactments. I really do like to be outside. I decided when I was in college I wanted to have a job where I could be outside some and didn’t have to sit at a desk all day.
Q. Is working for the Clarendon Hills Public Works Department much different than it was working in Downers Grove?
A. For me, I think there’s a greater sense of responsibility because I am the director, although I took responsibility for my job in Downers Grove, too. Overall, it’s different because we are a smaller department. We have more guys doing more different things. Everyone here does a lot of different things, and they like it that way. You don’t get pigeonholed into one area that way.
Q. What’s it like taking over for someone who was in your job for so long and was so well liked and respected?
A. The priority is to keep the ship on a nice steady course. Following John makes you respect even more so what he built, and it makes you want to protect it even more and keep things running the right way.
Q. Do you believe there are any significant changes that need to be made in the Public Works Department?
A. No, nothing major. I want to engage the community a little so they know what we do. I think we tend to be task oriented and have introverted personalities.
Q. What do you want residents to know about the Public Works Department?
A. We are a very proud group of public servants, and we want to keep them happy. The people in Clarendon Hills are the ones we work for. Whatever it is they want, we’ll do the best we can to make it happen.