Racich steps down: Resignation met with humor, emotion as trustee says goodbye

Photo by Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff Mayor Michael Collins presents a thank you plaque to James Racich on Dec. 19. The long-serving trustee stepped down this week, after announcing plans to move out of Plainfield.

 

Photo by Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff Trustee James Racich addresses the public at the Dec. 19 Village Board meeting. Racich resigned his post this week, as he and his wife plan to move outside of the village limits.

Photo by Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
Trustee James Racich addresses the public at the Dec. 19 Village Board meeting. Racich resigned his post this week, as he and his wife plan to move outside of the village limits.

By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff

There was an unusual amount of laughter at the Village Board meeting on Monday, Dec. 19. Elected officials and village staff took a small step away from typical protocol, to say goodbye to a long sitting trustee.

James Racich, a member of the board since 2005, submitted his letter of resignation this week, announcing that he and his wife will be relocating out of the village.

Village officials didn’t let him go without a fun farewell, however.

After reading Racich’s letter of resignation, Mayor Michael Collins issued a humorous proclamation in honor of the departing trustee, poking a little fun at Racich’s proclivity to speak in wordy quotes.

“I have a… proclamation, declaring Feb. 30, from here to eternity, as James D. Racich day,” Collins joked.

“Whereas James D. Racich has a good memory, but short; Whereas James D. Racich fully believes that hindsight is good sight; And whereas James D. Racich always says simplicity of character is the natural cause of profound thought,” Collins continued, before adding Racich was the inspiration for famous quotes from Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Collins also joked that the non-existent third floor would become a museum dedicated to Racich and his service.

All jokes aside, other members of the board bid a fond farewell to Racich.

“You don’t realize how much you’ve impacted me,” said Trustee Brian Wojowski.

“I think Plainfield is a better place because of you,” added Trustee Edward O’Rourke.

Trustee Margie Bonuchi noted Racich’s active involvement not just in village activities, but events throughout the community.

“If there’s a cause to be held that this man believes in, then he’s going for it,” Bonuchi said. “That’s a lesson we can all learn from him. I will miss you terribly… you’ll always be special to us.”

Racich addressed the public, thanking the people of Plainfield for allowing him to represent them, and acknowledging the contributions of the public and other civic and elected leaders to the village.

“Thank you all,” Racich said. “You’re dear to my heart, and I really do have to say one thing. I am not deserting the village of Plainfield. Plainfield will always be in my heart… we truly love Plainfield and it will never be absent from my thoughts.”

Racich is married to Diane Racich, and the couple have two children and two grandchildren. He taught high school and community college classes for 35 years.

In addition to serving as trustee, Racich has also sat on State Representative Tom Cross’s Senior Advisory Council, served as a Lector at St. Mary Immaculate Church, and participated in the I CARE International Missionary trips to Central and South America.

Racich served as village trustee from 2005 until the present, elected to three consecutive terms.

Racich’s resignation was accepted at the conclusion of Monday night’s meeting. A replacement appointee was not immediately named. Racich’s term expires in April 2017.

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