July 25, 2022 – The Village of Oak Park didn’t have to look far to find a quality candidate to lead its Public Works Department.
Rob Sproule has been promoted to the position of Public Works Director, Village Manager Kevin Jackson announced today. Sproule has worked as a public servant for more than a decade, including the past eight years with the Village in varying Public Works leadership positions.
“In making this important hiring decision, I was encouraged to have a candidate with the training, knowledge and experience needed to properly manage the many critical services provided to residents by the Public Works Department,” Jackson said. “The proper management of streets and sidewalks, water and sewer and forestry and street lighting is essential to effective municipal government. With Rob Sproule I am confident we will have a steady, experienced hand at the helm of the Public Works Department.”
Sproule has served as Interim Public Works Director for the past month following the retirement of longtime Public Works Director John Wielebnicki.
Sproule came aboard at the Village in 2014 when he was hired as Forestry Superintendent and tasked with administering Oak Park’s urban forestry management program. In 2020, Sproule was promoted to the position of Assistant Public Works Director and began sharing in management responsibility for all Public Works services and activities.
Earlier this year Sproule became a Certified Public Works Professional in Management through the American Public Works Association. This certification is issued following a rigorous process to recognize individuals in the public works field who have the knowledge and experience to manage public works organizations.
Sproule is one of 77 public works professionals in the United States and Canada who have received the designation and the ninth in the Chicago area.
A Board Certified Master Arborist, Sproule is also the Chairperson of the Illinois Urban and Community Forestry Committee and a member of the Illinois Forestry Development Council and Chicago Region Trees Initiative Executive Advisory Council. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fordham University and a Master of Forestry Degree from the University of Maine.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to continue leading the great team that makes up the Public Works Department,” Sproule said. “Oak Park is a dynamic community with engaged residents who take pride in their surroundings. I’m committed to providing the high-quality services that residents have come to expect and look forward to tackling the challenges ahead as we work to maintain Oak Park’s public infrastructure in sustainable and cost-effective ways.”
Oak Park’s Public Works Department oversees a wide range of tasks associated with the Village’s public infrastructure. In addition to maintaining more than 103 miles of Village-owned streets and 105 miles of water mains, divisions within the department also manage the Village’s extensive urban forest, manage refuse and recycling collections and maintain traffic signals and streetlights.
Public Works staff also is responsible for maintaining all municipal facilities and equipment, including vehicles for the police and fire departments.
More information about the Public Works Department is available at www.oak-park.us/publicworks.