Jim Marino has been one of the Homewood’s top administrators for more than two decades, but he is moving on to a new position as city administrator for Crest Hill.
Marino’s last day as village manager will be Dec. 17. On Dec. 18, Assistant Village Manager Napoleon Haney will take the helm.
Marino joined the Homewood staff in February 1999 as assistant village manager. In 2012, he was promoted to village manager.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to serve such a highly regarded community for nearly 23 years,” Marino said. “Homewood is an extraordinary community that I will dearly miss.”
He thanked the Village Board for its support and the staff for its hard work.
“I want to recognize the immense contribution, support and dedicated work of the village staff,” he said. “This incredible team of employees works unselfishly and diligently every day to improve the quality of life for residents and support our businesses.”
He believes he is leaving the village in a good position, with a number of projects under way or soon to begin that will make a difference for the community.
“I wish the community the very best as it continues to grow and prosper,” he said.
In addition to managing the staff and daily operations of village government, Mayor Richard Hofeld said Marino’s biggest strength was his ability to analyze the financial aspects of big projects.
Marino has been involved in a number of significant initiatives over the years, most recently the current move to shift the village’s water source from Chicago/Harvey to Hammond/Chicago Heights and the ongoing major renovation of the train station. He also helped guide the project to redevelop the site of the former Triumph Building downtown.
“He’s done a wonderful job and we wish him well in his new position,” Hofeld said.
Hofeld said the Board of Trustees has approved the return of Napoleon Haney to village government. He began serving as assistant village manager on Dec. 1 and will move into the village manager’s office on Dec. 18.
Haney had been the assistant village manager from 2017 until Oct. 1, when he took the job of village manager in Olympia Fields.
But Haney vowed at the time that he would remain connected to Homewood, where he and his family live, and he continued to attend village board meetings and stop by the weekly Meet the Mayor sessions on Saturday mornings in village hall.
“It’s home,” he said when asked why he returned.
Haney has extensive experience in local government management. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Norfolk State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Bowling Green State University.
He is a Marine Corps veteran who has served in village government in various management capacities in Matteson, Orland Park, Robbins and Reno, Nevada.
Haney said he admired Marino’s leadership style, especially his calm demeanor.
“He was never rattled, never shaken. He’s a good leader,” he said.
He said the main challenges he will face as village manager are similar to what many communities face all the time, economic conditions, unfunded mandates and recruiting the best people to serve as staff.
The latter is a growing concern as Homewood is also being affected by a general scarcity of recruits in what some pundits are calling “the Great Resignation,” believed to be a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which sharply disrupted employment during mid-2020.
“It’s a real thing,” Haney said.
As for strengths he brings to the job, Haney said he believes he is good at managing people and has the ability to “see the big picture.”
“That’s the same as most managers,” he said. “That’s what we’re trained to do.”
For the most part, he indicated he aims to continue the course the village is on.
“Most of the heavy lifting has already been done in Homewood,” he said.
Correction: Jim Marino’s start date with the village of Homewood was listed incorrectly. He started in February 1999.