Council Thanks City Attorney for Service
Mayor, aldermen gave Dave Wiltse a standing ovation at the end of the city council meeting Monday.
City council members gave Dave Wiltse, the city’s attorney, a standing ovation to show their appreciation for his nearly 20 years of service at the end of the meeting Monday.
Wiltse retired at the end of June and has been helping transition the city to working with the Chicago-based law firm, Holland & Knight, since then. Monday’s city council meeting was Wiltse’s last as city attorney.
Michael Bartholomew, city manager, introduced Peter Friedman, the attorney assigned to Des Plaines by Holland & Knight, to council members. Then, the mayor and each of the aldermen took turns thanking Wiltse for his professionalism, knowledge, advice, accessibility and more.
“Thank you very much for your years of service to the City of Des Plaines,” First
Ward Alderman Patricia Haugeberg said. “Dave, all of us and the residents appreciate everything.”
Wiltse announced in March he would retire in June. His retirement plans include completing a book about an infantry regiment from the Civil War, and sharing his faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“As I get older, it becomes more and more important to me, and I want a chance to be able to serve the Lord,” Wiltse said. “And to say that freely, which I couldn’t do, of course, from this chair while I was here during those years, because it wouldn’t have been appropriate.”
Second Ward Alderman John Robinson said it was a pleasure working with Wiltse for three-and-a-half years, and he learned a lot from him.
“I respect you as a human being; I respect your moral fiber, and how it plays into your way of thinking and your slant on life in general,” Robinson said. “I wish you success in the future.”
Third Ward Alderman Matthew Bogusz said council members could always count on Wiltse to be a “happy warrior.”
“You’re always out there fighting for us, and with a smile,” Bogusz said. “Thanks a lot, and good luck with your book.”
Wiltse said he served the city under four mayors, seven city managers, and was the longest-serving city attorney at least in the last 50-70 years. He recalled a funny story about his first day almost 19 years ago.
“I can remember the day; it was Oct. 18, 1993, I sat where Peter’s sitting,” Wiltse said. “I watched the council adopt a tax, and, a half-hour later reconsider and un-adopt the tax.
“[Former Mayor] Ted Sherwood turned to the audience and said I’d like to introduce Dave Wiltse, our new city attorney, if he still wants his job — because it was quite an interesting evening, parliamentary-wise.”
Wiltse said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Des Plaines and work with such a fine city staff for all those years.
“It has been a privilege; it has been a real honor,” Wiltse said. “As I leave this chair, it’s very weird, it’s a weird feeling. But I know I want to move on.”