Chris Dunn Recognized for Longtime Service as Chair of Wilmette Environmental and Energy Commission

From the Wilmette Beacon:

Wilmette Village Board: Dunn and Duffy recognized for longtime service

Todd Marver, Freelance Reporter

7:23 am CDT September 26, 2019

The Wilmette Village Board recognized two individuals who recently concluded their combined 21 years of service on boards or commissions at its Tuesday, Sept. 24 meeting. 

Patrick Duffy served a decade on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Chris Dunn served 11 years on Environmental and Energy Commission. Duffy served on the Zoning Board of Appeals from July 2009 to July 2019.

“There are only five members since 2009 that have actually served their full 10 years,” Village President Bob Bielinski said. “There hasn’t been one since 2013 that has served the full 10 years.”

Duffy was chair of the ZBA from February 2015 to July 2019. During his time on the Zoning Board, there were approximately 550 cases and 266 cases while he was chair, said Bielinski. Bielinski listed a few notable cases that occurred while Duffy was chair: the restoration of the Women’s Club, the townhomes on Wilmette Ave., the parking lot and pool at Loyola, the St. Francis School addition, adult day care Our Place and the new townhomes on 514 Poplar.

“Most people don’t realize how much work the ZBA is,” Bielinski said. “It’s frankly just barely short of being a trustee because you’ve got two meetings a month, you’ve got prep and then you also have controversy.”

Duffy said he learned a lot on the ZBA both as chair and not.

“(I learned) not only about Zoning Code in the Village, but also about how our local government works,” he said. “And also what it takes as a volunteer to help the machine roll.”

Trustee Dan Sullivan, who served with Duffy on the ZBA prior to joining the Village Board, thanked him for his service.

“He was always prepared and even when I was trustee, when we look at cases, I’d always go right to his notes because he was always prepared,” he said. “He took it seriously and really appreciate it. I thought he was a great chairman to step in.”

Sullivan also recognized Mike Boyer, who wasn’t able to be at the meeting, but also recently concluded his decade of service on the ZBA.

“I would also acknowledge Mike Boyer too,” he said. “You guys did a great job and you were an asset to the community.”

Dunn served as the chair of the Environmental and Energy Commission from its creation in July 2008 to June 2019. Bielinski highlighted some accomplishments that occurred while Dunn was chair: the review and recommendation that the Village adopt the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Greenest Region Compact 2, drafting a sustainability plan, the coal tar ban, incorporating new green standards into the Zoning Code and input and support on items such as a solar purchasing program, green alleys, rain gardens, electrical aggregation and leaf blower regulations. 

“I’m grateful for the outstanding indispensible staff who worked with us,” Dunn said. “We also have some outstanding partners among other Wilmette residents: Go Green Wilmette and League of Women Voters. We had some incredible people serving on the commission for all of those years.”

Bielinski said one of the best parts of being on the board and Village President is meeting new people such as Dunn. “Chris was not someone I knew before I was elected and I got to know him through this process and I’m grateful for that,” Bielinski said. “You’re one of the people that I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know well through my service.”