Bruce McKinney to Retire May 1

Bruce McKinney to Retire May 1

Bruce McKinney to Retire May 1

After nearly 24 years as Rochelle’s City Clerk, Bruce McKinney is heading into retirement!

McKinney came to the City of Rochelle following a career at Swift. He began his time at the Rochelle accounting office where he was later promoted to a supervisor in the loading dock. Sometime later, he left the Rochelle office and headed for Swift in St. Charles where he spent time in purchasing as a buyer for labels, casing and boxes. After fifteen years commuting each day, he saw the advertisement in the local newspaper for the City Clerk position. Of over sixty applicants, McKinney was hired Commissioner Jim Cappel to fill the seat.
One of the first orders of business for the City of Rochelle at the time was the switch from the Commissioner to a Council/Manager form of local government. When McKinney was first hired, the referendum had already taken place and he was in the position for approximately six months once the switch was finalized. The City Clerk would report to then Mayor Joe Ponozzo followed by Mayors Bob Gingrich and Chet Olson.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bruce over the last fifteen years as Mayor. He brought dedication and professionalism to the office of City Clerk,” said Mayor Chet Olson.

When McKinney came into the office, everything was done on paper – not many computers existed in City Hall at the time. “Everything was done on the typewriter,” McKinney said. “I still have it; once in a while someone even stops into the office to use it!” In the days when Rochelle Hospital still had its birthing center, the Clerk’s office was doing 300-400 birth certificates per year; now that number is closer to a dozen thanks to home births throughout the County. When asked what he will miss most at City Hall, McKinney said,” I’ll miss the people the most and of course the day-to-day involvement in what goes on in the community.”

Always the jokester in the office, when asked what his favorite time at City Hall was McKinney laughed, “the coffee breaks!” quickly followed by his real answer, “the change in government was a highlight and joining the Municipal Clerks of Illinois was a great step in learning the position.”
As a member of Municipal Clerks of Illinois (MCI), McKinney had a network to call on for advice. He served as the District President and State Secretary followed by Vice President. He was slated to become the next President of the organization when he suffered three strokes several years ago. McKinney has been the recipient of the Clerk of the Year Award twice and is a Registered and Certified Municipal Clerk.

“I’ll miss joking with Bruce and talking baseball each morning in the office! I wish him nothing but the best in retirement,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.

At the April 23 City Council Meeting, Sue Messer was sworn in as City Clerk. Rose Hueramo and Jenny Thompson were sworn in as Deputy Clerks. McKinney’s advice to the trio is this: “Just have fun and do your job. A little humor goes a long way!”

A retirement celebration will be held at City Hall on Tuesday May 1 from 3:00-4:30pm. The community is invited to attend.