First reported 8/24/2010 3:43 p.m.

The River Forest village board celebration of the appointment of a new village administrator was cut short when current administrator Steve Gutierrez informed the village he’s planning to leave his post on Sept. 10, more than a month and a half before his successor arrives.

Village President John Rigas said he will recommend that Fire Chief Jim Eggert take the reins as village administrator from Sept. 13 to Nov. 1, when new administrator Eric Palm takes office.

The board will vote on Eggert’s interim appointment at its Sept. 13 board meeting.

As the village’s most experienced manager, Eggert was the natural choice to fill the gap, Rigas said.

“He’s the most qualified – all the other people at that level are interim,” Rigas said.

While there will be a two-and-a-half-day gap between Gutierrez’s departure and the vote to install Eggert, the village won’t suffer, Rigas said.

“He doesn’t have the authority to do anything that the police and fire chiefs wouldn’t normally be able to do,” Rigas said.

The village will be shorthanded, though, until Palm arrives. Short-staffed and with interim heads in every major department, things may move a little slowly for the next two months.

“You live with what you get, and you go forward based on what you have,” Rigas said. “Going forward, it will limit what we’re able to do for the next two months.”

Eggert said he’ll do his best to be productive during his time as administrator.

“We’ll just make sure we keep this village moving forward,” Eggert said. “The big thing is when the public comes to the village, they’ve got somebody they can come to right away.”

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Ben Meyerson

Ben was Wednesday Journal's crime, parks, and River Forest reporter, until he kept bugging us enough to promote him. Now he's managing two of Wednesday Journal's sister papers in the city, Chicago Journal...