Koehler rejoins Bourbonnais as plan commissioner

March 19, 2019

BOURBONNAIS — As a longtime planning commissioner retires, a familiar face is going to take his place.

On Monday, Bourbonnais celebrated the retirement of Ralph Huntley, who served on the village’s planning commission and board of zoning and appeals for more than 40 years.

Huntley is yet another planning commissioner of at least 35 years to retire from the planning board in the past couple years.

“Ralph is the last of the old guard on the planning commission,” Mayor Paul Schore said.

“[He] was always ready for a meeting. He drove out to job sites or whatever the annexation was going to be. He knew where it was and what was going on because he went out there and looked at it.”

Huntley was not at Monday night’s village board meeting when a proclamation was read in his honor.

“He is a very humble individual,” Schore said. “I will have to hand-deliver the proclamation to his house.”

Huntley’s term does not end until April 2020. In his place, the village has appointed Frank Koehler.

Koehler was Bourbonnais’ village administrator for 11 years from 1996 to 2007. He then was village administrator of East Dundee for about four years. For the past seven years, he his filled interim vacancies for Lockport, North Chicago, Bloomington, Homewood, Wilmington and Kankakee.

“Frank brings a career worth of experience to the planning commission,” Schore said. “He has dealt with different communities, along with what he did here as village administrator. He is a perfect fit and will bring expertise to the board.”

Koehler lives in Bourbonnais with his wife, Jean. He is active in the Rotary Club of Bradley-Bourbonnais and the Potawatomi Paddlers Association.

“I love Bourbonnais,” he said. “My wife and I have been residents here for 23 years. I always appreciate the opportunity to give back.”

During his appointment, the 66-year-old Koehler offered a joke.

“I was asked this weekend if I would match Ralph’s longevity on the board. I told them I would take a pass on that,” he said with a laugh.