Employee shake-up comes with new mayor in Harrisburg

Employee shake-up comes with new mayor in Harrisburg
By: Arnold Wyrick
HARRISBURG, Ill. - More than 9,000 people call Harrisburg, Illinois home. And a week ago voters made history by electing the town's first female mayor Valerie Mitchell.

But just a week away from taking the helm, one city employee is jumping ship.  Valerie Commisky has worked as Harrisburg's economic development director for the past couple of years. "In terms of something I'm really pleased with, is the creation of a web site for Harrisburg.  Harrisburg did not have a web presence.  And a couple of businesses have indicated that they came here from out of state because of finding Harrisburg on the web," says Vicki Commiskey.

One of the other big projects Commiskey has been working on, a super Wal-Mart, scheduled to begin construction this Summer.  But it's a project she won't see through to the finish, that's because she's tendered her resignation.  Citing reasons that the incoming mayor Valerie Mitchell would be eliminating her job. "Well in previous newspaper articles she's indicated that she is very interested in overseeing economic development.  So no hard feelings, just really wanted to be able to continue what you started," Commiskey said.

But according to mayor elect Mitchell, Commiskey's resignation comes as a shock. "I had no idea the resignation was coming.  And I think a lot of Vicki.  I think a lot of the work she's done.  I never made any type of statement I was after her job," says Valerie Mitchell.

Now along with running the town of Harrisburg, Mitchell plans to also oversee it's economic growth. "I'm going to just work as hard as I can.  I don't want any of this to stop anything for Harrisburg.  Because we've got to keep this going," Mitchell said.

The new mayor, and city council members will be sworn in during a city council meeting on May 3rd.  That's the same day that Commiskey's resignation takes affect.  In the meantime both ladies plan to meet to go over what projects that are currently in the works, when it comes to economic development in Harrisburg.