Village Manager Paul Schofield informed members of the Wellington Village Council this week of his intent to retire at the end of his current contract. After more than 12 years at the helm of the village, Schofield will leave his post on Feb. 12, 2021.
Before the manager’s report toward the end of the Tuesday, Oct. 27 council meeting, Councilman John McGovern announced that Schofield had informed council moments just before the meeting of his decision, and that Feb. 12, 2021 would be his final day.
It will be the end of a storied career with the village. Schofield served as director of community services under Wellington’s first village manager, Charlie Lynn. Schofield was tapped to replace Lynn when he retired in 2008.
In his time leading the village, Schofield has overseen a major increase in village services and facilities, including building what is now known as Wellington Town Center, a growing collection of village facilities in the center of the community. He has also weathered a number of political storms and survived longer in his post than most municipal managers.
Schofield agreed to a five-year extension of his contract in 2016, hinting at the time that he would likely be ready to retire when it was up in 2021. That formal decision has now been made.
In his letter to the council, Schofield thanked the village for giving him the opportunity to accomplish many programs on behalf of Wellington residents. He cited only a couple in a letter that McGovern called “uncharacteristically brief and characteristically humble.”
Mayor Anne Gerwig described trepidation about continuing without his steady hand on the helm.
“I think I was 18 years old when we first met,” she said. “Your expertise and knowledge, your professionalism has been a great asset to us.”
“I hope you are not going far, so we can still call you,” Gerwig said, only half teasing.
“You have me until Feb. 12,” said Schofield, matching her tone.
Councilman Michael Drahos and Councilman Michael Napoleone noted that they just found out about Schofield’s decision 15 minutes before the meeting when his letter was delivered.
“This is arguably the biggest moment since I’ve been on the council, and I want to collect my thoughts about how much I respect this manager. Today is one of a very big transition for this community,” Drahos said.
Napoleone agreed. “I will miss the calm with which you lead during chaos,” he said. “I hope we can appropriately honor you at a future meeting. You will be missed.”