Elwood names new village administrator

The Elwood Village Board unanimously approved the appointment of Julie Friebele as village administrator, nearly a year after the previous administrator stepped down.

After Friebele was selected as the new village administrator, she assumed her duties July 10, according to a news release from the village. She will also continue to perform her duties as the village clerk, the news release said.

Former Village Administrator Marian Gibson resigned from her post nearly a year ago after having served during the village's talks with NorthPoint Development over the controversial Compass Business Park proposal. Gibson had been the Elwood village administrator since 2016.

The proposed 2,000-acre industrial park caught the attention of several Elwood residents who campaigned and spoke out against the project, saying it would increase truck traffic, put more stress on local infrastructure and be potentially harmful to the environment. Village President Doug Jenco canceled a vote related to the project in April 2018, effectively ending the possibility of the industrial park being approved.

Some Elwood residents accused Gibson of secretly working with NorthPoint Development on the project and called for her to step down even after the vote was canceled.

After Gibson’s tenure with Elwood ended, she took a part-time job as a special projects coordinator with the village of Romeoville, where she had previously worked.

Friebele and Jenco did not respond to requests for comment.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.