Lincolnshire finance leader set to retire Dec. 31
Stan Roelker, Lincolnshire's director of financial systems, is set to retire at the end of the year. | Ronnie Wachter~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 31, 2012 9:52AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — Stan Roelker will celebrate his upcoming birthday by retiring after 24 years as the director of financial systems for the village of Lincolnshire.
His successor will inherit what is expected to be a solid, new revenue source — a grocery store currently under construction at Half Day Road and Milwaukee Avenue.
Roelker will not, however, leave behind his collection of New York Yankees paraphernalia, which fills his office at Village Hall.
Q: What got you into financial systems?
A: While growing up in New York City, I noticed my uncles were making fairly good incomes as professional accountants. After graduating from college, I worked in the private sector for five years. But I grew tired of the constant emphasis on the bottom line. I tried my hand at teaching and coaching for four years at a small high school in the Colorado mountains. But the meager salary drove me back into finance. A financial position for a small municipality seemed a nice way to help serve. I have stayed in municipal finance positions since 1974.
Q: Why step away now?
A: I will hit 66 on Dec. 31 of this year. This seemed like a nice time to start enjoying a number of my outside hobbies and activities that I have put aside due to my busy work schedule. Model railroading, and cruising on my motorcycle the beautiful country roads of Wisconsin.
Q: The rumor around Village Hall is that you met Babe Ruth and helped the New York Yankees finance their stadium. How much of this is true?
A: As the years progressed in Lincolnshire, I began being teased as being old enough to actually have known Babe Ruth, and other assorted New York Yankee slurs. Coming from the Bronx, I remain a Yankee fan. But I have taken all the kidding in stride...we all know who has the most pennant and World Series flags.
Q: One of the cars in the staff parking lot has a “METSGRL” license plate. How do you feel about working alongside a Mets fan?
A: That vehicle belongs to the village’s public works director, Jennifer Hughes. She is a diehard New York Mets fan. Ironically, I was on the same high school baseball team, very briefly, with a fellow who ended up playing for the Mets as their first baseman, Ed Kranepool.
Q: What is the largest amount of cash you’ve ever held in your hand, and what did you do with it?
A: The largest amount of actual cash I’ve handled at any one time was about $2,000, in $20 bills. This sum of money coming chiefly from towing fees the police department collects. The largest check I have had to handle was about $2 million. Commerce City, Colo., had just sold bonds. I was instructed to deliver the check to our bank for investment purposes. Unfortunately, the underwriters had still not transferred this money into the proper account, so I was instructed to hold the check for another day. This was back in the dark ages, 1975, when money was still physically delivered.