By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 15, 2020) – The Village of Lansing recognized Village Treasurer Arlette Frye on Tuesday night for her nine years of overseeing Lansing’s finances. Frye is retiring at the end of December to spend time with her family.
Keeping a fiscally fit Village
Frye has been Lansing’s treasurer since July of 2011. She has also served in a financial capacity in Willow Springs, Riverdale, and Thornton in her career. In Lansing, Frye heads a staff of eight in the Finance Department, and oversees many duties including grant and bond reporting, payroll, accounts payable, cash receipts, utility billing, and vehicle stickers. Frye also serves as TIF (tax increment financing) administrator, is the treasurer for the Police and Fire Pension Fund, and handles many insurance responsibilities for the Village.
Frye told The Lansing Journal that in addition to generally improving the Finance Department’s efficiency, her proudest achievement as Lansing Treasurer came when she proposed the refinancing and early call of Motor Fuel Tax bonds that will save the Village over $1 million.
“As long as I live, in your humble way, and in your thorough way, and matter-of-fact way of saving the Village money, I don’t know how you, or anybody that follows you can beat that,” Trustee Jerry Zeldenrust told Frye during Tuesday’s Village Board meeting. “To be able to look at something, and figure out a way in a normal budget year to say, ‘We figured out a way to save a million dollars,’ and it’s not because we quit buying squad cars or because we quit paving streets, or cutting trees in the parkways, it was excellence that you brought to the job every day that allowed something like that to happen.”
Transparency and solutions to serve Lansing
Frye also organized a viewing in 2018 of a film titled All the Queen’s Horses and afterwards led a discussion about it. The film chronicled the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history, which occurred in Dixon, Illinois. Frye’s post-viewing discussion focused on best practices to maintain the transparency and accountability that safeguard the Village’s finances and the public trust.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam referenced her colleague Administrator Dan Podgorski and said, “Mr. Podgorski mentioned to me that Arlette epitomizes what you expect and want in a department head: she doesn’t bring a problem to you without a proposed solution, and she’ll never tell you what you want to hear unless it’s what you need to hear.”
“Treasurers in general sometimes get pigeonholed as not wanting to ever spend any money,” Eidam said. “However, while watching over the finances like a hawk, Arlette always sees the big picture and will always support a project that makes sense for Lansing.”
Frye told The Lansing Journal, “I have enjoyed my time in Lansing. I am especially proud of the finance department and all the hard work that they put in to keep the Village running smoothly. I will miss them.”
Although “Appointment of Finance Director” was included on Tuesday’s Village Board agenda, Eidam said the agenda item would be rescheduled.
Lansing’s Finance Department is located in the Lansing Municipal Center, 3141 Ridge Road, Lansing, IL.
- Village Treasurer outlines plan to save Lansing nearly $1 million (December 18, 2018)
- Village Trustees and staff discuss fraud prevention (December 13, 2018)