September 19, 2021 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

‘Being the first of anything comes with challenges, but also a lot of opportunity’

St. Joseph Village Administrator Joseph Hackney likes challenges.


“Being the first of anything comes with challenges, but also a lot of opportunity,” he said.


Public service has always appealed to Hackney, who had an internship with the City of Arcola during his time at Eastern Illinois University where he majored in Political Science.


“I loved the variety of the profession, as well as being able to have a serious impact on a community. Up until that point, I was lost on what I wanted to do with my life,” he said. “After spending some time with the City Administrator in Arcola, Illinois, and with the City Manager of Warrensburg, Missouri, I wasn’t lost anymore.”


Hackney was previously the village administrator in Valley Falls, Kansas where he served for just over two years.


Hackney said he enjoys the field of village administration because there is always something going on and he finds it rewarding.


“There is always a new challenge or new problem that needs to be solved,” he said. “I like that there is always something pending, always something to work on or to improve. I also love to see the product of the projects I work on, and see a positive impact being made for the community.”


This Spring, Hackney toured the town with the mayor and village workers. Hackney said the community was nice, clean, and well-kept.


“I appreciate that very much,” he said.


He was also impressed with the downtown.


“Really seems like there is a lot of potential here,” he said. “I’m really excited to see what can be accomplished in St. Joseph over the next few years. The community is in a good location in the State of Illinois, and I think there is a strong chance that the Village can continue to attract the right kind of development and growth.”


Hackney said it wasn’t only the town that was appealing. His future co-workers and the trustees were also part of the appeal.


“The governing body and team members really made me feel welcome when I came in for the interview,” he said. “I appreciated that very much. The Mayor especially has been so kind to me during this process, and was a huge part of making this position so appealing.” 


Hackney said his goals for the village will be the goals of the village board and mayor.


“My job as the Village Administrator will be to facilitate the objectives of the governing body,” he said. “I hope to bring some new ideas, and experience from other organizations — especially from mentors from this profession. I really believe that communities should be eager to pick and choose good ideas from other organizations and be ready to apply them in a way that works in their own organization. In most cases, there is a community somewhere that has experienced similar issues to the ones that St. Joseph has, and will in the future, so we should always be willing to learn from their experiences and take good ideas to apply in our organization.”


When he starts on July 29, Hackney’s first order of business will be to immerse himself in the organization of the village and learn operations. He will then work with the board members and staff to ensure that the village is running smoothly on a daily basis.


“I was impressed by the governing body and the team members, so I’m confident that the Village residents will be well served no matter what comes our way,” he said. Residents have busy lives, and keeping track of all the nuances of local government can be a lot to take on. Which is why they trust the governing body, and staff to handle their affairs.”


Hackney is originally from Illinois, with family near St. Joseph, a close friend in Philo and his college network 45 minutes away in Charleston.


“It will be wonderful to be so close to all of them,” he said.


In his spare time, Hackney can be found walking his 120 pound Black Lab and Great Pyrenees mix dog, named Clash that commands a lot of his attention.

“Actually, commands most of my attention,” Hackney said. “He keeps me pretty active, and gets me outside — a lot. He’s big enough that you won’t miss us going on many walks in the community. I’m also really fortunate to have good friends, which I love spending time with. I look forward to being closer to a lot of them, to make up for some lost time during COVID.”

Banner
Related Posts

Wheelhouse adapts during pandemic

May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020

Every Thursday The Wheelhouse gets as shipment of farm-fresh food from Spence Farms in Fairbury. Spence Farms is a cooperative...

Ask the doctor: Which internet resources can I trust for medical information?

March 3, 2021

March 3, 2021

By Jeanelle Murphy, DO In this age of technology it is important to know what websites will give you accurate...

10 things you don’t know about me… Vickie Reese

July 3, 2019

July 3, 2019

Every week we ask a village resident to tell us 10 interesting things about themselves. This week we asked Vickie...

10 Things You Don’t Know about me… Casey Phillips

April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

Casey Phillips is active in the St. Joseph Women’s Club, a mom to two girls, a dental assistant and helps...

Grindley keeps positive attitude during pandemic

May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic that we are all experiencing, it’s just not high school athletes that are being affected. Lucas...

Area residents named to Parkland College Dean’s List

January 9, 2020

January 9, 2020

In honor of their outstanding scholastic achievement, the following students have been named to the Parkland College Dean’s List for...

Spartan Spotlight… Lindsey Aden

April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020

St. Joseph-Ogden senior Lindsey Aden has big plans for her future. Aden, who lives outside of Royal, will be attending...

Kids say…

May 27, 2019

May 27, 2019

Every week we ask five students from a local school to answer a question on a worksheet. This week the...

Blackburn keeps positive attitude despite challenging end to senior year

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

No prom. No spring musical. No graduation ceremony with thousands of people in attendance. Needless to say, the senior class...

Kids say..

April 27, 2019

April 27, 2019

Every week we ask five students from a local school to answer a question on a worksheet. This week the...

Senior spotlight: Gage Atwood

May 16, 2019

May 16, 2019

Leading up to graduation, we asked five seniors five questions.Next up is Gage Atwood! What will you be doing next...

Project honoring service members to be continued

March 4, 2019

March 4, 2019

The SJO Service Member Project is being reinstated thanks to two local women. Mindy Reynolds and Lee Janusch want to...

Thursday closings and cancellations

February 13, 2020

February 13, 2020

Gallo Dance Studio has canceled class for 2/13. The Heritage Junior High volleyball game vs. Schlarman is canceled and also...

10 things you don’t know about me…Leonard Winchester

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

1. What is your favorite childhood memory? I don’t have one favorite childhood memory, there were so many experiences. I...

Sweet Home Alabama

May 27, 2019

May 27, 2019

Eve Owens knew she wanted to go South. So when she was trying to decide where to go to college...

Comments
Leave a Reply