The suburbs gained another voice on the Illinois tollway's board of directors Monday when Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the appointment of Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens to the nine-member panel.
"Mayor Stephens has proven to be an economic force in the Chicagoland area, driving innovation and commercial development within the Village of Rosemont," Rauner said in an announcement of the appointment. "His experience, creativity and tenacity will be an asset to the Illinois Tollway."
Stephens, 55, has been Rosemont's mayor since 2007, when he was appointed to the post after the death of his father, longtime Mayor Donald E. Stephens. He's been elected to the office three times since.
In addition to his tenure as mayor, he served as Leyden Township trustee and supervisor and is the Leyden Township Republican committeeman. He had been a member of the board of directors for the Pace suburban bus service since 2013, but is giving up that seat to serve on the tollway board.
In the announcement of Stephens' appointment, Rauner's office noted his successes as Rosemont's mayor, including the construction of the Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall, the Parkway Bank Park entertainment district and Impact Field, a $63 million baseball stadium.
"The Village of Rosemont itself sits at a central point of the Illinois Tollway system, giving Mayor Stephens firsthand knowledge of the economic benefit of a strong transportation system, and the benefits it can provide to local municipalities and employers," Tollway Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said.
Stephens will join Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson and Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez as suburban chief executives on the tollway board.