- Posted by Barrington Hills
- On December 18, 2017
Our Director of Administration, Robert Kosin, known to all as Bob marked his 35th year with the Village this July. Bob has announced that he will be retiring effective January 1, 2018. We sat down with Bob to learn more about his 35+ years in the community.
Bob began his career in the Barrington Area with the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) working under the esteemed Donald P. Klein. Eventually, he was loaned out to the Village of Barrington Hills… and he never left.
The Village President, Barbara Hansen, handed me copy #24 of the Village Code. She advised me that any answer or direction I may need would be found in the Code.
That same day, all other Village staff left to attend the funeral for the husband of the then Village Treasurer, Lucille Keating. For several hours I answered the telephone and answered questions with the Code on the desk next to me.
Throughout my career, a telephone and the Village Code have remained on my desk, no matter the office.
His first title was Planning and Zoning Coordinator, four years later in 1986, he became Director of Administration. He commuted from Chicago until 1987 when he moved to Crystal Lake with his family, where they still remain.
We asked Bob what moments stuck with him over the years. He recounted that the losses of staff and Board Members were some of the hardest moments in his entire career, and the ones he remembers vividly.
On the happier side, he enjoys the relationships he has been able to maintain. Bob and the now mayor of Algonquin, John Schmitt, met near the beginning of their careers when Mayor Schmitt was the Algonquin Plan Commission Chairman. “While Barrington Hills and Algonquin have not always agreed, this relationship ensured there was always an open channel of communication between our communicates.”
The last memory he shared was when he met the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (then called the Department of Conservation) team to highlight some of the many natural areas in VBH.
Being a Chicagoan, I had never really walked through a natural area. The day prior, I bought a checked black and white wool jacket. I thought it was the perfect attire for an outdoor hike. I met the team at Palatine Road Marsh. They asked if I was going to wear the jacket hiking. After the hike, I now understood–as I seemed to have every burr in the forest stuck to my jacket. One of the many lessons I learned on the job.
Bob oversaw A LOT of changes at the Village: the Village Hall doubled in size and ashtrays placed by each Trustee’s seat have been removed. But Bob, being Bob, enjoys what hasn’t changed “we still, as since my first day, rely on volunteers. The sense of duty the residents have to serve their community is inspiring.”
Bob has accumulated a mass of historical knowledge on the area that few can match. He initiated the process for the Barrington Garden Club and Barrington Hills to receive a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker. The location, now a Wesleyan Church, during the Civil War served as an enlistment site for Union soldiers. His dedication to honoring those 90 soldiers and one nurse inspired others to take an interest in local history and preservation.
If you’ve ever asked Bob a question, you know he always has an answer. It might not be the exact answer you’re looking for, or the answer to the question you asked, but you’re sure to learn something along the way.
Please drop by the Village Hall on Wednesday, December 20th between 11 am – 3 pm for “Cake, Coffee & Nog with Bob” to share a treat, an eggnog, a memory or just a handshake as Bob prepares to retire.