Lyndon Joost’s career in the metro-east will complete a full circle when he begins duties as Swansea village administrator next month.
Joost served as Swansea’s first village administrator from 1985 to 1995 and decided to return to the post after Lisa Powers resigned in November to take the administrator’s job in Bradley, which is near Kankakee.
“This is where my heart is,” said Joost, who has lived in Swansea since he first took the village administrator post in 1985. “This has become home for us. It’s where our kids grew up.”
Joost, 59, will start Feb. 22 in Swansea. He currently serves as village administrator in New Baden.
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In New Baden, the village board decided to replace Joost with Mike Hemmer, 49, who is an associate director with the planning and design firm of Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc. in St. Louis.
Joost said taking the Swansea post again is a “unique opportunity” to come back years later to serve in the position he held for 10 years.
After Joost left Swansea, he briefly served as assistant to the mayor of Red Bud. He then spent 18 years with the engineering firm Thouvenot Wade & Moerchen and eventually became one of the company’s owners. He took early retirement from that firm and joined Belleville-based Vertical Performance, which offers consulting and coaching services. Also, he took the New Baden job about a year and a half ago.
This is where my heart is. This has become home for us. It’s where our kids grew up.
Lyndon Joost, the new village administrator in Swansea
In Swansea, Joost said he wants to lead a “strategic planning process” with Village Board members and key staff members to determine the next goals for Swansea.
“As the national economy comes out of this recession, I think there’s a lot of potential still in the community for new businesses,” Joost said. “There’s probably a lot of potential for new subdivision growth as well.
“I think it will be an exciting time.”
Joost will earn $78,400 to match the salary he had in New Baden. On May 1, his annual salary will increase to $83,400.
Trustee Matt Lanter said Joost has the experience to “hit the ground running.” Also, Lanter said Joost can see the “big picture” for the village as well as remain detail oriented.
And Mayor Ken Mueller, who was a Swansea trustee when Joost was first hired in 1985, said he’s glad Joost decided to come back. “I think he’s the right person for the job,” Mueller said.
When Joost first served in Swansea, the population of the village grew from 5,500 to 10,000. The latest U.S. Census Bureau estimate shows Swansea has 13,651 people. Joost said the village has 50 employees.
Hemmer sees opportunity for growth in New Baden
Hemmer will start as the village administrator in New Baden on Feb. 4 and he will earn $75,000 annually.
In the 1990s, Hemmer worked for Belleville Economic Progress, which is now known as the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. After that, he spent 10 years as the community and economic directer for Columbia. He joined Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets about eight years ago.
“I can see some opportunity in New Baden for some growth,” Hemmer said. “I am looking forward to getting in there and seeing what’s working or might not be working and helping the community and the citizens.”