Updated: Jul 16, 2019
by Eric Peterson, Daily Herald
Exactly four weeks after 71.6 percent of Schaumburg voters chose him to lead the village as its sixth mayor, longtime Trustee Tom Dailly was sworn in Tuesday to do just that.
But as Dailly was the first to make clear amid the standing-room-only crowd in the village hall's meeting room, the evening belonged to his predecessor, 32-year incumbent Al Larson.
"I will always have this man as my mayor," Dailly said in praise of his mentor. "I think we all will."
Among the presentations Dailly made to the retiring Larson were a Willy Wonka-style "golden ticket" for admission to all village-sponsored shows and events at the Prairie Center for the Arts that now bears Larson's name and a similar perpetual pass to the 25th seat of the village's upper-deck suite at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium.
Larson also received a plaque commemorating his 44 years on the village board.
Longtime friend and Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod declared May 1 "Mayor Al Larson Day" in his own neighboring village and presented a resolution recounting Larson's long political history.
"I always call him 'Big Al,'" McLeod said.
"He's huge in his accomplishments.
Larson did not, in fact, give up all ties to the village government he led for so long. As one of his first acts as mayor, Dailly appointed him to continue his role on the Cultural Commission -- essentially replacing Dailly in what would have been an automatic position there.
Dailly also named Larson to the 1% for Art Committee which, while not recently active, may soon explore possibilities for public art along the new Progress Parkway through the Veridian Development on the former Motorola Solutions campus.
Accolades were also presented by officials of Schaumburg Township and the Schaumburg Township District Library, as well as by former state legislator Kay Wojcik.
Sherry Craig, wife of Hanover Park Mayor Rod Craig, provided a little ribbing of the outgoing Larson by presenting him with a mug commemorating his "combative, abrasive" side.
"You got a problem with that?!" she joked.
The village board saw one true addition from the April 2 election as recent zoning board member Brian Bieschke was sworn in as trustee, technically replacing Dailly.
Incumbent Trustees George Dunham and Mark Madej, along with Village Clerk Marilyn Karr, also took the oaths of office to begin new terms.
Larson joked about his willingness to stay on the board between their swearings-in and before Dailly's.
"Does that wrap it up?" he asked Village Attorney Lance Malina.