Mayor Sode Receives Distinguished Service Award
On January 16th, 2024, Village of Wauconda Mayor Jeff A. Sode was awarded the “Distinguished Service to Public Works Award” from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Lake Branch. The award criteria consisted of recognizing an elected or appointed government service leader for far reaching impact on local, state, or national public works programs, services, or policies through exemplary public service and commitment. This award particularly recognizes leadership in furthering the mission and goals of public works.
Village of Wauconda Mayor, Jeff A. Sode, applies his leadership, personal expertise, and elected position to supercharge Wauconda’s Public Works Department. He has gained the Village Board’s full support for vital Public Works projects and infrastructure improvements as well as the Public Works Department and its mission. Under Mayor Sode’s leadership, major investments in staff, equipment and infrastructure have been completed.
Since his time in office, he has used his knowledge and expertise to personally assist with several significant Public Works projects. These projects include installation of an electric vehicle charging station; the relocation of the emergency generator that serviced the Village’s Community Activities Center and a sanitary sewer lift station; relocation and replacement of the emergency generator at the Police Department, and most recently the construction of a “Path of Honor” at Memorial Park.
The Village of Wauconda is proud to recognize Mayor Sode's contributions and to join him in accepting this prestigious award. Congratulations to Mayor Sode and thank you for your dedication to our community.
Distinguished Service to Public Works Award Nomination Letter - Mayor Jeff A. Sode
Mayor Jeff A. Sode became a Trustee for the Village of Wauconda in 2019 and later was elected as Mayor of Wauconda in April 2021. Mayor Sode has been a resident of Wauconda for over twenty-five years, is a certified electrician, and holds an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Since his time in office, he has used his knowledge and expertise to personally assist with several significant Public Works projects. These projects include installation of an electric vehicle charging station; the relocation of the emergency generator that serviced a Village’s Community Activities Center and sanitary sewer lift station; relocation and replacement of the emergency generator at the Police Department, and most recently the construction of a “Path of Honor” at Memorial Park.
The Path of Honor project goal was to connect two existing memorial sites that are in close proximity to one another, the 9/11 Memorial and the War Memorial. This project provided an expanded space for people’s remembrance and reflection. The winding pathway has benches, bollard lighting, landscaping, and a monument dedicated to those who served. The project was a collaborative effort between Village and Public Works staff, contractors, and volunteers. It was completed in the summer of 2023. Native vegetation plantings were incorporated along the path by the Wauconda Garden Club. The project also required an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Village of Wauconda and Wauconda Township to facilitate the completion of the project and connect the two sites.
Mayor Sode’s impact on Public Works goes beyond the individual projects described above. During his time as Mayor, he has gained the Village Board’s full support of vital Public Works projects and infrastructure improvements as well as the Public Works Department and its mission. Under Mayor Sode’s leadership, major investments in staff, equipment and infrastructure have been completed during his time in office. These investments have improved the overall morale of the Public Works Department, and the level of service Public Works delivers to the community.
The Public Works Department’s leadership team has been solidified and opportunities for staff training and education have increased dramatically. Programs such as IPSI and APWA ROADS Scholar are being utilized and appropriately budgeted. Staff continuing education, certification and licensing has been routinely encouraged and supported by the Mayor, Village Board, and Village Administration.
Regarding equipment, approximately $2.5 million dollars has been invested into new vehicles and equipment which includes 5-ton dump trucks, pickup trucks, a new sewer combination machine, a fully customized water main break van, front-end loader, crane truck, chipper truck, and a boom truck.
The investments in Village infrastructure have consisted of a $6 million dollar investment in an aggressive road resurfacing program designed to “catch up” from years of underfunded efforts, $2 million in watermain replacements and upsizing to improve system operations and service delivery, the implementation of the replacement of lead service lines, $1.8 million in sanitary collection system maintenance and upgrades, and the development and implementation of a $22 million dollar wastewater treatment plant expansion which will be completed over the next five years.
This kind of support is a dream come true for any Public Works department. Mayor Sode’s commitment to Public Works has made the Village of Wauconda a better place by improving public spaces, maintaining infrastructure, and providing Public Works with the resources it needs to get the job done. This commitment has improved the overall morale of the Public Works Department as well as the level of service it provides to the community.