Naper resident new vice chairman of Metra Board
By David Sharos For The Sun November 7, 2012 1:34PM
Jack Partelow of Naperville is the new vice chairman of the Metra Board. | Submitted
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:15AM
The direction and focus of Metra over the next four years will be largely affected by a Naperville resident, now that the Metra Board of Directors has elected Jack Partelow, 77, as the board’s new vice chairman.
The board recently made the unanimous decision to make the former Dunn and Bradstreet senior vice president the new vice chairman. Brad O’Halloran of Orland Park was selected as the noard’s new chairman.
Partelow, a native of St. Clair, said he moved back here to Naperville in 1992 after living in New Jersey and that he has been “involved in political activities since I’ve been back.”
“I started with Dunn and Bradstreet in 1962 and my wife and I used to live in Hoffman Estates,” he said.
“We enjoyed our time in Chicago and wanted to come back. I have served as chairman of the Will County Republican Party for 10 years and through that, you get to know a lot of people.”
Partelow said he was appointed to the Metra Board back in 2009 and that now as the newly elected vice chairman, the challenges during his four-year term will largely focus on money.
“The issues for Metra are money and needing capital as there is a massive system with 240 stations and over the next 10 years, we’re going to have to raise $7 billion,” he said. “We raise capital through sales tax, the fare box, and through grants. We make budgets each year that are always balanced and have to be approved by the RTA.”
Partelow said 55 percent of Metra’s revenue is raised through fares. His job during the next four years will be to attend monthly meetings, as well as be present at a variety of committee meetings held other times and make appearances at dedications. He will receive an annual stipend of $15,000.
“Our job as a board is to set and vote on policies that affect the operations of the railroad,” Partelow said. “This is a management thing done by an 11-member board.”
Since his retirement, Partelow has also served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross, focusing on strategic planning. He also worked in 1995 and 1996 as a member of the Naperville Citizens Advisory Committee, where he offered input on the development of the city’s Master Transportation Plan.
Mayor A. George Pradel said he was elated about the news regarding Partelow’s appointment and described him as “a tenacious person when it comes to transportation.”
“This will certainly help us and give us a local voice, and I can tell you that Jack was a tremendous leader when he worked with us on the transportation plan,” Pradel said. “He really wanted to put us on the map, and he did it in a good and steady, not a pushy, way. Having a Naperville guy as vice chairman gives us a sense of pride.”
Partelow is married to Lorena, who works in real estate. The couple has five children, four boys and one girl.