Mayor Kevin B. Hemann
In April of 2021, Mayor Hemann was appointed to fill the last month of the unexpired term of long-time Mayor Joseph R. Michaelis, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Mayor Hemann had decided a year earlier to run for mayor which would coincidence with his upcoming retirement. He is currently working in his last year at Highland Machine as Senior Vice President. He will be retiring from Highland Machine in December 2021 after 45 years with the company. He is also no stranger to public governance, having served one term as a city councilman in the early 1990’s. Even though it was one term on the city council, he ended up serving under three mayors during that period.
Mayor Hemann has been part of a number of civic organizations, including the Highland Manufacturers’ Association, Highland Booster Club, Business Education Alliance, Highland Education Foundation, Knights of Columbus, the St. Joseph’s Hospital Advisory Board, the Highland Optimist Club, Highland Area Community Foundation, and a Relay for Life team for the American Cancer Society, among others. He’s a former president of the Highland Chamber of Commerce and an inductee in the Highland Illinois Area Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame. He is a 1974 graduate of St. Paul High School in Highland and attended Belleville Area College now known as Southwestern Illinois College before earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He earned his degree primarily in night classes while working full-time at Highland Machine.
He is married to Louise Hemann and they have three married daughters and nine grandchildren.
Mayor Hemann is looking forward to serving this wonderful community that has given back so much to him and his family. As mayor he hopes his experience, leadership and can-do attitude will help us all work together to keep Highland a community that we can all cherish and love.
WHAT IS THE COUNCIL-MANAGER FORM OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The council-manager form is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council or other governing body, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The form establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the delivery of public services..
The council is the legislative body; its members are the community’s decision makers. Power is centralized in the elected council, which approves the budget and determines the tax rate, for example. The council also focuses on the community’s goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning. The council hires a professional manager to carry out the administrative responsibilities and supervises the manager’s performance.
Mayors in council-manager communities (or chairpersons in counties) are key political leaders and policy developers. In the case of the council, the mayor is responsible for soliciting citizen views in forming these policies and interpreting them to the public. The mayor presides at council meetings, serves as a spokesperson for the community, facilitates communication and understanding between elected and appointed officials, assists the council in setting goals and advocating policy decisions, and serves as a promoter and defender of the community. In addition, the mayor serves as a key representative in intergovernmental relations. The mayor, council, and manager constitute a policy-development and management team