Advancing the Town
Meet the Town of Plainfield Staff Leaders
Writer / Stephanie Singh
Photographer / Amy Payne
A community known for its diverse tax-base and quality of life, the Town of Plainfield has long benefited from council and staff continuity. Much of Plainfield’s success is attributed directly to the consistent and steady leadership from familiar faces of Town staff and leadership. Robin Brandgard, Plainfield Town Council President, is the clear example of this steady guidance. Brandgard has been on the council for 40 years this coming January. He has seen Plainfield grow from a “sleepy bedroom community” to the thriving and growing “big” Town we have today.
“Over the past 40 years, the Town has grown in an orderly fashion,” Brandgard says. “I believe we have been able to maintain the small town feel — despite being a community approaching 35,000 residents— by keeping the industrial separate from the residential. This is thanks to the good planning on many people’s part over the years.”
In addition to Brandgard’s tenure, the Town of Plainfield also benefited from the vision and execution from former Town Manager, Richard A. Carlucci. Carlucci served as the Town Manager for 27 years. With his retirement in 2015, the Town Council realized the need to ensure the continued success of the past. A new Town Manager would need to maintain the same commitment to long-term loyalty to the Town and be in a position to take Plainfield through the next 27 years. Plainfield has transitioned from a small town under Carlucci to what is coined by Brandgard as a “big town” today and our administration must be equipped with the appropriate resources and staff to deliver the services our residents demand.
To meet these challenges, the Plainfield Town Council appointed Andrew Klinger as Town Manager in September of 2015. Klinger has more than 20 years of service in local and state government having previously worked in economic development and most recently the Town Manager for Cumberland, Indiana. Andrew has spent a great deal of his time, since his hiring in 2015, building the leadership staff to meet the needs of a growing community.
“When we hired Andrew he was given the charge to reorganize how the town does business and look how we’re staffed,” Brandgard says. “In addition, myself and the rest of the Town Council challenged him to put processes in place that will help our community continue to thrive for the next 40-45 years of growth. Andrew has been in his position for more than four years now, and I am happy that he has created a good staff to carry this community through its growth.”
Retirements and the steady growth of the community have caused Klinger to be very deliberate in the selection process. Klinger has been able to successfully build a team of experts and public management generalists to lead the Town.
“When I look at the credentials of our directors and department heads, it settles me knowing we have people who are committed to not only this Town but growing as professionals,” Klinger says. “Plainfield is also my home, so I take pride in everything we do here and I am excited to have such a powerhouse of professionals alongside me.”
This team—made up of 12 directors, in which eight have changed roles or have joined the team since Klinger’s hiring — is dedicated to being deliberate in the management of Town growth. Plainfield has been fortunate to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that other communities are challenged by with the uncontrolled growth. Town leaders continue to be very intentional about the planning process as well as preserving our history. The team of leaders that has been assembled is an example of this effort on a staff level as there are both very familiar faces with lengthy history working for the Town and new faces alike.
“Plainfield is entering an exciting time, as we continue to diversify our economy and I am confident this team will continue to work together to be servants to the community,” Klinger adds.