A True Visionary
Former Town Manager, Rich Carlucci, Left a Lasting Impact On Plainfield
Writer / Stephanie Singh
Photos provided by Town of Plainfield
Behind every great idea is a great mind. That’s exactly how Tim Belcher, the Director of Development Services for the Town of Plainfield, describes his good friend and coworker of 27 years —Richard Carlucci. In fact, that is how everyone who worked with Rich during his tenure with the Town describes him.
He is the one who elevated the Town of Plainfield. Carlucci became the Town Manager for the Town of Plainfield in 1988. Under his leadership, the assessed value of the town quadrupled from $500M to $2 billion. The Town of Plainfield’s population grew from 10,000 citizens to nearly 30,000 citizens. We can also accredit Plainfield’s diverse tax base to Rich. Carlucci played a major role in the Town of Plainfield’s extensive parks and trails systems as well. The Town had 0 miles of trails in 1988 and today we sit just under 30 miles. In 2015, Plainfield’s Recreation and Aquatic Center nestled on Vestal Road was named after the beloved Town Manager.
Simply put: Rich was a visionary.
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination,” a quote from John Maxwell is how Assistant Town Manager, Nate Thorne, describes Rich. Rich saw more than just a unique way for taxpayers to get their money’s worth. He also believed in people.
“He believed in me,” Thorne says.
Thorne began in the Parks Department in 2004 and says Rich saw something in him that he didn’t see in himself. It was that visionary charisma that Rich had. After 12 years, Thorne would work his way up to become the Assistant Town Manager, all thanks to his mentor Richard Carlucci.
Bill Kirchoff and Robin Brandgard worked closely with Rich as council members for the Town of Plainfield. Both accrediting Plainfield’s economic development and taxpayer amenities to his foresight.
“He has taken us from a sleepy town to a vibrant, thriving place to live, work and raise a family,” says Kirchoff, who worked with Rich for 16 years.
His passion for the Town was evident in his everyday life. Brandgard says Rich would get off of work and walk the trails to make sure everything was to a T in the community. He cared, he cared so much. The general consensus is we are indebted to the work Richard Carlucci did for the Town of Plainfield for most of his adult life.
“None of the benefits we have as residents of the Town of Plainfield would have been possible without the vision, guidance and steady hand that Rich provided over these 27 years,” Brandgard says.
On Sunday, May 20, 2018, Richard A. Carlucci passed away. His obituary reads, “Richard A. Carlucci passed away with the sun shining on his face, listening to James Taylor while holding the hand of his loving wife.”
Rich will be missed by all, and the Town of Plainfield is lucky to have had such a tremendous leader for so long. One thing is for sure — Rich left the world and, more specifically, the Town of Plainfield, better than it was when he came in.
Today, we say goodbye. We say goodbye to the one who laid the foundation for this thriving town, the one who created a strong tax base for our residents, the one who believed in parks and trails systems the Town of Plainfield has today and, finally, we say goodbye to the man who had monumental ideas and put them into action. Thank you Rich for everything you did for the Town of Plainfield and for us. You will be missed.