LOMBARD — In his hometown in the Philippines, Nicole Aranas’ grandfather served as mayor. Maybe it’s because civil service is in her blood, or maybe it is a personal interest, but Aranas said she’s driven to work in local government.
She joined the village of Lombard in January as the assistant village manager.
“I’ve always been civic-minded,” she said. “Culturally, my parents always stressed voting and being involved in the government process.”
Historically, Lombard had an assistant village manger who served as a support role to the village manger, but it has been many years since anyone has been in the position. At the end of 2012, the Village Board approved re-creating the position, with some added components.
Aranas helps Village Manager David Hulseberg, but she’s also responsible for supervising the business administration, human resources, risk management and communications divisions of the village.
Aranas comes from a background of litigation and management, and she has worked for the past several years in local government. She has a law degree and spent the beginning of her career working with a municipal government law firm.
Later, she took advantage of her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in urban planning to serve the Village of Itasca as community development director.
“My background is very government-focused,” she said. “I have a passion for local government.”
One of the main things she looks forward to in her new position with the village of Lombard is to focus on risk management and work to reduce claims that come against the village by identifying and reducing exposure to risk.
Her first few months in Lombard have gone smoothly, she said. Village employees and community members have been welcoming, and she said she’s impressed by the distinct sense of pride in Lombard.
She’s also impressed by the abundance of purple.
Lilac Time will be her first opportunity to experience the celebration as a member of the Lombard community. Aranas also is happy to be connecting with residents and getting involved in community events.
“I view it as a form of service to the community,” Aranas said. “That’s what I like about local government; you have the most direct contact and insight with the community.”