Proefrock chosen from three applicants for trustee position vacated by Rieck
A retired Grafton firefighter is the village’s newest trustee.
Dean Proefrock, whose 23 years with the Grafton Fire Department included six years as assistant chief, was chosen by the Village Board on Monday to fill the seat formerly held by Richard Rieck.
Proefrock was unanimously selected after the board interviewed him and two other applicants for the position during its regular meeting. He will serve the rest of Rieck’s term, which expires in April 2015.
“I’m looking forward to being on the board,” said Proefrock, who was making his first try at public office.
“I’ve worked with a lot of village officials through the years, so I’ve gotten to know them, but this will be something new for me.”
Proefrock, 1921 16th Ave., is an estimator at Frank Mayer & Associates in Grafton. The board chose him over Thomas Pfanner, 1112 Sunset Ct., and Eugene Lombness, 803 Cheyenne Ave.
During separate interviews, the applicants were asked the same questions on topics such as why they wanted to be a trustee, what skills they would bring to the board, what they would like to change in the village and how they would handle a hypothetical situation requiring them to make an ethical decision.
Proefrock, a Grafton High School graduate, told the board he has a “strong, deep commitment” to the village and would work to promote business development.
He praised the village’s commercial development in the freeway corridor, saying the “east side is a phenomenal asset,” but said more should be done to attract businesses to the south commercial district.
Proefrock said he doesn’t believe major changes are needed in the village but will be receptive to new ideas and responsive to residents’ concerns.
“Really, everything is run very well,” he told the board. “You’re getting a value for what you’re paying for in Grafton.”
Following the interviews, the six board members voted by paper ballot to pare the field of applicants to two. Proefrock received five votes and Pfanner received one. The board then chose Proefrock by voice vote.
Pfanner was making his first try at elected office in the village.
Lombness ran unsuccessfully for village trustee in 2005 and for village president in 2009. He currently serves on the Board of Review, Board of Appeals and Historic Preservation Commission.
Proefrock and his wife Michele have two children — Hayden, 14, and Elaine, 10.
Rieck cited a family health concern in announcing his retirement after 8-1/2 years as a trustee. At Monday’s board meeting, he was given a resolution commending him for his service.