BOURBONNAIS — While addressing his retirement, former Bourbonnais finance director Mike Wolf passed his cape on to his successor.

Wolf literally pulled a red Superman cape out of a drawstring bag and laced it around Tara Latz, the village’s new finance director.

Village employees gave Wolf the cape for his birthday several years ago after he jokingly proclaimed, “We could solve all these problems if I just had a cape.”

At times, Wolf would wear the cape at work and seminars. He called it “a badge of office” while passing it on to Latz.

“We are a much better organization now than we were 11 years ago,” Wolf said. “We’ve become more efficient. When I first came here, the mayor said, ‘This is the way we’ve always done it.’ I told him I didn’t want to hear that again.”

Mayor Paul Schore praised Wolf for modernizing the village’s finance department during his 11 years as finance director.

“Mike was in here two months and he reinvented the wheel,” Schore said. “Before Mike, we were mostly book keeping. He brought us into a while new world of finance with all of his analysis. He made the village much better.”

Wolf departs from the village as it prepares to develop a 1,200-acre business and industrial park around the Interstate 57 interchange at Bourbonnais Parkway.

“I see a lot of growth here in the next five to 10 years,” Wolf said. “We are in a position to take advantage of that. I’ll count that as a win.”

Wolf will retire to Arizona with his wife, Cheryl, whom he has been married to for 45 years. The couple has two children and two grandchildren.

Though he is retired, Wolf plans on speaking at community colleges in Arizona. He previously taught for 12 years at Olivet Nazarene University. He also is keeping an eye out for potential accounting jobs.

But, he will spend December helping Latz with the transition to his former position. He already is planning future trips to Bourbonnais, where his family has lived since 1977.

“Tara is smart, and she knows the vision of the village. I’m sure that five years from now, everyone will be wondering why I didn’t retire sooner,” he said with a smile. “I’ll still be around to help however I can.”

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