By Brenda L. Holmes
PLAINFIELD — The last time the Town of Plainfield was looking for a town manager, it covered just a little over 3.4 square miles of land. Twenty five years later, the town stands at nearly 25 square miles and still has the same administrator — Richard “Rich” Carlucci.
“I was on the town council when we hired Rich,” said Robin Brandgard, council president. “We were looking for a person that could help us grow. We knew that was the direction we were headed.”
He said the council needed leadership in administration that was like-minded with its vision.
“We needed someone with the ability to help lead us through the process of growing and he has done that well,” he said.
Plainfield had had two previous town managers and then had gone some time without filling the position.
“It was just getting to be too much, so we began the search,” Brandgard said.
Carlucci and his wife, Maryjane, were looking to settle in a town where they could put down roots and watch their children grow.
He had been the town manager in Dwight, Ill., before coming to Plainfield.
“I had gotten my bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Western Illinois,” Carlucci said. “I was trying to figure out if that was the direction I really wanted to go.”
He met the town manager of a town called Rock Island in Illinois.
“I ran into him in a social setting and he had one of his staff members take me on a tour of Rock Island,” Carlucci said. “I got very excited and thought this was something I would really like to do. I moved to Plainfield from Dwight.”
He said he knew Plainfield was on the verge of growing because of its location and the type of business that was in town.
“The predecessors to Duke Energy had been in town for several years,” Carlucci said. “I knew this was a great opportunity for me and my family. We wanted to call Plainfield home and be a part of the community. All of our children grew up here and graduated from Plainfield High School.”
His children, now adults, are Tony, Kaitlin, and Collin. Tony graduated from IUPUI and works for Aramark in Tallahassee, Fla. Kaitlin is a graduate of the University of Indianapolis and now lives near Seattle, Wash. Collin is in his junior year at Wabash College and is studying for a law degree. All three were athletes at PHS.
The day after Carlucci celebrated his 25th anniversary with the town, he marked his 33rd wedding anniversary.
He said it was important to he and his wife to raise their children in a small town.
“My parents had lived in Chicago,” he said. “My dad was in the Korean War. He was a dental surgeon and served in a MASH unit. When he came home from the war, he moved us to Lake County in Illinois. It’s northwest of Chicago.”
Carlucci said the rural community was a great place to grow up.
“That was important to my dad and it was important for me to find that for my family,” he said.
Plainfield, he said, was the right choice.
“I’ve had a great town council to work with and there are a lot of great employees here too,” he said. “Tim Belcher (the town’s engineer) will soon be celebrating his 25th year with the town. We’ve had a lot of continuity here.”
He said it’s been a lot of fun to see the town grow and be able to offer residents more amenities.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is our recreation aquatics center and our trail system,” Carlucci said. “It’s been a great benefit to the community, but it didn’t come with some risk. Sometimes you have to take risks.”
Brandgard said he’s been thankful for Carlucci and his contributions to the town and community.
“He’s been a good town manager and employee,” he said. “I don’t believe we could have done any better.”