By Charlie Feldman
As Troy Mayor Allen Adomite steps down to make room for Dave Nonn, he closes a chapter in Troy history.
He announced his plans not to run for re-election in September. Nonn ran unopposed to win the seat in the April election and will be sworn in at the May 3 City Council meeting.
Adomite was first elected as mayor of Troy in April 2013. He had previously spent eight years as an alderman and three years as mayor pro-tem. His master’s degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has come in handy.
“I graduated from there in 2004,” he said. “And my wife said, ‘You’re not going to want to come home and talk government and politics, are you?’ And somehow I ended up on the planning commission and my alderman passed away and I decided that I’d run for the seat and the rest is history, right?”
He ran again. His daughter was born on the night he was elected to a second term. Now that he will be no longer mayor, Adomite hopes to spend some time with his wife Susan and daughter Allison. He had hoped to during his years in charge, but unexpected city business came up a lot.
“You’re in front of the public all of the time,” he said. “Just the other day we were getting lunch and somebody walks up and says ‘Hey!’ And you want to make yourself available to hear their concern or just to get caught up or whatever else and most of that is done while my family waits.
“People forget,” he said, “that this isn’t a full-time gig. It’s a $15,000-a-year part-time job that’s 24/7. And so you reach a point where it’s time to concentrate on family and family and family.”
One of the things he and his family might have time to enjoy is the network of Madison County Transit bike and walking paths that has grown extensive during his watch. Or they could drive down SRA Bradley R. Smith Drive to see the growth and development that wasn’t all there when he started.
“I can’t be happier having served seventeen years and having the opportunity to make lots of friends and work a lot of different issues and try to solve problems for people and also try to improve what we do here. It’s been a real pleasure,” he said.
Speaking to the city council at the April 19 meeting – his final as mayor – he said, “We have a really great community that likes to collaborate. The more and more I do this the more I realize how not about me it is. It’s the Jay Evanses and the Tom Carakers and the Brian Metcalfs and all of you. The Dave Roadys, the people who dedicate their Monday nights to come here.”
Now he hopes to start working on a doctorate in public administration. His full-time job is with the Illinois Civil Justice League, which advocates on behalf of civil justice reforms. Adomite has been the principal researcher and author of several studies and reports regarding the Illinois civic justice system. His work has been featured by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), as well as cited by the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, ABC’s 20/20, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
In 2003, he received the legal Watchdog Award from the American Tort Reform Association.
He has served as staff for the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office and for local congressman John Shimkus.
But he will be best remembered as the mayor of Troy.
“I think the most important thing when you get to this point is to say ‘I leave the city better than I found it’,” he said.
He said that former mayor Carl Taake left it better. “And Ron Criley left it better and Velda Arms left it better and Tom Caraker left it much better. Really doubly better,” he said. “And I hope that I leave it better.
“And then I get to give it to Dave and Dave at some point, he’ll reach that last meeting and he’ll say ‘I left it better too.’ I’m certain that he’s going to,” he said.