Terrence O’Brien

A native of Chicago, Terry O’Brien grew up playing softball for many teams, including the Scorpions and Muskrats from 1972 to 1988 in leagues and tournaments at parks throughout Chicago and the suburbs, including Clarendon, Wells, Mather, and Pottawatomie in Chicago, James in Evanston, Majewski in Mt. Prospect and at Forest Park. As president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and chairman of its Real Estate Committee, Terry has truly been a friend of softball in a variety of ways. He granted leases for softball fields to park districts throughout Cook County; he helped establish Majewski Park, home of many softball championships, and recently negotiated the transfer of Thillens Stadium, the jewel of amateur baseball and softball, to the Chicago Park District so that it will remain a Chicago icon. He graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1978 and has worked in the environmental field with various consulting firms for twenty-seven years, most recently with K-Plus Environmental in Chicago. He was elected to a six-year term as commissioner of the Chicago Water Reclamation District in November of 1988, the third generation of his family to work for the MWRDGC. He was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. He currently serves as president of the Board of Commissioners and as chairman of the Judiciary and Real Estate Development Committees. Because of O’Brien’s guidance and extensive knowledge of the environmental field, the MWRDGC has been able to deliver streamlined services to the citizens of Chicago and Cook County at the least possible cost to taxpayers. In fact, it is one of the few governmental agencies in Illinois to have an AAA bond rating. Under his direction it has targeted pollution in Lake Michigan and local waterways and has funded the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP), a program started in 1985 that prevents polluted sewer water from mixing with the drinking water supply in Lake Michigan. Since its inception it has treated over 800 billion gallons of water that would have been discharged into Lake Michigan. The system’s final tunnel is under construction and is scheduled for completion early next year. In 2004 a flood bill was passed largely due to seven years of effort by O’Brien. This bill gives the MWRDGC the responsibility for dealing with flooding issues in the many Chicago communities that do not have the expertise to deal with local flooding problems. He has also established a tollfree number for citizens to report illegal dumping into sewers and waterways. He is a member of numerous professional, trade and community organizations. He and his wife, Julie, live in the Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago. They have three children, Kevin, Therese and Patrick.