For the Town President, visit Larry Dominick, Town President
Maria Punzo-Arias is the first Hispanic to hold the office of Town Clerk in Cicero. While she was born in Mexico City, Arias moved to Cicero as a child, graduating from Morton East High School and staying here for more than 34 years. She has been working for the Town since 1995 when she was hired on to clerk for the Water Department. Since 2003, Arias has served on the Town Board, first as a Trustee and now as Town Clerk. During her off time, she enjoys spending time with her family – her husband Jose Arias, Sr., three children and two grandchildren – and enjoying Polish food.
Life-long Cicero resident, Collector Fran Reitz, attended Our Lady of Charity grammar school and Morton East high school in Cicero.
She went on to attend Elmhurst College and majored in Business Administration. She spent the summer of ’84 working as an intern with the Town of Cicero as a component of her second major, Urban Studies. Upon college graduation, she was offered a full-time position as a town employee with Cicero.
Fran has been working for the Town of Cicero for 25 years. During her tenure with the Town, she has worked for the Building Department, Blight Department, Assessor’s Office, Personnel Department, Community Planning & Development Department, Town Newsletter Department, Cicero Youth Commission and currently serves as Town Collector since ’04.
Joe Virruso is Cicero’s longest serving town employee.
Joe began working for the town in 1949 at the age of 18 serving under eight different town presidents. He began in the Public Works Department, and then moved to the Water & Sewers Department and now serves as the Town Supervisor.
Joe was born in Chicago and attended Roosevelt Elementary school, Morton High School and South Illinois University. He was married to wife Nola, who served as director of the Cicero Water Department, for 50 years until her untimely passing in 2006. He is the proud father of three daughters – Jacqueline, Lisa & Gina – and seven grandchildren.
Emilio “Emo” Cundari, a certified public assessment officer, has served the town of Cicero as Director of Community Development since 2005. Prior to joining the Town of Cicero, Cundari served the State of Illinois for 10 years.
A 1988 graduate of Saint Rita High School, Cundari went on to earn his Bachelors in Political Science in 1992 from DePaul University and his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003. In 2008, he was recognized as UIC’s Alumni of the Year.
While with the Town of Cicero, Cundari organized the Town’s annual “Keep Cicero CLEAN”, a multi-pronged Town-wide safety and beautification program. Cundari also oversaw the administration of the Town’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
In 2003, Cundari married his wife Melissa. They have two children, Cara and Dean.
Victor Garcia is a Sponsor Coordinator with the Clyde Park District, working there since 2007. He began his public service in 2005 with the election of Town President Larry Dominick, working as coordinator of Special Projects in the President’s office, and also as an elected member of the Clyde Park District Board of Commissioners. Garcia also served as a member of the Community Development Committee and the Town of Cicero Zoning Board. Previously before entering government service he worked in the manufacturing industry where he also served as a union chief steward.
He also serves as a board member with the Nazarene Brotherhood and has volunteered as a coach for local basketball, baseball and soccer youth leagues.
Victor is married to Maria, and they have three children, Victor, Edwin and Evelyn. The Garcia’s have lived in the Town Cicero more than 20 years. The Garcia family is actively involved in the Catholic Church through several churches in the Town of Cicero.
Robert F. “Bob” Porod was born and raised in the Town of Cicero. He graduated from Our Lady of Charity (OLC) grade school, Morton High School and Morton Junior College, before receiving his B.S. in Mechanical Analysis and Design Engineering from the University of Illinois. He is an active registered professional engineer in Illinois and Michigan. Bob has been married to his wife, Jan, for over 48 years and have three children and four grandchildren.
In his professional life, Bob owns two United States patents and several technical disclosures for mechanical devices. He earned the Charles Ellet Engineering award, the University of Illinois Engineering alumni award, as well as several engineering awards and recognitions. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers.
As a youth in Cicero, he participated in the South Cicero baseball program and was also named to the Cicero Life all-star basketball classic twice. Bob has coached youth baseball and basketball teams in South Cicero and at OLC. He has helped to mentor youth with science, math and continued education opportunities. He has also been an advocate for programs to help senior citizens enjoy a more fulfilled and safe life style.
Bob has also been recognized nationally for his development and invention of the directional sounding device called the “Cricket.” The device has helped guide over several thousand visually impaired individuals for activities such as biking, baseball, kayaking, bowling, hide and seek as well as safety alertness. Bob has disclosed and made this device available to a non-profit organization to produce and donate them free of charge.
John was born and raised in the Town of Cicero. As a child, he attended Drexel Elementary School before going to St. Joseph’s High School in Westchester. After graduation, he continued his education at Triton College.
John is married to his wife, Alice, and has 3 children – Travis, Tiffany and Eugenia – and four grandchildren – Isabela, Lucia, CJ and Alana. John was an employee for Cicero School District 99 for 35 years, the last 27 at Cicero East School, before retiring in June 2018.
As a child, John played baseball on the South Cicero Little League before joining American Legion ball and later high school baseball. He was elected to the Cicero Library Board, serving for 6 years. In his leisure time he enjoys traveling, his home, gardening, his pool and dinning out. He is always ready to see and explore new places!
Ms. Vargas who has two daughters, Sarah and Bianca, first began her activism in 1972 working as a Hispanic liaison for former Governor Dan Walker and later for Governor Pat Quinn.