I’m not a very good politician, and I am just fine with that, but I know I have been a good public servant in our community. I served as an alderman in Lake Forest for 4 years and mayor from 2006 to 2010—those positions were non-partisan, an arena in which I am most comfortable because for me it’s about public service not partisan politics.
Over the last 8 years as your Lake County Board Member, I have taken the lead in many projects including the Middelfork Bridge restoration, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act project at Fort Sheridan, the bike path on Everett Road, and most recently the Oriole Grove/Prairie Wolf Preserve projects.
I take particular pride in my recent role in bringing a $2.75 million state grant to your area to help alleviate the persistent flooding problems in the Burr Oak/Western Avenue area.
This project was slated in the City of Lake Forest budget, but when the bids came in way over estimates, the city was forced to remove it from its list of upcoming public works projects and go back to the drawing board.
When I learned this as a member of the Stormwater Management Committee, a committee I sit on through my position on the Lake County Board, I thought about the money the state was making available to Lake County for flooding and stormwater mitigation. I immediately began pushing the Burr Oak stormwater project forward for funding. I worked closely with the Lake Forest Public Works Department as well as the city manager and the mayor to write a grant proposal that would have the best chance of qualifying. The
proposed project contains elements of green infrastructure that made it particularly appealing for this grant.
A few weeks ago, through our efforts, the Lake County Stormwater Management Committee included it as number 4 in its list of 10 stormwater high priority projects and forwarded it to the state for funding from this grant. It is anticipated the funding will be made available shortly so the city can proceed and flooding relief will be coming to your area. This grant will free up dollars in Lake Forest’s budget to address other infrastructure projects in the city without raising your local property taxes.
This grant now needs to go to the state for approval. Your state representative will be announcing the project shortly, but I wanted to let you know how it all started and thank both the mayor, the city manager, and the public works staff for working with me on this important project for our city.
Finally, I would like to thank you for the honor of a lifetime: serving you as an alderman, as mayor and now as your Lake County Board Member.
Lake County Board Member, 12th District