The Lake Forest Caucus is all of US! Fundraiser

Purchase Tickets  |  Can’t attend? Please make a donation.

Purchase Tickets  |  Can’t attend? Please make a donation.

When: 6-8:30 PM, February 3rd, 2023

Where: Ferrari of Lake Forest

This is the only formal fundraising event the Caucus hosts each year.  The Lake Forest Caucus serves an important role in promoting civic engagement and effective local government.  Please do your part and shift your philanthropy into high gear to help support our non-partisan mission to seek and recommend qualified individuals to volunteer to serve on the Lake Forest City Council and boards and commissions.  Our efforts have a direct impact on keeping Lake Forest’s taxes the lowest in Lake County.

Want to learn more about the Caucus?

Beidler encourages residents to vote against the Caucus Committee

This November 5th email below sent by Prue Beidler four days prior to the Lake Forest Caucus’ Annual Meeting on November 9th encouraged residents to vote against the Caucus Committee candidate for Mayor, Dr. Randy Tack, breaking her commitment, made during the interview process, to support the Caucus Committee’s candidate for Mayor if it was not her.  She actively encouraged people to reject Dr. Tack.  This email was referenced in a November 15 Chicago Tribune article by Dan Dorfman.

Nov 9th Annual Meeting FAQ

Summary

The Caucus Committee assessed that in light of

  • A detailed, non-partisan, mission-oriented search and interview process for qualified candidates for the office of Mayor over 6 months by the Caucus Committee;
  • The second place candidate, Prue Beidler, breaking her commitment to support the Caucus candidate and advocating voters with biased information to not support Dr. Randy Tack;
  • The annual meeting advisory vote being intentionally manipulated by other special interest groups and single-issue voters, in addition to Ms. Beidler;
  • Outside legal counsel with national domain expertise strongly determining the Caucus bylaws don’t address a ’no’ vote, and that the vote is clearly non-binding;
  • The Caucus Committee having a decision to make:  
    • Abdicate its primary responsibility and support no one, OR
    • Stand by its original vote and strongly support the best qualified person for the Mayor job, Dr. Randy Tack;

That the right thing to do for the community of Lake Forest, therefore, is to continue to strongly support our endorsed candidate, Dr. Randy Tack.  We are confident that once the community gets to know Dr. Tack, what he stands for, and understands the misinformation spread about him prior to the Lake Forest Annual Meeting by special interest voters, they will also strongly support his candidacy for Mayor.

What happened?

This is the Lake Forest Caucus’ 88th year of volunteer service to the City and its residents.  Traditionally, its Annual Meeting was intended to be the first official introduction of the Caucus candidates to the community, as well as a chance to summarize the Caucus’ work for the year.  Approximately 7 years ago, it was determined that the Caucus bylaws called for a vote of support of our candidates at the Annual Meeting.  

The Annual Meeting typically draws in about 30 to 60 people during presentations by the Executive Committee and candidates, and approximately 100 people attend over the course of the day to cast a ‘vote’.  Notably, there are no records of a ’no’ vote prevailing for a candidate, until this year. 

This year’s turnout at the Annual Meeting was 5 times the norm, with about 500 people showing up over the course of the day.  We became aware that prior to the meeting, a number of emails were circulating with false information about Dr. Tack, including false claims that he was going to disband the Historic Preservation Commission, false claims he voted against the west side carwash (that vote happened after he was no longer on City Council), and other misleading information concerning gender bias, etc.

As an example of the misinformation, some residents showed up on November 9th asking where to vote “against the third rail.”  It was amply clear that there were special interests involved in trying to deny the many months of hard work interviewing, vetting, and evaluating candidates conducted by the 43 members of the Caucus Committee, who themselves are elected by all of Lake Forest to serve.  Furthermore, an abnormally large number of voters marked their ballots only on Mayor, abstaining for the other races.  Some voters even took photographs of the ballots, seemingly unfamiliar with the scope of work of the Caucus as a whole.  Finally, the total number of voters at the Annual Meeting represented approximately 3% of all registered voters in the City of Lake Forest.  Approximately 2% of Lake Forest voters voted against Dr. Tack’s candidacy. 

Surveying these facts has led the Caucus Committee to conclude that many community members were there for a single purpose, biased against one particular candidate, and wholly not consistent with the purpose and spirit of the Annual Meeting.  It remains our mission to promote agenda-free, non-partisan and unbiased selection and unbiased candidates to serve the City of Lake Forest. 

What about the bylaws?

The Caucus Committee consulted attorneys on the Caucus Committee, as well as outside legal counsel with domain expertise on the best path forward.  It is very clear that the bylaws do not dictate how to proceed after a negative vote.  Similarly, the vote is non-binding. 

Despite evidence that special interests and misinformation had disproportionately affected the negative outcome for our Mayoral candidate, we considered whether to propose another candidate.  This option was evaluated against the incredibly comprehensive process we conducted in interviewing, evaluating, and vetting our Mayoral candidates over almost six months and hundreds of hours collectively dedicated by the 43 volunteers of the Caucus Committee on behalf of the citizens of Lake Forest to parse information about each candidate.  

As a result of our exhaustive search and interview process, the Caucus Committee had strongly determined that Dr. Tack is the right person for the job and our community.  We started our task with approximately 24 candidates, then narrowed it down through multiple rounds of interviews and external checks to 7, then to 4, then to 3, and then to 2.  We ultimately selected Dr. Tack after the most thorough mayoral vetting process in the history of the Caucus, and multiple opportunities for shortlisted candidates to offer their visions of leadership and demonstrate their grasp of what lies on the horizon for the City of Lake Forest and its residents. 

It should be noted that at no point did Dr. Tack or any candidate even suggest the idea of eliminating any board or commission.  Such a view is immediately disqualifying for service as Mayor.  Indeed, candidates are evaluated on their prior service and their understanding, experience, and contribution to how the various facets of City government, boards, and commissions work in harmony to ensure the best possible management of the City. 

While the bylaws are silent on how to proceed in the event of a ‘no’ vote at the annual meeting, they are also non-binding and do not overrule the verifiable work completed to identify the best qualified candidate for the role of Mayor by the Caucus Committee.

What about other candidates?

Given the dissent, we were obliged to reconsider our 2nd place candidate.  In this case, it was Prue Beidler.  She has been on record of her own accord as being our other finalist, despite the Caucus’ every effort to maintain confidentiality and an equal playing field for all volunteers in the City, past, present, and future.  

All candidates are asked during the interview process whether they will support the chosen candidate, regardless of a positive outcome for their candidacy.  This is an important question to determine personal motive for the candidate.  Ms. Beidler invited the community, in writing, to vote against Dr. Tack.  In doing so, she reneged on her own commitment to the Caucus process, thereby invalidating any endorsement of her by the Lake Forest Caucus. 

Further, Ms. Beidler suggested in her communications prior to the annual meeting that she was not selected because she is a female, casting aspersion upon the Caucus Committee and the 40% women who worked so diligently to select the best Mayoral candidate.  Ms. Beidler’s actions go against the Caucus’ mission to find candidates who do not have a hidden agenda or bias in seeking to join a board or Council and who are leaders of integrity.  We continue to value her prior service to the City and support of the Caucus (read her Caucus endorsement from 2021) immensely but do not see her present actions as being consistent with the City’s best interest. 

Finally, we received feedback from our third place candidate, who was a strong and qualified candidate and who happens to be a woman, as well as other mayoral candidates.  All encouraged the Caucus to stand by its original recommendation and offer their support for Dr. Tack.

Our Choice: Abdicate or Support

The Caucus Committee had a difficult choice to make: abdicate our primary task of making an informed recommendation to the community for Mayor (this is clearly stated in our bylaws), or stand by all of the great work the 43 members of the Caucus Committee did to arrive at our recommendation of Dr. Randy Tack for Mayor.  With the best of our intentions, efforts, and deliberations, we have stuck to careful consideration of facts and guiding principles to address the complexity of this situation. 

We have also carefully observed the contrast between the principles upon which our candidates have operated.  As your neighbors, elected to represent you on the Caucus Committee and with all of the facts at our disposal, we continue to strongly endorse Dr. Randy Tack for the Caucus slate.  The final decision remains in your hands in April 2023, and we encourage you to engage and learn as much as you can in the interim.  The Caucus commitment is to all the residents of Lake Forest. 

What about the vote?

We understand the uncomfortable position of not following the ‘vote’ of the community at the Annual Meeting.  Notwithstanding our present decision, going forward we will need to adjust how our Annual Meeting functions to avoid this issue in the future.  We need to ensure that the many months of hard work and hundreds of hours of diligence expended by the volunteer members of the Caucus Committee can’t be undone in a few hours by a clear minority of the community comprising special interest voters.  Note that the Caucus Committee is elected by you, the voters, to represent them in doing this hard work and each member volunteers their time.  

We will have many conversations about this over the coming months and into the next Caucus season.  One approach may be to solidify the bylaw language around the vote being advisory in nature.  Another option is to delineate a quorum of voters required in order for the vote to be binding.  We look forward to having these discussions.

I heard the Caucus is biased against women, is that true?

No. Here are the facts:

  • This year the Caucus Committee is 40% female.  This is pretty consistent with past experience (40-50% typically).  The vote in favor of Dr. Randy Tack was not split down female / male lines.
  • 2 of the 4 last Caucus Presidents have been female.
  • The last 3 city council recommendations prior to this year were 100% female.
  • Assuming Nancy Novit serves out her full terms as expected, the seat Prue Beidler held as Ward 1 Alderperson will end up being held by a female for 14 straight years.
  • 3 of 4 Ward 2 female candidates contacted to interview declined for personal reasons, despite a concerted effort to find female candidates for city council.
  • Both Presidents of our local school boards are female.
  • 5 of 7 District 67 school board members are female.
  • 50% of our school board recommendations this year are female.

We’d love to interview more female candidates for various volunteer positions in Lake Forest!  Please send us your candidates and recommendations.

Why did the Caucus Committee choose Dr. Randy Tack in the first place?

Quite simply, he is the most qualified and experienced person for the job.  Read about Randy Tack here on his website.

What is Randy’s vision for Lake Forest?

Read about Randy’s vision for Lake Forest on his website.

Where does Randy stand?

Read about Randy’s positions on a variety of topics on his website.

Meet our 2023 City Council Candidates

Lake Forest residents will have candidates for City Council in all 4 wards in the 2023 election.

First Term

Ward 1 - Terence (Terry) Mieling
Ward 2 - John Powers
Ward 4 - Richard Walther

Incumbent

Ward 3 - Ara Goshgarian

Terence (Terry) Mieling, Ward 1

Terry and his wife Nancy have lived in Lake Forest for over 35 years and raised two sons who attended Lake Forest public schools.  Their sons have blessed them with four grandchildren.

Professionally before his retirement, Terry was Fiscal Director for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Chief Financial Officer for a hospital in the Hospital Sisters Health System, Senior Manager at Ernst & Ernst (Ernst & Young), Vice President at John Nuveen & Co. (Nuveen Investments), and Director with Merrill Lynch & Co.  During the last thirty years of his career he provided investment banking services to a variety of health care providers and other non profit organizations in their access to tax exempt debt in the municipal bond market.  He was also a member of the Audit Committee for the American Dental Association and a long time mentor for students in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Terry was a member of the Lake Forest Caucus for the First Ward, Cub Master for Pack 46, Assistant Scout Master for Troop 48 and Regional Commissioner for the American Youth Soccer Organization Region 163.  Currently, he is a member of the Audit Committee for the City of Lake Forest and a member of the Investment Committee for the Franciscan Alliance health care system.

He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana where he received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Masters of Business Administration.  Terry is also a Certified Public Accountant.

John Powers, Ward 2

John Powers has lived in Lake Forest for the past 27 years. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Missouri - Columbia and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. John is currently the Director of National Accounts for Abbott Diabetes Care and has 35 years of business experience with both public and private companies in the area of distribution and logistics, commercial sales, marketing services and health care. John and his wife Robin have two adult children and are proud to call Lake Forest home. John has served on the Lake Forest Caucus, The Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Board, various roles at the Church and School of St. Mary, District 115 Board of Education and most recently a Trustee of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, IL.

Ara Goshgarian, Ward 3

Ara Goshgarian has lived in Lake Forest most of his life.  He attended Everett School, Deer Path Middle School and Lake Forest High School prior to graduating from Carroll College and the University of Illinois, graduating with a DDS.  He completed his orthodontic specialty program at Loyola University.

Ara returned to Lake Forest with his wife and four children to practice orthodontics with his father and has been in the community ever since.  His children are currently attending and have attended both Districts 67 and 115 schools.  Ara served on The Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Board, most recently as its Vice President.  He is a past President of both The Illinois Society of Orthodontists and The Midwestern Society of Orthodontists.  He is currently serving on the Council of Government Affairs and have served on the AAO’s House of Delegates, which has financial, policy and bylaw oversight over his professional organization.

Ara is active in the community, having served on the Lake Forest Caucus, and firmly believes the mechanism of the Caucus system best serves Lake Forest.

Richard Walther, Ward 4

Richard Walther is a 17-year resident of Lake Forest who has served in various volunteer community roles, including member of the Lake Forest Building Review Board (BRB) since 2018, member of the 2018-2022 Strategic Planning Committee, Deer Path Road Streetscape Committee, and Route 60 Corridor – Vision for the Future Committee.  His work with the BRB has included participation in several subcommittees to assist petitioners resolve outstanding issues with city staff and bring new and renewal building projects to fruition.

Rich and his wife, Leanna, have been married 29 years and have two sons, Timothy (26) and Andrew (23), both of whom attended Lake Forest public schools.  Rich and Leanna have been very active in supporting their sons' interests while growing up in Lake Forest.  Both sons earned their Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.  Rich, a fervent advocate of servant leadership, also thrived within the BSA programs serving as Cubmaster for Pack 148 (Everett School) and Scoutmaster for Troop 46 (First Presbyterian Church).  In these roles, Rich guided more than 90 youth to complete their Eagle Scout Award and values the positive contributions these young men made to our community.

Rich is a licensed structural engineer who specializes in the evaluation and repair of bridges, infrastructure, and buildings.  After earning BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, Rich joined the firm of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) where he has recently completed his 34th year of employment.  Rich is very active in organizations aligned with his professional interests and has received local and national recognition for his committee leadership, research, and publications.

Meet our 2023 District 67 School Board Candidates

Lake Forest residents will have three candidates for District 67 School Board.

Megan Engelberg

Megan Heraty Engelberg has been a resident of Lake Forest for nearly all of her life. She attended Lake Forest Public Schools as a student at Everett, Deer Path Middle School, and Lake Forest High School (Class of 1995). She and her husband, Brent, have three children who have also attended District 67 schools.

Megan graduated from Indiana University with a major in Journalism and Psychology, and went on to have a 16 year career in sales and sales training, working for Black and Decker, Johnson and Johnson, and Forest Pharmaceuticals.

As a parent leader, Megan has served many roles and on a variety of committees within District 67. She has held leadership positions in both the Spirit of 67 Foundation and the District 67 Association of Parents and Teachers (APT). She has been a three- time chair of the Spirit’s fundraisers including the Home Tour and Stand up for Spirit, and has been a member of the nominating and grants committees. Megan has held various roles on the Everett, Sheridan, and Deer Path Middle School APT boards and served a two-year term as the Deer Path Middle School APT President.

Megan currently leads the APT as the District 67 Executive Board President, providing oversight for the five boards and 230 volunteers that make up the organization. In this role she has served as a partner to the administration and has worked to implement innovative leadership for the APT by developing programming with the Lake Forest Police Department (Parent Community Safety Series), Lake Forest Library, Paws for Patrick, CROYA, District 65, District 115 and others. Megan has also exemplified collective leadership with the District to spearhead, fundraise, and oversee the DPM staff lounge remodel that took place this past summer.

Megan is also an active participant in the Lake Forest High School APT having acted as the Freshman Class Parent Representative and a two-time chair of the Be True to Your School fundraiser. She also participates on the Lake Forest High School Foundation Board.

Megan currently is a member of the CROYA adult board, the Infant Welfare Society Board, and Women’s Board of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

Megan looks forward to using her strong leadership experience and intricate knowledge of our community and the District to help pave the path of excellence Lake Forest District 67 strives to reach for every student, every day.

Mark Remus

Mark Remus has lived in Lake Forest with his wife Laura since 2006. They are proud to call Lake Forest home because of its strong sense of community and excellent school system.  Mark and Laura have three children, all of whom attend Lake Forest public schools.  Mark believes in community service and he has volunteered with several organizations, including the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO), Cub Scouts, Legal Prep Charter Academy, and the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago.

Mark is a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP. For over twenty-five years, Mark has defended companies that are accused of patent infringement and helped innovative companies enforce their patent rights. Mark has served in many law firm leadership positions, including as a member of the board of directors and as a practice group leader. In 2019, Crain’s Chicago Business included Mark on its list of Notable Gen X Leaders in Law.

Mark grew up in St. Charles, IL and attended the University of Illinois, where he earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, with distinction, and a J.D., cum laude, from the College of Law.

Monica Yaun

Monica Yaun moved to Lake Forest in 2009 with her husband, Roshan Navagamuwa, and their son Evan, who is currently in 8th grade at Deer Path Middle School. She hails from the small town of Genoa, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Economics in 1997.

Monica spent 12 years working at Hewitt Associates where she did software development and led software implementations that spanned several months across hundreds of team members for Fortune 100 clients across health care benefits platforms to deliver a product that was on time and on budget. She left her career with the arrival of their son, and focused her time on the parent-teacher organization in the school (the APT). She spent four years on the executive board of the APT, and is currently the President of the APT at Deer Path Middle School. She also served on the board of the League of Women Voters - Lake Forest/Lake Bluff area, and still serves on their voter services committee where you can find her doing voter registration events around town.

When she's not busy volunteering, she enjoys traveling with her family, watching independent movies, and reading.

Meet our 2023 District 115 School Board Candidates

Lake Forest residents will have three candidates for District 115 School Board.  The Caucus Committee voted to put forth three incumbent candidates for another term.  The Caucus Committee has previously vetted, voted for, and supported the incumbent candidates.

John Noble

John is finishing his first term on the D115 School Board and currently serves as the Finance and Operations chair as well as the district legislative lead.  He helped form the current tri-district legislative committee with districts 67 and 65.  In his legislative lead role, he has been a part of leading multiple legislative update discussions, as well as working directly with IASB, ED-RED and our local legislators to draft, update and change legislation issues based on the district's stated priorities.

John grew up in Lake Forest, graduating from Lake Forest High School in 1986 and Ball State University in 1990 with a BS in Marketing and a Minor in Math.  He played five seasons on varsity athletics, all conference varsity soccer and tennis: IHSA Team Champion (86), IHSA Team runner-up (85), IHSA State Doubles champion (86) and High School All-American (86).  Mr. Noble was inducted into the Ball State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 individually for his achievements in tennis and then again in 2016 with his senior year teammates who achieved the highest school ranking in NCAA Division 1 Tennis (20th).  John went on to play professionally and achieved a world ranking.  In the 90's he served as the LFHS Boys Tennis Varsity and F/S head coach for 4 years and was the assistant varsity coach for the LFHS Girl's Tennis Team.

John has served on several boards; the American Platform Tennis Association Board (APTA) for 6 years (where he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award in 2015), the Chicago Platform Tennis Charities (CPTC) board for 12 years, The CPTC League, and has been Director of Tournaments for the CPTC. John is also a two-time Tony Award winner as a producer and has helped produce many local Chicago area productions and nationally since 1995. Other boards that he has served on have been Citadel Theater (President for 2 years) and Glen Flora Country Club (Tennis and Social Chair).

He currently lives with his wonderful wife, Susan, in Lake Forest and has three beautiful daughters attending LFHS, DPM and Everett. John works as COO with his brother in a unique healthcare company, PathFinder Health, in Lake Forest that focuses on connecting people with doctors and checkups, so that they can become better engaged and follow-through to improve their health risks and condition.

Dewey Winebrenner

Dewey Winebrenner is a co-founder and managing member of Spindletop Capital, LLC, an investment adviser that manages two private investment partnerships focused on the U.S. financial services sector.

Dewey has lived in Lake Forest for 25 years with his wife Anne (Karlblom).  Dewey and Anne have five children that have attended Lake Forest’s public schools including twin boys that were 2022 graduates of Lake Forest High School.  He is finishing his first term on the D115 School Board.

Dewey has served in a variety of roles at The First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest over the last decade, including serving as a member of the Personnel Committee and as a co-moderator of a committee focused on youth.  Over that period, Dewey was also very active on the sidelines for youth sporting events serving as a volunteer coach for boys’ and girls’ soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams.

Dewey holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and law and business degrees from the University of Chicago.

Jenny Zinser

Jenny Zinser and her husband, Jim Perkins, have been residents of Lake Forest for 27 years. Their three children attended Everett Elementary School, Deer Path Middle School, and Lake Forest High School. Jenny has served on the District 115 Board of Education for the past three and a half years and is seeking a second term in the April 2023 election.

Before moving to Lake Forest to raise her children, Jenny was Vice President and General Manager of HQ Chicago, a commercial real estate firm specializing in the shared office industry. Prior to her role as a LFHS Board of Education Member, she spent twenty years volunteering for the Lake Forest public schools serving in various roles within the District 67 APT, Spirit of 67 Foundation, District 115 APT, and the LFHS Foundation. Since joining the District 115 Board of Education, Jenny has served on the Education Committee, Policy Committee, Facilities Master Planning Committee, and Portrait of a Learner Design Team. She was also the District 115 lead on the recent Superintendent Search and served as the Board Liaison to the parent leadership organizations for two years. Jenny represented our District each year at the Triple I Conference where she acquired training certificates in the Open Meetings Act, Professional Development Leadership Training, Performance Evaluation Reform Act, The Basics of Governance, Balancing Effective Governance & Transparency, The Happiness Advantage, and Mandated Reporter Training. She currently serves on the Strategic Planning Design Team, Facilities Master Planning Committee, and has been serving as the District 115 BOE President since May of 2021.

Jenny is honored to be endorsed by the Caucus for a second term on the District 115 Board. Her role as a Board Member has been both challenging and rewarding over these past three and a half years and she looks forward to being able to continue supporting and representing her community. There is a great deal of progress and positive change occurring inside our school and our district right now and she believes the ability to achieve the highest level of success will be increased by maintaining the strong commitment shared with her fellow District 115 Board of Education Members. It gives her great pride to be able to offer her services and work alongside them for an additional term.

Meet our 2023 Mayoral Candidate

The Caucus Committee candidate for the 55th Mayor of Lake Forest is Dr. Stanford "Randy" Tack.

Stanford "Randy" Tack

Dr. Stanford "Randy" Tack was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs of Elmhurst and Glen Ellyn where he attended Glenbard West High School.  He graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Biology, and was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.  He earned his doctorate of medicine from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Illinois, and went on to specialize in spine surgery via a fellowship at Rush Medical Center.  Upon completion of his fellowship, Randy, his wife, and two children moved to Lake Bluff and subsequently to Lake Forest.

Randy began his post-fellowship career at Lake Forest Orthopedics, which was subsequently merged into Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI), of which he was a founding board member.  He was subsequently appointed Vice President of the Midwest Orthopedic Network and managing partner at IBJI.

In 2011, he was asked by a friend to interview for 3rd Ward Alderman. He was selected and served from 2012-2018 in that role. While Alderman, Randy served as Chairman of the Public Works Committee and Fire Vision 2020 Committee. He previously served as the President of The Lake Forest Club and the Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery at Lake Forest Hospital. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Lake Forest Central Business District Planning Committee. He has found his time working with the City challenging and rewarding in ways quite distinct from his practice of Orthopedic Spine Surgery. As he transitions out of the practice of clinical medicine Randy looks forward to continuing his contribution to the City of Lake Forest, a community that has provided he and his family with such remarkable opportunities and quality of life.

Board of Trustees of the Fire Pension Fund

The Caucus is looking for a volunteer to recommend to the Mayor to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Fire Pension Fund. The local Lake Forest Fire and Police Pension Boards maintain responsibility for determination and payment of benefits, as well as administrative expenses. You can find more information about these two boards on the Caucus website (Fire and Police) and additional information about the pensions on the City’s website.
Pursuant to Illinois Statutes, a municipality with a paid fire (Article 4 ILCS) and/or police (Article 3 ILCS) department will establish a fire and police pension fund to track all assets and obligations related to the accumulation and investment of funds held and determination/payment of benefits to pension fund members pursuant to the respective ILCS provisions. Each local fund is administered by a 5-member Board of Trustees consisting of:
  • 2 active fund members elected by all active members of the fund
  • 1 beneficiary fund member (retiree) elected by all beneficiary members of the fund
  • 2 members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council
Until January 1, 2020, Lake Forest had a tradition of appointing Lake Forest residents with specific investment experience to help guide the Board in investment decisions. On January 1, 2020, the Illinois General Assembly’s Public Act 101-0610 went into effect. The primary purpose of PA 101-0610 was to mandate the consolidation of all local fire and police pension fund assets into one consolidated fund for fire and one consolidated fund for police for investment purposes only.
With the removal of investment responsibilities for local pension boards, one Mayoral appointee with investment experience remains beneficial to provide the active and beneficiary board members an understanding of the investment reports they receive from the consolidated funds. For the second appointee, someone with a medical background could be helpful in situations where a fund member is injured on the job and seeks a disability pension.
Residents interested in serving can contact their Ward Chair or complete a Volunteer Profile Sheet.

Historic Preservation Commission with Maureen Grinnell

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was established in 1992 as a continuation of the City’s long tradition of taking proactive steps to preserve the historic character of Lake Forest.  The Commission reviews projects that are within the 5 local historic districts and pertain to landmark buildings located throughout the city.  Proposals are evaluated against 17 standards and during the monthly hearings the Commission asks questions to better understand the petitioners’ intent and often suggests considerations for improvements to assist petitioners in complying with these standards, with the ultimate goal of being able to recommend the project for approval.  The standards apply to the exterior appearance of structures and the landscaping of the property.  Examples of projects that might come before the commission are demolitions, new construction, additions, and alterations to existing properties.

The commission is comprised of 7 Lake Forest residents who are nominated by the Lake Forest Caucus and appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council to serve a maximum of three 2-year terms.  While some knowledge of architecture and preservation is necessary across the commission, the Caucus Committee seeks out candidates that will bring different perspectives and a variety of experience from their past experiences to the commission.  Current HPC Chair, Maureen Grinnell, who grew up in Lake Forest and graduated from LFHS, started her career in marketing and communications before purchasing a historic home and moving back to Lake Forest.  Her experience working through projects on her own home and her involvement in the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation encouraged her initial interest in preservation.  This, combined with her desire to give back to the City of Lake Forest, led to her appointment to the HPC in 2021.  While her career isn’t in architecture or construction, she does draw on her professional experience as a marketer, trainer and coach to help her be an effective leader of the HPC.  Her professional experience with branding and customer experience has also allowed her to relate to businesses looking to establish or expand their presence in our historic business district.  Ultimately Maureen sees the role of the HPC as “protecting the architectural and visual elements that caused many of us to move to Lake Forest in the first place”.

The pandemic has led to an influx of new residents into Lake Forest and has changed how many of us think about utilizing our homes.  In recent months the HPC has been reviewing many requests for modifications to garages and other exterior structures as residents seek to modernize their historic residences and adapt them for modern living.  Regardless of whether or not your property is in a historic district, it’s a good idea to contact the City staff if you are planning any major modifications to structures to ensure compliance with applicable standards.  For residents that might not be familiar with the HPC, Grinnell recommends contacting City staff, reviewing the resources available through the City of Lake Forest website, attending an HPC meeting and joining the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation.  According to Grinnell, the HPC is “open to progress in a compatible way and wants to balance ties to the past with a view to the future”.  This blending of the past and future will help ensure Lake Forest continues to be a desirable place for residents and business alike for generations to come.

You can find more information about the HPC on the Caucus website or the City’s website.  Residents interested in serving can contact their Ward Chair or complete a Volunteer Profile Sheet.