9/27 – Open Call for Interested Residents

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Open Call for Interested Residents at Gorton Center from 7-8pm.

Open Call for Interested Residents is an opportunity for residents of Lake Forest to meet their Caucus Committee ward representatives to discuss:

  • opportunities to volunteer within the City,
  • the Lake Forest Caucus Committee, and
  • the caucus system.

We are “volunteers seeking volunteers” and encourage the public participation in the Caucus Committee and across the boards and commissions of the City. We welcome all residents to complete a Volunteer Profile Sheet (from the Volunteer menu, select Create New VPS). This allows us to quickly identify citizens who are interested in serving in elected or appointed positions.

The open call meeting will be held at Gorton Center (400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045).


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.

2022 Caucus Season

The Lake Forest Caucus, now entering its 88th season, has a busy year ahead! We will be recommending a new Mayor, several new City Council members, as well as new members of the D67 and D115 school boards. These elected positions are in addition to our usual recommended slate of Mayor-appointed positions to various City boards and commissions.

Appointed positions

  • Board of Trustees Fire Pension Fund
  • Building Review Board
  • Historic Preservation Commission
  • Library Board
  • Zoning Board of Appeals

If interested in volunteering, please fill out a Volunteer Profile Sheet.