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Trio Run Unopposed for Seats With Caucus Support

Profiles provide voters with information to use at the booth.

Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch is providing each candidate an opportunity to provide information about themselves for voter's to use in making an informed decision on Election Day, April 5.

The candidates are presented in alphabetical order.

For more information on the Village of Lake Bluff Trustees race, visit the Lake Bluff Caucus website and the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff League of Women Voters website.

 

Name:   Steve Christensen

Age:   52

Education:   BS in Finance from Miami University; Oxford, OH

Incumbent:   No

Family:  Wife: Cati; 4 children: Megan(23), Cathleen(22), Kelly (20), Ryan(19).

Community involvement:  Minimal to this date other than working with the Village on rezoning our street and learning how the process of governing a Village like Lake Bluff is undertaken.

Link to Campaign website:   NA

Why are you running for a Village Trustee position?

I grew up in Lake Bluff and attended the East School through 8th grade. Our family then moved when my Dad was transferred for his job. In 1995, I had an opportunity to move back to the Chicago area for my career and, of course, we chose to live in Lake Bluff. After raising our 4 children here, I felt it was time to give back to the Village and get involved with seeing the great place we chose to live in continues to be a good and vibrant place for families to settle and raise their children. I feel it is incumbent on the residents of the Village to at some point get involved.

 

What are the key issues the Village will have to address in the next four years?

 We are once again dealing with the Stonebridge development and will need to see that through in a mutually acceptable way for the residents of the Village. We are still dealing with a difficult economy and will need to continue to watch our finances carefully, and we will continue to need to make sure we have the best Village Staff possible.

 

What are your top three goals as a board member?

  1. Be a good steward of the finances of the Village.
  2. Listen to residents concerns.
  3. And, work with the Village Staff to help them perform the best job possible.

 

What are some of the Village's strengths?

 For the most part, the residents are involved and concerned. A strong Village Staff and a strong governing body given the current slate of trustees and various committees. A strong sense of community. In addition we enjoy a terrific location, close enough to Chicago and on the lake.

 

What do you think can be done to improve the Village?

 Generally, I think we are very fortunate to have a well run Village, yet I think we need to continue to listen to all the residents and their concerns. We need to continue to be thinking about the future and its challenges in order to ensure that we provide a vibrant community with a well maintained infrastructure. The strategic plan that was recently adopted by the Village after a wide range of resident involvement provides a good blueprint for future direction. 

 

What distinguishes you from the rest of the Village Board members?

 I grew up here as a child and when I had the chance, moved my family back to the Village. My nearly 30 years of combined living here has led me to feel very strongly about continuing the vibrancy and sense of community we currently enjoy in Lake Bluff.

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Name: Mark A Dewart

Age:  59

Education: AB, Wabash College  (Biology); MA  Vanderbilt University – Peabody College  (Biology); MS  Purdue University – Krannert School(Management).

Incumbent? (If yes, how long have you served?)  No

Family: Spouse - Sharon (registered nurse); Children - Stephen (advertising); John (banking) and Elizabeth (college student).

Community Involvement: Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club (Past president and past board member); Grace United Methodist Church (Past administrative board president and current trustee); Gorton Community Center and Foundation (past chairman); Lake Bluff Community Development Association (president) [community advocacy, including senior housing]; Wabash College (president, Alumni Association), and Vliet Museum of Lake Bluff History (board member).

Link to campaign website:  No website

 

Why are you running for a Village Trustee position?

Service as a Village Trustee offers the opportunity to share my business and leadership skills, and my commitment to service, with the Lake Bluff community. I intend to support effective delivery of high-quality services and to develop strategies which will ensure the viability of Lake Bluff for future generations. 

 

What are the key issues that the village will have to address in the next four years?

  1. Balancing effective community services and income sources.
  2. Supporting the resolution of open housing developments at Stonebridge, Bath and Tennis and Lansdowne.
  3. Sustaining and enhancing a diverse local economy.
  4. Maintaining a balance of housing alternatives to ensure the viability and vitality of our community.

 

What are your top three goals as a board member?

  1. Support an intergovernmental summit to assess cost-efficiencies among local municipal, park, and educational entities.
  2. Maintain a viable central business district and Carriage Way. Offer a business-friendly environment for the Industrial Park and auto dealerships. Develop a marketing plan to ensure that the Village places the right focus on its service practices and remains attractive to new opportunities.
  3. Address diversity in housing. This includes housing options which will allow Lake Bluff seniors to ‘age in the community.’

 

What are some of the village’s strengths?

I would single out the Lake Bluff’s sense of community and spirit of volunteerism. Lake Bluff residents are vitally interested in the future of the community and commit to serve on the Village’s Commission and Board, its fire department, and its wealth of religious, civic and community service organizations. This represents not just a can-do spirit, but a will-do commitment. 

 

What do you think can be done to improve the village?

The Village and the Village Board is charged with maintaining the infrastructure of services which allows Lake Bluff to continue to be attractive to new and current residents. The underlying challenge in accomplishing this mission is succeeding in the current economy. This is a strategic, not a tactical. process.  It tasks a Village Board to consider not just those decisions which must be made for next month, but for the next five or 10 years.

 

What distinguishes you from the rest of the Village Board members?

I am most impressed with the composition and commitment of our current and nominated board members. Their diverse perspectives will ensure that issues are considered from a number of perspectives. My professional and community service experiences, along with my skills as an objective listener and consensus builder, will allow me to make informed decisions for Lake Bluff’s residents and village government.

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Name: Kathleen O’Hara

Age: 64

Education: B.S history, Illinois State University; M.S.ED, Educational Administration, Northern Illinois University.

Incumbent? (If yes, how long have you served?) Yes. I have served 4 years on the Lake Bluff Village Board

Family:

Community Involvement: 36 years as teacher and principal at Lake Bluff Middle School; six years as LFHS coordinator for student and community services; co-founder, vice-president and historian for the Vliet Museum of Lake Bluff history; member, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Rotary & Kiwanis clubs; board member for LEAD; member of Lake Bluff School Caucus, and co- author of two books on Lake Bluff.

Link to campaign website: none

 

Why are you running for a Village Trustee position?

I would like to continue my work on the village board for the following reasons:

  • An ongoing commitment to strong fiscal responsibility and effective cost saving measures.
  • To help guide the implementation of the new strategic plan for the village.
  • To continue to work for the continued sustainability of our downtown business district.
  • To promote and help implement planned growth for business development on our western corridor.

 

What are the key issues that the village will have to address in the next four years?

  • Maintaining a strong financial base for the village in the face of fluxuating revenues and rising costs.
  • Balancing community expectations and the need for cost effectiveness.
  • Maintaining and improving the village’s infrastructure.
  • Successful implementation of the new Strategic plan for the Village.
  • Developing ways to obtain additional revenues not related to property taxes.

 

What are your top three goals as a board member?

  1. Continued economic stability and growth.
  2. Implement strategies to improve Lake Bluff’s western business corridor& sustain the viability of the downtown business district.
  3. Implement all the aspects of the Strategic Plan.

 

What are some of the village’s strengths?

  • Strong sense of commitment and pride in the community.
  • Excellent school systems.
  • Volunteerism within the village is core strength of its success as a community.
  • A revitalized downtown business district.
  • Its natural beauty reflected in its ravines, beaches and parks.

 

What do you think can be done to improve the village?

  • Increase the sales tax base by seeking and fostering new business opportunities within the village.
  • An effective plan to attract new volunteers to serve on village boards, commissions, fire department, and special projects which benefit the community.
  • Increase methods of communication to effectively reach out and engage residents, business owners and other stakeholders in an ongoing dialogue with their local government.
  • Continued commitment to finding ways to increase “shared services’ among Lake Bluff taxing districts.

 

What distinguishes you from the rest of the Village Board members?

  • Extensive experience in both the public and private sectors of Lake Bluff working with the school systems as a teacher and administrator and also involved in many civic organizations as a community volunteer.
  • A sense of and respect for the history of our village, yet  committed to moving forward in order to sustain our viability, fiscal integrity and  the quality of life that our community expects.

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