March 29, 2022 – Spring Meeting

The 2022 Caucus Spring Meeting was held on Tuesday, March 29, 2022
from 7-8pm at Gorton Center, Stuart Room

Thank you to all who attended this semi-annual update on the work of the Caucus Committee.  The meeting presentation can be found here.

Agenda

  • President’s Report – Kim Pfahl, Caucus President, presented an update on current Caucus Committee activities, including recruiting for City Boards and Commissions.
  • Treasurer’s Report – Lauren Hara, Caucus Treasurer, provided an update on the financial condition of the Caucus.
  • 2022-2023 Caucus Officers were elected

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Jan. 25, 2022 – Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you!

Caucus’ Aldermanic Candidates Endorsed
Annual Meeting Recording

Thank you to everyone who braved the cold weather to come out to vote and attend our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 25th.  The Caucus’ Aldermanic candidates for the June 28th municipal election were endorsed!

At the Annual Meeting, Kim Pfahl, Caucus President, presented an update on current Caucus Committee activities, including recruiting for City Boards and Commissions.  Lauren Hara, Caucus Treasurer, provided an update on the financial condition of the Caucus.  Finally, our 4 Aldermanic candidates introduced themselves and addressed the Community, providing an overview of their qualifications and their relationship with Lake Forest.  The three incumbents discussed some of their recent term experiences and accomplishments.

Again, thank you to the Community members who voted at the Annual Meeting and all of you who support volunteerism.  A special thanks to all the City board and commission member volunteers, and all members of the Caucus Committee who donate their time to help make Lake Forest such a great place to live!

 

Looby Weber 2022 Term Summary

PPL Committee

  • Contributed to the purchase of the Joytime property by promoting fiscal responsibility and not overpaying for the site.

Chair of the Civic Beautification Committee

  • Helped enforced the term limits of the Garden Club representatives to encourage fresh ideas and new input. In CBC, we have been working on the Deer Path Streetscape Project as well as the construction area near the golf course and the on and off ramps of 41.

Environmental Sustainability Committee

  • Since joining, I have helped prioritize the committee’s initiatives such as community awareness through communications:partnering with summer camps (recycling campaign), hopefully into the schools this year – looking at solar panels on City owned buildings when infrastructure needs replacing, and looking at converting mowed areas to natural areas where appropriate. I am bringing forth some of these initiatives to the CBC committee for Garden Club input and review as well.

Community Engagement

  • I have attended many community events to show support such as the ribbon cutting at the renovated South Park, Dedication of “The Grove” at the West Lake Forest Train Station, the groundbreaking of “The Lawn” a short game practice area at Deerpath Golf Course, the Dedication of the Hughes Clubhouse and Kiely patio at DPGC, Lake Forest Day parade, Police Foundation awards, etc.

Timely email and phones responses and follow-ups to Citizens’ inquiries on issues and or requests

Prepared for and Attended Bi-weekly City Council Meetings

Additional Community Involvement

  • Teaching at Elawa Farm, Programming Assistant for the Junior Garden Club of Lake Forest, and serving on the School of St. Mary Advisory Council.

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Preschlack 2022 Term Summary

Chairman of the Public Works Committee

  • Worked with Department Leadership to retool sub-committee meeting agenda around four key topics 1) Highlighting Existing City Infrastructure and Services, 2) Brief Status Update on Inflight Projects, 3) Review of New Projects and Recommendations, and 4) Updates on any Innovation and HR Efforts
  • Facilitated productive sub-committee meetings, while reducing the average time of each meeting from 3-4 hours in the past to 1-1.5 hours

Member of the Environmental Sustainability Committee

  • Worked with Assistant City Manager on how best to engage with an outside consultant and to help prioritize and evaluate potential new CLF sustainability initiatives thru new process
  • Helped facilitate conversation among committee members on key priorities given survey feedback from City Council and staff bandwidth – GHG Emissions baseline, Ravine Management and Solar Panel Installations on City Buildings projects being investigated as a result

Meeting Facilitator and Alderman Sponsor for the Lake Forest Collaborative for Environmental Leadership

  • LF Open lands, 115 and 67 School Districts, and Lake Forest College, and the CLF are members – Purpose of the collaborative is to share best practices and leanings on how we can positively impact our community’s environment
  • Worked with City Staff to develop Agenda for quarterly meetings
  • Facilitated quarterly Zoom meetings among leaders from all organizations
  • Rebalanced the discussions of sustainability among the group from just what the City is doing to what ALL member organizations are doing and how we can help each other

Member of the Finance Committee

  • Encouraged Finance Department Chair to investigate and pursue existing bond refinancing options
  • Net results from recent bond refi will be savings of up ~$1.6m from lower interest payments over a ~20 year time frame to taxpayers

Additional Community Involvement – IT Innovation and Strategy for the CLF

  • Worked with Jim Shaw Director of IT and Innovation to plan and conceptualize what an IT Strategic Planning Project could look like for the City
  • Shared approaches and best practices and project plans from past IT Strategy Projects I’ve worked on
  • Discussed the general business case for change for IT Transformational Plans for organizations, the critical success factors, and typical approach and staffing needs to be successfully

Timely email and phones responses and follow-ups to Citizens’ inquiries on issues and or requests

  • Special efforts made to communicate to citizens and businesses before and during the BLM protest in Market Square on 1st amendment rights and what the CLF Police Department / has in place to ensure public safety
  • Special efforts to receive feedback from Citizens on the Library Capital Improvement Plan and work with Mayor and City Manager to refine approach

Prepared for and Attended Bi-weekly City Council Meetings

  • Ask staff and City Managers any questions ahead of time
  • Limited my comments or questions during CC meetings to those that benefited the public or helped key council deliberations
  • Thanked staff during meetings for their contributions to various projects when appropriate
  • Focused on the best long term interests of the CLF when making any decisions or voting on petitions

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Notz 2022 Term Summary

Council Contributions

Finance Committee

  • Review and recommend funding for all operational priorities of the City, including but not limited to the Annual Operating Budget, Annual Appropriation Ordinance, Annual Tax Levy Ordinance, and other policies and procedures applicable to the financial health and systems of the City.

Public Works Committee

  • Regularly assess its inventory of land, buildings and related improvements to determine whether enhancement or disposal of assets are appropriate as well as to determine whether acquisition of additional assets is in the public interest.
  • The City Council also has a responsibility to manage and utilize public lands, buildings and other assets of the City in a manner that serves the public interest, protects the health and safety of the community, enhances the quality of life, and preserves the character and traditions of community.

Property and Public Land Committee

Previously served on Personnel Compensation & Administration

City Matters Supported

  • Public safety, public works (roadwork, ravines, stormwater, etc), efficiencies (mobile app, tech infrastructure), and finance (bond rating, refinancing, etc)
  • Timely email and phones responses and follow-ups to Citizens’ inquiries on issues and or requests
  • Prepared for and Attended Bi-weekly City Council Meetings
  • Additional Community Involvement – Lake County Community Foundation Board
  • Encourage City to support local business success and attract new ones
  • Helping local manage through pandemic (financially and provide outdoor dining solution – ie. Food trucks & park upgrades)

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Meet our 2022 Alderman Candidates

Lake Forest residents will have candidates for Alderman in Ward 1, 2 and 4.  The Caucus Committee voted to put forth three candidates for another term, and advance a new candidate.  The Caucus Committee has previously vetted, voted for, and supported the incumbent candidates.  These candidates were endorsed by the registered voters of Lake Forest on January 25th, 2022.  Cast your vote for these candidates in our municipal election on June 28th, 2022.  Early voting begins on June 13th, 2022 at Lake Forest City Hall.

First Term

Ward 1 - Nancy Petrick Novit

Incumbents

Ward 2 - Ted Notz (2nd Term Election)

Ward 3 - Jim Preschlack (3rd Term Election)

Ward 4 - Eileen Looby Weber (2nd Term Election)

Nancy Petrick Novit, Ward 1

Nancy Petrick Novit has been practicing law since 1986. She graduated from St. Lawrence University, and earned her Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1986.  She worked as an Assistant Public Defender from 1986 – 1990 in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender.  In 1990, she founded Novit & Novit LLC with her husband, focusing on real estate, business, and trusts and estates law.  Today, Nancy is a general practice attorney.

Nancy terms off of Lake Forest's Zoning Board of Appeals this spring after six years of service. In this position she streamlined the approval process for homeowners to make changes to their properties.  Now homeowners start with the Zoning Board so any required variances are defined prior to design input before petitioners go to the Historic Preservation Commission or Building Review (if applicable) for approvals.  Prior to this, homeowners often had to go back multiple times before various boards.

Nancy and her husband Kent moved into Ward 1 with their two young daughters 29 years ago.  Nancy served on the First Presbyterian Preschool Board, was on numerous District 67 & 115 committees, volunteered with Ragdale, Infant Welfare Society, I Have a Dream of North Chicago, The History Center of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, and is currently the Treasurer of the League of Women Voters.  Nancy helped keep the Gorton Center open and running when financial concerns threatened to shut it down.  She helped analyze and change the financial structure, program efficiencies, leases and room rental agreements to help return Gorton to financial stability.

Nancy is eager to meet new residents, greet familiar faces, and help those in Ward 1 address matters concerning the City.  She is excited to collaborate with her fellow City Council members to continue building upon the City’s long history of strong fiscal management and community engagement.

Edward “Ted” U. Notz Jr, Ward 2

Edward “Ted” U. Notz Jr. is a senior relationship manager with Associated Bank’s commercial real estate group in Chicago, helping institutional real estate developers, investment funds, and service providers with their financing needs. Ted is a lifelong Lake Forest resident, growing up in Villa Turicum and graduating from Cherokee, Deerpath and Lake Forest High School. He returned in 1998 to begin raising a family in the H.O. Stone neighborhood with his wife and fellow Lake Forest native, Tiffany Edwards. They have two children, a 22-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son, who both have gone through Lake Forest’s public school system and have been active in the community.

Ted was appointed in October 2019 to serve as Ward 2 Alderman and has been actively involved with city affairs over the years, serving as chairman of the Building Review Board, on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Lake Forest Caucus, Historic Preservation Foundation, and several ad hoc committees, including the Laurel Avenue Redevelopment Commission.  He has held senior leadership roles at First Presbyterian Church and has served on the board of the Lake County Community Foundation. Ted’s interest in public service began as an undergraduate, with internships with the Lake Forest city manager, on Capitol Hill for Illinois’ 10th District Congressman, and in The White House in D.C.  He graduated from Denison with a BA in political science and DePaul with an MBA.  

Ted deeply appreciates the invaluable contributions Caucus, city staff, and resident volunteers make to ensure Lake Forest functions effectively and efficiently, preserving the cherished characteristics of the community while making sure it is positioned to be relevant into the future.

Jim Preschlack, Ward 3

Jim Preschlack took office May 2018 as Third Ward Alderman. He first came to the community with his family in 1977 and has called Lake Forest home base ever since.  Jim received a BA in Economics from Hamilton College and an MBA from the University of Rochester.  In 1998, Jim moved back to Lake Forest and married his wife Paula Lillard Preschlack, who also grew up in town.  They currently reside in the Knollwood Club with their two teenagers, Stanley and Lillard, and their standard poodles, Louis and Pippy.

Jim worked as a management consultant before and after business school with Accenture, Arthur D. Little and KPMG Consulting, where he specialized in helping companies define and implement large scale transformational change programs.  In 2016, Jim co-founded InFlow Partners, a boutique business accelerator based in Lake Forest that helps early stage companies develop "go-to market" strategies, acquire new customers, and raise capital to scale their businesses. 

Jim has been active in the community, volunteering for the Lake Forest Caucus, the Historic Preservation Commission as a member and as its Chairman, the Vestry of the Church of the Holy Spirit, and Beacon Academy, a Montessori High School in Evanston.  Jim serves as the Chairman of the Public Works Committee, City Host of the Lake Forest Collaborative for Environmental Leadership, and is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Committee and the Finance Committee.

Eileen Looby Weber, Ward 4

Eileen Looby Weber was born and raised in Lake Forest. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in Horticultural Production & Marketing at Purdue University. It was her love of flowers and working with people that led Eileen to join Lake Forest Flowers. She earned an MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management while continuing to manage the business.

As a member of the Society of American Florists and American Academy of Floriculture, Eileen teaches hands-on floral workshops and demonstrations at Elawa Farm, Evanston Art Center, and many North Shore Park Districts & garden clubs. She began her City Council Role in 2020 after serving on the Cemetery Commission, Waukegan Road/Settler’s Square & Route 60 Corridor Working Groups. Eileen chair’s the Civic Beautification Committee and is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Committee.

She is an active volunteer for the Church and School of St. Mary, a member of the Junior Garden Club of Lake Forest and Purdue Agriculture Alumni Board of Directors.  Her past volunteer service includes the LF-LB Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Past President of the Lake Forest Caucus, Past President of the Amberley Woods Condominium Association and Board Member/Committee Chair of Carmel Catholic High School Board of Directors.

Eileen and her husband, Brian, have two sons, Michael (6) and Edward (3). When not at the flower shop, you can find her gardening, playing golf, or with her boys in the community she adores.

Apr. 1, 2022 – Volunteers @ Heart Fundraiser

Join us for our annual Volunteers @ Heart fundraiser at Ferrari Lake Forest!

Start your engines and save the date for an evening to enjoy—meet local elected officials and volunteers, indulge in locally sourced food and drink, all the while taking in some of the fastest and most beautiful cars on the planet at Ferrari Lake Forest.  Tickets include drinks, appetizers, great company, and fast cars!  The evening includes an auction on a variety of fun activities including Mayor of Lake Forest for the Day, Personal Tour of the Lake Forest Fire House, and Ride to School in a Lake Forest Police Car.

Purchase Tickets

When: 6-8:30 PM, April 1st, 2022

Where: Ferrari Lake Forest

Can’t attend? Please make a donation.

Volunteers @ Heart 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?

Spring 2022 – Open Positions in City Government

Open City Boards/Commission Positions

The City of Lake Forest has positions open (in parentheses) on the following Boards and Committees in 2022 – 2023.  Please register your interest in serving on one of these Boards or Commissions by completing a Volunteer Profile Sheet or emailing info@lakeforestcaucus.com.

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

There is more information on a Board or Committee on the Committee Description page.

Open Elected Positions

  • City Council – All Wards
  • Mayor
  • School Board D67
  • School Board D115
  • Caucus Committee – All Wards

 

Joe Oriti – Treasurer

Email your Caucus Treasurer

Joe, his wife Courtney, and 4 children living in Lake Forest since 2015, looks forward to educating them all through Lake Forest’s renowned public school system (districts 67 and 115) and participating in the many programs our community offers.

Joe has nearly 20 years of experience advising corporate clients in strategy, operations, and finance.

Joe is honored to offer his time, skills, and experience in an effort to maintain and improve the many wonderful programs, institutions, and benefits that are available for Lake Forest residents.

Steve Ratay – Internal Communications

Steve Ratay moved to Lake Forest in the fall of 2018. My wife Emily and I were married in Chicago in 2007 and have two wonderful children: Ian and Annie. I work as a software engineering director for seViin, a technology startup focused on the hospitality industry. I am interested in joining the Lake Forest Caucus Committee to help the city continue to provide a great place to call home and learn more about how the city operates.