The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
May 7, 2021
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • New Village Manager
  • Leaders Sworn In 
  • Arbortheater Concerts
  • Road Rehab
  • Happy Birthday
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Thank You, Jim
  • Summer Events
  • Memorial Day
  • Financial Report
  • PD Opening
  • Bike Path
  • eSports
  • Mall Waiver
  • Car Shows
  • Elementary South
  • Recycle
  • Green News
  • Events 
  • Reach Out

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Village Names New Manager

The Village of Vernon Hills has selected Kevin Timony as Village Manager. Timony was approved by Trustees during the May 4 Village Board Meeting, and is expected to begin July 6.

Timony has served as Wauconda Village Administrator since 2017. Prior to that, he worked for the Village of Grayslake, beginning in 2008 as a Management Assistant and working his way to the Assistant Village Manager role. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Marketing from Loyola University, and an MBA from North Park University.

Timony’s selection comes with the retirement of Mark Fleischhauer, who took the helm at Village Hall after serving as Vernon Hills Chief of Police. 

Working with the search firm GovHR, the Village received 76 applications, which were evaluated during a rigorous screening and interview process.

“We had the opportunity to review so many tremendous applications, and meet with a number of exceptional candidates,” notes current Village Manager Fleischhauer. “Kevin stood out based on his experience, his knowledge of the community, and his enthusiasm. I look forward to handing him my office keys and spending time with my wife and family.” 

Timony is equally ready to begin his new role. “As a longtime resident of central Lake County, Vernon Hills has always stood out as one of the area’s premier communities. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the residents and businesses of Vernon Hills alongside the Village President, Board of Trustees and Village Staff.”

Leaders Sworn In

During the May 4 Board Meeting, the Village of Vernon Hills welcomed our newly elected leaders.    

Congratulations to Village President Roger Byrne and Trustees Thom Koch, Nancy Forster and Michael Schenk, who were sworn in by retired Federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan. Congratulations, also, to Trustee Craig Takaoka, who was sworn in at an earlier date by Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer.

On May 4, the Village also formally bid farewell to retiring Trustee James Schultz, who did not run for re-election. On behalf of the entire community, thank you to Jim for his 16 years of service.

Thank you to all who expressed interest in serving our community during the April election. On behalf of the Village, Park District, schools, libraries and other organizations who depend on the support and involvement of residents – thank you.
(Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/4/21) 

Arbortheater Concerts Return
The Village of Vernon Hills is excited to announce the return of the Arbortheater Summer Concert Series. These free, family-friendly events are held at the beautiful outdoor Vernon Hills Memorial Arbortheater, 50 S. Fairway Drive. Bring your blankets, snacks and dancing shoes to enjoy a variety of terrific musical groups. Concerts, which start at 7 p.m., move to the Park District Sullivan Center (635 N. Aspen Drive) if weather requires. More information posted on the Arbortheater Concerts webpage.

Link: Project Map

Road Rehab Reminder

Residents and those driving through the Village are reminded that the 2021 Road Rehab Project is underway on the following streets: Cherry Valley Road from Lakeside to Oakwood, and between Oakwood and Westmoreland; Richard Court; Court of Ash; Court of Elm; Greenbrier Lane; Lakeside Drive between Westmoreland and Cherry Valley; and Westmoreland Drive between Lakeside Drive and Cherry Valley Road.

Please use extra care when traveling in this area as delays are expected and workers or flaggers may be present. Work is expected to be substantially complete by early July. 

For more information, including a Project Map and weekly project updates, check the Annual Road Rehabilitation Project web article. 

Happy Birthday! The Village of Vernon Hills extends birthday wishes to Diane "Dee" Zemel and Anita Kaplan Cutler, who both recently turned 100. The Village Board honored both during the March 4 Board Meeting. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/4/21)


Meeting Schedule
   Tuesday, May 18
   Tuesday, June 1
   Tuesday, June 15

  • Meeting Format: Meetings are now being conducted in-person at the Village Hall. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. Capacity limits will be enforced.
  • Public comment may be provided in-person at the beginning of each meeting 
  • Meetings begin at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted
  • Agendas and Minutes are posted online for each meeting
  • Meeting recordings are available on the Village YouTube Channel
  • The full Meeting Schedule is available on the Meeting Schedules webpage

Items of Note...

Honoring Jim Schultz: During the past several Board Meetings, many community members have come forward to thank and honor outgoing Trustee James Schultz, who did not run for re-election after serving 16 years as Village Trustee. During the April 20 Board Meeting, Lake County Representative Julie Simpson read a proclamation on behalf of the Lake County Board. David Doerhoerfer and Carol Sente, representing the Vernon Hills Park District, also gave comments of gratitude, and noted that a tree is being planted in Jim's honor in one of our parks. Todd Renihan, representing local veterans, also offered his good wishes. On May 5, the Board held a Sine Die (Latin for "without a day") meeting to formally end Jim's tenure, at which time he was presented with an honorary street sign as well as a plaque depicting the VHPD shield. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21) (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/4/21)

Arbortheater Concerts and July 4th Fireworks Return: During the April 20 Board Meeting, Trustees and Staff discussed options for Village-sponsored summer events, taking into account public health best practices as well as the lead time and expenses associated with securing contracts and providing non-refundable deposits. In developing the special events plan, the Village has been in discussion with partners (including Countryside Fire, the Park District and the schools) as well as other municipalities to identify how to safely provide appropriate programs. Based on current best practices, it has been decided that the Village will plan for Arbortheater Concerts, which are held outside and offer opportunity for social distancing. The Village will also provide a traditional 4th of July Fireworks Show, which again allows for appropriate social distance as people watch from multiple locations around Century Park. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

Village to Support Park District Rib Fest: In keeping with current public health best practices, the Village will not be hosting the 4th of July Parade, and the Park District will not be providing a pre-fireworks concert, as in both cases it is difficult to ensure appropriate crowd management and distancing. Summer Celebration offers even more challenges and risks (both with regard to public health and due to financial exposure). In addition, the State will not grant a special event liquor license at this time without assurance that attendees will be monitored and managed, including checking temperatures and maintaining lowered capacities and increased distances. Based on the challenges of the event, Summer Celebration will not be held this year. Rather, Trustees supported the idea of the Village transferring some of the support that would have gone to Summer Celebration to the Park District for Rib Fest, which is scheduled for the end of summer. That timing (which allows for the health situation to further improve), combined with the ability to control and monitor the crowd through ticket sales and staffed entrances with heat sensing monitors, seems more likely to fall into the category of "allowed" gatherings. At this time, the Village has the option of transferring last year's Summer Celebration fireworks show to another date – with the idea that the second show could be held in conjunction with Rib Fest or on New Year's Eve. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

Memorial Day: Our local Veterans plan to provide Memorial Day remembrances, including a brief 11 a.m. ceremony on May 31 at the Vernon Hills Memorial Arbortheater. Veterans are also looking for volunteers to help place flags on the graves of service people in our local cemetaries on the days leading up to Memorial Day. Reach out to to get connected. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2019/20: During the May 4 Board Meeting, Dan Berg of Sikich LLC presented the formal Comprehensive Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2019/20. Sikich provided the highest grade possible with a note of "Clean" or "Unmodified." The Village's general fund continues to exceed suggested thresholds, holding enough funds to cover more than ten month's of expenses. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2019/20 is posted on the Village Financial Documents webpage.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/4/21)

VHPD Position Announcement: Vernon Hills Police Chief Patrick Kreis noted that the department is looking for officer applicants. Testing is available through May 17 and interviews will be conducted in June. For information, visit the VHPD position information webpage. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

Butterfield Bike Path Extension: Public Works Director David Brown reported that Lake County Department of Transportation has agreed to create a bike path along Butterfield Road connecting Gregg's Parkway on the north with New Century Town on the south. In lieu of the $150,000 Village commitment originally anticipated, LDOT has asked that the Village maintain the path and replace the landscaping. While the precise schedule is being formulated, it is anticipated that the project will begin in August and be substantially complete in December. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

EJ&E Path Crossing: On an ancillary note, the Village is working with the Canadian National Railroad to complete the EJ&E bike/pedestrian crossing on Milwaukee Avenue as well as with Hawthorn Mall owners to create a pathway along their eastern frontage. Once these extensions are complete, residents will be able to ride their bikes from Libertyville to Lincolnshire.

Lake County Road Construction: In addition to the Bike Path Extension, LDOT will be installing adaptive traffic signal controls along Butterfield Road, as well as resurfacing St. Mary's Road. Check the whole list of projects on the County's interactive map

E-Sports Center at Hawthorn Mall: During the April 20 Committee of the Whole Meeting, VHHS graduate and esport standout Joseph Ho presented his concept idea for BHOP E-Sports electronic gaming center in Hawthorn Mall. The Board was favorable to the concept, which moves the idea on to technical review and the Planning & Zoning Commission. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

Hawthorn Mall Public Art Waiver: Representatives of Centennial and Atlantic Residential appeared before the April 20 Committee of the Whole Meeting to request a waiver of the Cultural Partners fee designed to support public art and engagement in the community. Representatives outlined their general plan for incorporating art and programming into the reimagined Hawthorn Mall property, requesting that those investments take the place of fees to the Village. (The 311 dwellings planned for Phase 1 would potentially generate $155,500 in fees.) The Board made no decision. Representatives were directed to create a more complete public art plan with associated costs for the Board to review at a future Committee of the Whole Meeting. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 4/20/21)

Hawthorn Mall Car Shows: During the May 4 Meeting, the Board approved a special event permit for North Suburbs Cars & Coffee to hold car shows on May 16, June 13, July 18, August 22, September 26 and October 19. The events are planned from 9 a.m. to noon at the upper level of Hawthorn Mall near the AMC theater. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/4/21)

Celebrating Our Public Servants: Trustees join the community in recognizing National Police Week (May 9-15) and Peace Officers' Memorial Day (May 15), National Public Works Week (May 16-22), and Telecommunications Week (April 11-17). Thank you to all who care for our community.

Hawthorn Elementary South Additions: During the May 4 Committee of the Whole Meeting, the Board reviewed recommendations from the Planning & Zoning Commission regarding special use permits, site and landscape plans, and architectural elevations for two additions to Hawthorn Elementary South, 430 N. Aspen Drive. Generally, the additions create gym/multi-use space on the north side of the building and an atrium entrance on the east side of the building (shown in color on the plan below). The additions are expected to be complete by fall 2022. This work represents Phase 3 of a five-phase improvement project approved by referendum in 2018. In addition, District 73 requested that the permit fees (approximately $18,402) be waived, which the Village has traditionally done to support our schools and partner taxing bodies. The Board agreed to all, which moves this portion of the project to formal Board Vote. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/4/21)


Hawthorn Mall Moves Forward

Progress continues at Hawthorn Mall – including the approval of a master sign plan for the property. Trustees agreed with the Planning & Zoning Commission's approvals.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting – 4/20/21)

If you want to get a good look at the progress on Hawthorn 2.0, visit the observation spots on the upper level of the Mall, near the AMC Theater. 


Saturday, May 15  •  9a to noon

Hawthorn Mall

Recycle-O-Rama is a wonderful way to safely dispose of old electronics. The drive-through event also offers paper shredding and shoe/textile collections. (Note that there will be no chemical waste recycling at this event.)

Label your items and put them in your trunk for volunteers to remove on site. Sponsored by the Vernon Hills Park District, SWALCO, The Village of Vernon Hills, State Representative Dan Didech, and Hawthorn Mall. Learn more about the event (including guidelines, quantity limits, and processes), on the Park District website.



Green Living Guide

The Village residential waste hauler (Waste Management) offers customers the option to participate in a "ride along" compost collection program. Subscribe to weekly pick-ups through Waste Management (847-623-3870), or purchase yard waste stickers and place your material for collection just like grass clippings or raked leaves. Here are some suggestions for becoming a bit "greener."
  • Do a household garbage audit. Think about how much garbage goes into your waste cart. Are there any items going into the garbage that you could compost? Greasy pizza boxes (which cannot be recycled)? Banana peels? Dirty paper towels? Egg shells? Keep track for a week or two, then pick an item to divert to compost – and monitor how it changes the amount of waste your household generates.
  • Shop for sustainability. Consider purchasing items with less packaging – and therefore less garbage. Even items we can recycle require energy use to do so. 
  • Plan ahead for meals. Unfortunately, 40 percent of US food is wasted every year – and most households throw away an estimated 25 percent of the food they bring into the home. Planning menus before shopping helps reduce waste, and saves money.
  • Watch the Update. In the April 30 Update Show, Seema Keshav of Go Green Vernon Hills-Lincolnshire shares how her family composts, and how they have significantly reduced the trash they put at the curb each weak.
  • Check out SWALCO resources. The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County offers a huge selection of educational resources, including a Residential Food Scrap Composting Program, and Compost Guide with tips on how to compost, what to compost, and what to leave out; a Recycle in Every Room suggestion list and comprehensive Household Recycling Guide, and more.
  • Learn more. Visit the Go Green Vernon Hills - Lincolnshire Facebook page and the Village Go Green webpage.

Compost Class 

SWALCO has teamed up with the U of I Extension to offer a variety of sustainable gardening classes – including "Composting: How to Make the Most of It," which will be held virtually on May 12. Learn more, including how to register, on the SWALCO Garden Series webpage.

Tree City Celebrates Arbor Day

Vernon Hills was again recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the US Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. The Village, under the guidance of the Public Works Department, has worked hard to maintain and grow a healthy urban forest we can all enjoy. 

Thanks to the support of Waste Management, the Village was able to add even more trees to our local landscape. Waste Management donated a Dakota Pinnacle Birch and Snow Dance Japanese Lilac, which were planted by the Public Works team at Victory Centre and Charter Senior Living.



LINKS: Registration PSA & VH Update Interview

VH Pageant

Online Applications Due May 15
Miss Vernon Hills Madisyn Chiarello, Jr. Miss Jeneen Alsamsam, and Little Miss Adija Varnelis invite girls ages 6 to 21 (by June 12) to participate in this year's Vernon Hills Pageant. Queens serve as ambassadors for our Village, participating in special events and service projects. Applications must be submitted online by May 15, and are found on the Vernon Hills Pageant website ( Participants and their guardians may also want to watch the video of the April 11 info session (which is posted on the Pageant website), or the April 6 Vernon Hills Update Show. The Pageant is planned for June 12 at the Vernon Hills Sullivan Center. For more information, please visit

Shop, Dine & Shine in Town
If you are visiting the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex, check out the Dining Options logo boards designed to support the hundreds of teams, sports campers and families who visit the VHAC every season. The board shows logos and QR codes for every dining establishment in the Village allowing visitors (and all of us) to quickly snap the code with a smart phone to access directions, menus and more. The Boards also include a link in the lower right corner to our master list of shopping, dining, entertainment and service guides, which we continue to refine. Have we missed your business? Send a note to

By the way, when it comes to entertainment, more venues continue to re-open. Check out a few of the options on the
VH Fun Guide. And look for more inspiration in our full Vernon Hills Dining & Shopping Guide. Thank you for supporting all of the wonderful business partners (and their employees) located right here in town. 


Around Town...

Here are a few items of interest from the community:
  • Free Mondays in May at Lakeview Fitness Center – The Vernon Hills Park District is offering free access to the Lakeview Fitness Center each Monday during May.
  • Hawthorn D73 Kindergarten Registration is open now – If you have a child who turns 5 by September 1, it is time to register for Kindergarten. For more information, check with your school district.
  • Loop the Lakes 5K Run/Walk is May 22 – It's Back! Real-life run is planned for May 22 at 9 a.m. Sign up through the Vernon Hills Park District. Proceeds support the Park District Scholarship Fund.
  • Cook Library – Cook Memorial Library offers a vast selection of reading materials (of course!), as well as a selection of special events and electronic resources. Check the Events list, or visit
  • North Suburbs Cars & Coffee – Watch for car shows at the upper level of Hawthorn Mall. First shows planned for May 16 and June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Thank you to the VH Park District and resident Amy
for sharing this this amazing photo
of a double rainbow over Kids Castle. 

"The way I see it,
if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain."

– Dolly Parton


Thanks for reading
The Village Voice

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