The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
February 15, 2021
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Emergency Notices
  • 211 Help Center
  • Vape Survey
  • Senior Engagement
  • Shop, Dine, Shine
  • Thank You, Jim!
  • Next Board Meeting
  • Restaurant Relief
  • Use of Force Cert
  • Communications
  • Social Services Grants
  • GS Labs
  • Diversity Input
  • Garbage Contract
  • Budget Discussions
  • Snow & Ice
  • Coat Collection
  • Bood Drive
  • Kinder Registration
  • Ice Safety
  • Reach Out

Village Voice eNews

The Village Voice eNewsletter is provided by the Village of Vernon Hills. You may manage your subscription at the bottom of the page. Please direct your comments to

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As we recognize Presidents' Day,
we reflect on a quote from Abraham Lincoln:

"We must not be enemies.
Though passion may have strained,
it must not break our bonds of affection."

For more information about Presidents' Day,
check the History Channel's summary

Village Website:

Sign Up for Alerts

The Village encourages residents and those who work in Vernon Hills to sign up for emergency alerts through Blackboard Connect. Once you sign up, this tool allows messages of high importance to be sent directly to your phone or email. By linking to an address (home or work), messages are tailored to the neighborhoods impacted by the emergency announcement. 

An example of a recent emergency message was the loss of water pressure that occurred last week. Residents who continued to maintain landlines through major carriers or who signed up for Blackboard Connect automatically received the alert message. Because cell phone numbers are not included in the default database, the Village strongly encourages residents to go online to make an account and register their cell phones and emails for Blackboard Connect messages – especially if you no longer have a telephone landline in your home.

More information is available on the Blackboard Connect – Reverse 911 Notification System web article – or go directly to the Village of Vernon Hills Blackboard Connect website.


211 Help Center

If you or someone you know needs help of any kind, please reach out to Lake County's 211 Resource Center. You can visit the website, call "211" to speak with a live operator, or text your zip code to "898211." Support is available 24/7.

County Tobacco/Vape Survey
The Lake County Health Department is requesting input from county residents regarding eCigarettes and flavored vape products. To offer your input, please complete the Lake County Health Department survey

Please note that Village Trustees tabled discussion of local ordinances regarding flavored vape products, citing the need for all sides of the discussion to have an opportunity to share information. It is expected that Trustees will schedule a public hearing on this topic for later in the year, once public health guidelines allow for larger gatherings.


Moving at the Mall

Want to get moving, no matter the weather? Consider Hawthorn Mall! In fact, the group shown above is part of a program organized by the new Vernon Hills Senior Outreach Initiative.

As background, the Village of Vernon Hills along with Charter Senior Living and the Victory Centre recently partnered with Meridian Health Care to create a new outreach initiative for our valued seniors. This effort aims to offer opportunities to support positive mental and physical well-being. Meridian Health Care Community Engagement Specialist Steve Rainsford (; 224-585-9054) is organizing the activities, which will follow appropriate public health guidelines. 

If you are a senior – or know a senior – who would be interested in joining the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization or who would benefit from increased engagement, please reach out. More information about the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization is available by visiting the Vernon Hills Senior Center webpage or by calling VH Seniors President David Beckman at 224-433-1539. To speak directly with Meridian Health Care Community Engagement Specialist Steve Rainsford, please contact him at 224-585-9054 or Please watch for announcements of upcoming opportunities and resources.    

Also, please remember that during extreme cold, Hawthorn Mall has offered to serve as a community warming center. 

2021 Shopping & Dining Guide

Shop, Dine & Shine in Town!

Check out the updated 2021 Shopping & Dining Guide – and thank you for continuing to support all of our local partners and neighbors. For updates on new businesses, please follow the Village on Facebook and Instagram/ExperienceVernonHills. (Check out how dapper Patrick looks after a recent visit to Floyd's Barbershop.) Please give us a hand by sharing your favorite shops, service providers and dining experiences. 
Thank you, Jim Schultz! Trustee James Schultz was honored during the February 2 Village Board Meeting for his service to the community since first becoming Trustee in 2005. He was also recognized by local veterans groups for his tremendous support.Trustee Schultz will retire from the Board at the end of his term, and will not appear on the April 6 Consolidated Election ballot. Thank you and best wishes!


Meeting Schedule
   Tuesday, February 16
   Tuesday, March 2
   Tuesday, March 16

  • Meeting Format: The February 16 Village Board Meeting will be conducted remotely via Zoom (log-in information follows).  It is anticipated that the format of future meetings (virtual or in-person) will be determined during the February 16 meeting.
  • Public comment received prior to 6:45 p.m. on February 16 will be read into the record. Please send your comments to
  • Meetings begin at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. 
  • The full Meeting Schedule is available on the Meeting Schedules webpage. 
  • Agendas and minutes are posted online; Meeting recordings are available on the Village YouTube Channel

Village Board Virtual Meeting Instructions
Tuesday, February 16 beginning at 7 p.m.

  • Preceeded by Liquor and License Commission Hearing beginning at 6:45 p.m.
  • Followed by Committee of the Whole at the conclusion of the board meeting

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Please click the URL below to join:
Passcode: 969892

Or join by phone:

+1 312 626 6799  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 646 876 9923 
or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 408 638 0968

Webinar ID: 867 3662 2516
Passcode: 969892


Items of Note...

Restaurant Relief Program: During the February 2 Village Board Meeting, Trustees formally approved ordinances establishing a Restaurant Assistance Program for businesses that meet certain criteria. For businesses that qualify, 2021 fees for business licenses, outdoor dining licenses and liquor licenses will be waived. Those same qualifying businesses will also be allowed to retain the entire 1 percent of the Village's Food and Beverage Tax collected from January 1 through June 30, 2021. That portion of the program will be re-evaluated prior to June 30 to determine if an extension is appropriate. For more information about the program, please contact Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer at Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/2/21)

Federal Use of Force Certification: VHPD Chief Patrick Kreis reported that the department has received Federal Use of Force Certification through the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, a certifying agency of the Department of Justice. The certification is part of the Safe Policing for Safe Communities Presidential Executive Order. Chief Kreis noted that because the Department works to continuously review and improve policies, procedures and training, the accreditation process was fairly straightforward. As part of this process, VHPD focuses on the variety of tools and options available to safely respond to situations. During the January 5 Board Meeting, Trustees learned about the efficacy and importance of Tasers, which do not rely solely on pain response, but rather cause neuro muscular incapacitation, which stops immediately once the current ceases. Trustees approved replacing the department's older units with Taser 7s. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/5/21(Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/2/21)

Village Communications Report: During the February 2 Village Board Meeting, Assistant Village Manager Jon Petrillo and HR Specialist Kristen Svendsen offered information about the efforts of the Village Communications Team to support local restaurants and businesses through social media posts. The Village will continue to provide awareness in support of local businesses, including a new social media campaign inviting residents to submit their "clips" of favorite establishments. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/2/21)

Social Services Grants: Local nonprofit organizations are reminded that the deadline to submit applications for 2021-22 Village Social Services Grants is March 1. More information is available on the Application, which is posted on the Village website.

Give Input on Diversity & Inclusion: The Village is working with Dr. Bryan Watkins (Ravenskeep, LLC) to assess policies, review demographics, determine expectations, engage the community, and develop a vision statement as it relates to diversity and inclusion. Please share your input and suggestions for improving policy and practices by sending an email directly to Dr. Bryan Watkins at If you wish to speak directly with Dr. Watkins, please share your contact information via email and he will follow up with you. Please provide your comments by March 19. More information is available on the Diversity & Inclusion Consultancy web article.

Village Garbage Contract Reminder: Residents are reminded that the Village-contracted waste hauler Advanced Disposal has merged with Waste Management. Due to an error by the company, an agree-upon rate increase for the bulk of 2020 was not invoiced. Rather than backtrack, the company agreed to bill the rate increase for only October and November 2020. Then beginning December 2020, the rate moved to the next contractually scheduled increase. In addition, residents should be receiving information about available services for the coming "season" – for instance, the opportunity to confirm or adjust the number of pick-ups per week, the size of containers, or the use of seasonal services such as yard waste subscription service or compost pick up. For the Village Waste Management contract, changes regarding services and subscriptions are requested by May 31. (Also, please note that HOA and multi-family housing groups generally negotiate their own contracts separate from this Village contract; those services may or may not be with Advanced/WM.) More information about the Village contract is available by reading the Waste Services Contract – Advanced Disposal, Inc. web article (9/28/20) or by contacting Advanced Disposal/Waste Management (; 847-623-3870; or email

Budget Discussions: Village Trustees will begin reviewing the 2021-22 Village Budget Proposal during the March Board Meetings. The formal Public Hearing on the budget is tentatively scheduled for the April 7 Village Board Meeting. Draft documents will be posted on the Village Website as soon as they become available. The Village fiscal year begins on May 1. 

Village Snow and Ice Control Plan: The Village Snow and Ice Control Plan sets priorities for clearing snow based on safety considerations and available resources. The first priority is to address main roadways, followed by cul de sacs. The Plan also includes clearing more than 400,000 square feet of public sidewalks, which are primarily located in school areas and commuter routes to the Metra train station, in addition to major walking paths within Gregg's Landing, Deerpath, Lakeview and along Route 60. The Park District also clears paths within their parks to support the the ability of residents to enjoy the winter scenery.

Sidewalk Clearing: The Village does not have an ordinance requiring residents to clear the sidewalks adjacent to their homes, but we appreciate everyone's efforts in supporting their neighbors. We all acknowledge that recent snowfalls and extremely cold temperatures have presented challenges. Thank you for your efforts to keep sidewalks, school bus stops and neighborhood fire hydrants clear and accessible. We are all hopeful that spring will arrive sooner rather than later!

No Parking After Snowfall: Neighborly reminder that on-street parking is prohibited for 12 hours after a snowfall of two or more inches. Thank you for supporting our plow crews as they work (often around the clock) to keep us safe. If you do see an area that is of concern, please take a moment to let Public Works know by leaving a message at 847-367-3726.  

Caring for those in need... Thank you to residents who continue to donate coats, gloves, boots, hats, socks and all manner of necessities. And thanks to volunteers including Trustee Jim Schultz, we continue to deliver these items to the Midwest Veterans Closet (, which sees tremendous need from veterans and their families. If you have items to give, please consider dropping them at Village Hall or at the Vernon Hills Police Department. If you need help, please reach out to – or see the information about Lake County 211 that appears earlier in this eNewsletter. 

Community Voice

Have an announcement for the community? Want to see what's happening? Please help us build the Village's Community Voice webpage into a helpful resource for events and opportunities, such as the newly added February 17 blood drive honoring Hawthorn Middle North Principal Robert Collins. Sign up on the Versiti website at or by visiting (and searching zip code 60061).To share your announcements, please send information and PDFs to

Kindergarten Registration Season

If you have a child who will turn 5 by September 1, 2021, now is the time to begin the Kindergarten registration process. Check with your elementary school district for informational meetings and processes. If you don't know your elementary district, check your property tax bill.

Vernon Hills Update Ice Safety

CFPD Says "Stay Off the Ice"

Countryside Fire's Tony Rodkey joined with his colleagues for ice and cold water safety training at VHHS. Watch the Vernon Hills Update Ice Safety Tips segment for lots suggestions – with the most important one being to stay off the ice. Even small neighborhood ponds can be dangerous. Ice is often not uniform, and even in shallow depths it is difficult to get out of the cold water once the ice breaks. If you want to skate, visit the Vernon Hills Park District's skating rinks on Indianwood Drive, or check for open skating times at Glacier Ice Arena and Hawthorn Mall's Skate Room. Have fun and stay safe!

Vaccination Information

While health departments and healthcare providers report that they continue to struggle to procure the amount of vaccinations they require, things are moving forward. Lake County is currently in Phase 1B – which prioritizes healthcare workers, long-term care residents, residents age 65 and older, and frontline essential workers. The County and State are also expected to move to Phase 1C (opening vaccinations to people with high-risk medical conditions age 16-24 and other essential workers) in the coming days/weeks. That said, all distribution is dependent upon available supply. 

Lake County encourages you to sign up through the AllVax website, which has been developed to support an efficient vaccine roll-out. Lake County Health Department has been administering appointment-based drive-through vaccinations at the Lake County Fairgrounds, supply dependent.

Moving forward, vaccinations are expected to be available through your physician's office, local pharmacies (potentially including Walgreens, CVS, Jewel-Osco, Marianos, Walmart and Sam's Club), and some employers. 

Stay informed by visiting the Lake County Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage.


"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.
It will never fail you."

– Frank Lloyd Wright

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The Village Voice

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