The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
March 23, 2021
View this email in your browser

In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Financial Strength
  • 2021-22 Budget
  • Public Hearing 
  • Voting Resources
  • Yard Waste Season
  • Composting Info
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Flag Bill
  • Social Service Grants
  • Manager Selection
  • Flock Camera
  • Golf Course Simulator
  • Cable TV Agreement
  • Thanks JP
  • Pageant Applications
  • Vaccine Info
  • St. Baldrick's
  • 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

Keep In Touch

Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
YouTube YouTube
Instagram Instagram
Proposed Fiscal Year 2021/22 Budget Expenses

Village Finishes Fiscal Year Strong,
Despite the Pandemic

While the pandemic created a host of challenges, the Village of Vernon Hills was able to maintain municipal services and end the fiscal year strong. Staff worked to put off expenses as appropriate, with the state's rescheduling of Lakeview Parkway improvements to 2023 freeing up the bulk of the $2.1 million set aside for the Village's portion of the project. Many businesses in the Village clearly faced difficulty due to mandated closures and restrictions, which was reflected in sales tax receipts down close to 20 percent and food/beverage tax receipts down approximately 25 percent during the pandemic.

Conversely, some businesses saw an increase in business – particularly big box stores including Whole Foods, Mariano's, Target and Walmart. Further, permit fees for projects including Hawthorn Mall and South Lake Industrial Center helped offset reductions. The Village continues to maintain a reserve of more than $29 million. A track record of conservative planning has served the municipality well – and due to that fiscal resiliences, the Village was able to not only maintain services, but was also able to support local businesses most impacted by the pandemic by waiving annual business license fees and rebating the Village portion of the food and beverage tax. (Reminder: The Village does not collect a property tax, but rather relies on a portion of sales tax collected within the Village to support the bulk of Village services.)


2021-22 Village Budget
Remains Conservative

The 2021-22 Vernon Hills Village Draft Budget is in the review stage, with a final budget expected to be approved before the beginning of the new fiscal year on May 1. As currently presented, the budget anticipates $25,556,021 in income (a conservative increase of 1.46 percent over the previous year) and outlines $26,580,726 in expenses (a reduction of 6.67 percent from the previous year's budget). Most proposed sub budgets for each department show a decrease over the current fiscal year, with line-item increases primarily due to consolidated expenses and shifted responsibility. View the 2021/2022 Proposed Budget on the Village's Financial Documents webpage.

Trustees reviewed the bulk of the draft budget during the March 2 Committee of the Whole Meeting. The Golf Course budget was presented during the March 16 meeting. Trustees reviewed a key budget component – the 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) – earlier in the year during the January 5 Board Meeting.

Public Hearing – April 20

Resident feedback is requested, with a formal Public Hearing planned for 6:55 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, immediately before the Village Board Meeting. Comments and questions may also be submitted to Chief Financial Officer Kyle Cratty via email to For more information, view the resource list below:



Resources for

April 6 Consolidated Election
The April 6 Consolidated Election will feature a variety of local candidates – Village, school boards, park districts, townships, and more. Village of Vernon Hills positions on the ballot (in ballot order) will include the Village President role (candidates Brian Lohse and Roger Byrne), three 4-year Trustee positions (candidates Catherine "Katie" Sultan, Christopher Kelly, Michael Schenk, Thom Koch Jr., Donald G. Kathan and Craig Takaoka), and one unexpired 2-year Trustee position (candidate Nancy Forster). Here are a few resources regarding the upcoming election:
  • Candidate List – Provided by Lake County Clerk's Office
  • Voter Power – Specific information to help you determine your registration status, sample ballot, voting sites and more. You may also request mail-in ballots through this webpage.
  • Vote By Mail – Mail-in Ballots will be mailed starting March 12, and must be received at the County Clerk's Office by 5 p.m. on April 1.
  • Early Voting – Early Voting is available at locations around the County from now through April 3. (Our closest early voting site is William E. Peterson Park, 16652 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Prairie View.)
  • General Voting Info – Q&A
  • Illinois State Board of Elections – Detailed election information
  • Election Judge Opportunities – Sign up to help on Election Day
  • Additional Resources – Please take time to learn and participate in every election. Research candidates and issues through organizations including the Lake County League of Women Voters, who publish profiles provided by candidates. Local media outlets including the Daily Herald ( and The Vernon Hills Review also publish candidate and issue profiles, interviews and endorsements. The Hawthorn Education Association held a forum for District 73 School Board candidates, which can be viewed on the HEA Facebook page and on YouTube. Other boards and organizations also provided voting resources.


Garbage & Yard Waste
Sign Up Time

Waste Management (the Village's residential contractor, which recently merged with Advanced Disposal) has provided information to residents to select the services they would like to receive in the coming season. This is the time to adjust the number of pick ups and the size of your containers, as well as subscribe for services including yard waste collection or the new compost ride-along service (see more information about composting below). The hauler asks for changes to be made by May 31 to ensure that all subscription services may be implemented at the start of the summer service schedule. More information is available by contacting Waste Management at 847-623-3870, as well as by reviewing the Village Trash & Yard Waste webpage, as well as the September 28, 2020 web article entitled Waste Services Contract – Advanced Disposal, Inc. Please note that residents in multi-family or HOA neighborhoods may be using another provider with different services as negotiated by your organization. 


Consider Composting!

Did you know...
  • 40 percent of food in the US is wasted, with a quarter of that amount coming from homes?
  • Food waste is the largest component going into landfills?
  • Our landfills are expected to reach capacity in the next 15 years?
  • Decomposing food waste releases methane, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming?

What can you do to help?
Subscribe to the Vernon Hills Curbside Organics Program!

The new composting program is available to Village residents covered by the Waste Management residential garbage hauling contract. Subscribers save food scraps, which are collected each week when Waste Management picks up yard waste. This is a wonderfully earth-friendly way to dispose of food scraps such as fruit cores, vegetable trimmings, egg shells, coffee grounds, bones, meat and dairy (just about anything that was once alive), as these items are delivered to a commercial compost facility to be turned into landscape material. More information about what and how to compost is available on SWALCO's Compost webpage. To sign up for the combined Compost/Yard Waste Subscription collection from Waste Management, follow the directions in your most recent Waste Management invoice/mailer – or call 847-623-3870. To learn more about composting and other earth-friendly ideas, visit the Go Green Vernon Hills - Lincolnshire Facebook page and the Village Go Green webpage.


Looking Ahead...
Earth Day is April 22 
Learn more at



Meeting Schedule
   Wednesday, April 7* 
   Tuesday, April 20
   Tuesday, May 4

  • 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. 
  • *The first April meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 7 to accommodate the Election
  • 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...

Budget Discussions: As noted in the initial news article at the top of this eNews, March Board Meetings have included discussion of the 2021-22 Budget. The Budget Public Hearing is planned for Wednesday, April 7 beginning at 6:55 p.m. prior to the Village Board Meeting. Review the Budget Draft or watch the meeting recordings for more information. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/2/21) (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Flag Bill: During the March 16 Board Meeting, Trustees approved a resolution supporting Illinois House Bill 3372 amending the Flag Display Act. Trustee Jim Schultz approached Representative Daniel Didech with his concern that flags have been held at half-staff since the beginning of the pandemic, which has not been the tradition. Groups including local VFW, Legion and other veteran's groups have also expressed support for this amendment. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Social Service Grants: During the March 16 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees gave preliminary approval to the list of local nonprofit groups who have been awarded a combined $40,000 in grants. Twelve applications were submitted and are generally the same as previous years, with one new applicant (Lake County Haven) and one applicant who did not apply (Libertyville Senior Issues). Social services agencies receiving Village support include A Safe Place/Lake County Crisis Center ($5500), Lake County Haven ($2000), Vernon Hills Park District Scholarships ($2500), Community Alliance Project ($1000), Serenity House of Libertyville ($2500), Youth & Family Counseling ($5000), PADS Emergency Shelter ($5000), University of Illinois Lake County Extension ($1000), Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana ($1000), Lake County Center for Independent Living ($2000), CASA/Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children ($7500), and Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County Foundation ($5000). The formal vote is scheduled for April 7. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Village Manager Selection: Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer updated the Board on the progress for selecting a new Village Manager. Search Firm GovHR received 76 applications, and will narrow the list down to 8 to 10 highly qualified candidates. A committee of staff supported by Trustee representatives will clarify criteria and review resumes to further reduce the pool. Interviews are expected to begin April 12. Thanks to Mr. Fleischhauer, former VHPD Police Chief, who came out of retirement to serve the Village with the understanding that at some point he could again resume a more leisurely pace. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Flock Camera Update: VHPD Chief Patrick Kreis offered Trustees an example of the value of the Village's license plate reader cameras/technology. One recent Friday evening, the system alerted VHPD to the arrival of a stolen car into the Village, and a subsequent alert that the car was moving on to a local jurisdiction. That jurisdiction was alerted, the car was located, and the driver arrested for several issues, including outstanding warrants and weapons charges. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

St. Baldrick's: Chief Kreis and Trustee Dr. David Oppenheim invite the community to take part in (or donate to) virtual St. Baldrick's events in support of childhood cancer initiatives. Chief Kreis, Communications Director Ed Manke and Dr. Oppenheim plan to shave their heads for this great cause. Thank you – and thanks to all who get clipped or donate to this important cause. More information appears in an article that follows. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Municipal Golf Course: As part of the Municipal Golf Course Budget Discussion, representatives reported that golf rounds were up significantly last year in Vernon Hills and across the nation. Muni general manager Jason Poblocki reported that improvements to online booking and communications systems continue. He is also looking to expand programs for families and young golfers. Trustees discussed adding a golf simulator that can be put in place in the clubhouse to expand the season year round, offering opportunities for lessons, indoor leagues and special events. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Garden Centers Return: A sure sign of spring, Lowes and Home Depot both received approval for their outdoor plant displays and expanded garden sales centers. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Mellody Farm Event: Representatives of Mellody Farm discussed their request for an outdoor special event "Hello Summer: A Taste of Mellody Farm" on Saturday, June 5. The outdoor event planned for noon to 2 p.m. will include DJ, deals, discounts and promotions. The event will be preceded by a gathering of Influencers. Watch for information on Given the still-evolving nature of the pandemic, Mellody Farm will bring their special event calendar to the Board on an event-by-event basis. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Cable TV Franchise Agreement: The Village has renegotiated the franchise agreement for cable television services with Comcast, which expires in July 2021. Trustees expressed approval for the agreement, which expands the opportunity for the Village's government access programming to HD format as well as to a second channel if appropriate in the future. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)

Thanks to Jon Petrillo – and Jim Schultz: Trustee Jim Schultz presented Assistant Village Manager Jon Petrillo with a plaque thanking him for his service on behalf of veterans and many others, particularly Wheeling AmVets Post 66. Both Jon and Jim have been involved in veteran's support for many years, with efforts including collecting coats, securing donations, and providing escorts for service people leaving for service or returning home from their tours of duty. Mr. Schultz is stepping away after serving as Village Trustee for 16 years, and is not seeking reelection. Thank you, both. See photo below. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 3/16/21)


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. They also compete in the Lake County Pageant. Applications must be submitted online by May 15, and are found the Vernon Hills Pageant website ( Participants and their guardians may also want to participate in an informational Zoom meeting, planned for April 11 at 4:30 p.m. The Pageant with appropriate social distancing is planned for June 12 at the Vernon Hills Sullivan Center. For more information, visit
Vaccination Information

Progress is being made and eligibility is being expanded, though vaccine availability remains an issue. If you have questions or need support, consider reaching out to your healthcare provider. In addition to the resources listed below, pharmacies are also receiving limited supplies of vaccine, with appointments made through each company's website. Employers and other local organizations may also offer vaccination opportunities.
211 Lake County Help Center
Call 211
Text your zip code to 898211

St. Baldrick's Fundraisers

During the month of March, many organizations are "Rocking the Bald" by collecting donations for the St. Baldrick's Foundation in their fight against kids' cancer. Hawthorn Mall is hosting a virtual Rock the Bald event – and organizations including the VHPD (see previous news item) and Hawthorn PTO are joining in (among many other organizations and businesses). Learn more about how going bald can help the childhood cancer effort, or keep your hair and give generously to our local participants or directly to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

"Often when you think
you're at the end of something,
you're at the beginning
of something else."

– Fred Rogers

Thanks for reading
The Village Voice

Suggestions? Questions? Need support?

Please reach out to

Copyright © 2021 Village of Vernon Hills, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp