The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
October 29, 2020
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Change Clocks
  • Halloween
  • Voting
  • Board Meetings
  • TIF Hearing
  • Trustee Forster
  • Financials
  • Bus to SRACLC
  • Girl Scout Award
  • P&Z Meetings
  • No Legion Bingo
  • St. Mary's Rd Closed
  • Good News
  • Coat Drive
  • D128 Foundation
  • Reach Out

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Time Change – Fall Back!

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday morning, November 1 at 2 a.m. Don't forget to "Fall Back" – move your clocks back one hour and enjoy the extra time! While you are at it, make sure to change your smoke detector batteries around the house. For more information, check out what Countryside Fire's Tony Rodkey has to say.

Village Halloween

Saturday, October 31  •  2 to 6 p.m.


Recommended Trick or Treat hours in the Village of Vernon Hills have been designated as 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 31. If you want to participate, either as a giver or a receiver, please wear a face covering – and those handing out candy should also wear gloves. Per public health recommendations, treat givers might consider setting up a table outside with easily accessible pre-packed, individually wrapped items that children can grab and go while maintaining social distance. More guidelines have been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The Vernon Hills Police Department has also created a list of safety tips.

Homeowners may also consider displaying signs to help young people determine if you are participating in the Trick or Treat tradition. Click and print from the links below – or visit Village Hall during regular hours to pick up signs. Best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy Halloween!



Vernon Hills Park District Presents...

Trunk or Treat
Saturday, October 31 • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Family Aquatic Center Parking Lot

The Vernon Hills Park District is offering a new way to Trick or Treat with "Trunk or Treat." Drive through the lot in your costumes in this alternative trick or treat event. Local organizations will hand out candy as you drive through – no need for you or your kids to exit your car. Feel free to decorate your vehicle as well! The Park District will also be taking donations for the Vernon Township Food Pantry. Masks will be worn by all staff and local businesses. Free event! More info is posted at


Visit for this ABC list of Safety Tips


November 3 Election

• Registering
• Early Voting
• Mail-In Voting
• Election Day Polling Places

In light of the Pandemic, the Lake County Clerk's Office encourages residents to consider voting before the November 3 Election. Refer to the many Lake County resources available to help you cast your ballot.

Voter Power for Registered Voters
The Lake County Voter Power webpage is a one-stop resource for registered voters. Through this website you may request an early voting ballot, track your ballot, access your sample ballot, identify your in-person early voting site, identify your Election Day voting site and more. You may also track your mail-in voting ballot by calling the Lake County Clerk's Office at 847-377-2406 (847-377-VOTE).

Voter Registration 
If you have not yet registered to vote (or if you have moved or changed your name), visit the County's Voter Registration webpage for required documents and options, including online registration. "Grace Registration" is also available to accommodate registrations up to and on Election Day.

How to Cast Your Vote
Lake County outlines the following Voting Options, which include Voting by Mail (or secure drop box, see below), in-person Early Voting, or in-person Election Day Voting.

Vote-by-Mail Ballot Drop Boxes 
To support the "mail in" voting effort, Lake County has set up secure postage-free ballot boxes in several locations around the county – please refer to the full list of Lake County Ballot Drop Box Locations, including one at 24647 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. "Mail In" Ballots may also be returned to the Lake County Clerk through the Post Office. 
The Lake County Clerk reminds people who are Voting-by-Mail that you must sign your mail-in ballot

In-Person Early Voting Locations
You may cast in-person ballots at several Early Voting sites around the county – including at William E. Peterson Park, 16652 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Prairie View. Early voting is available as late as November 2 in select locations – check the schedule below. In general, hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Review the full list of Lake County Early Voting Sites  and schedules for the November 3 election.

Election Day Voting
On Tuesday, November 3, voters must visit the polling place assigned to their residential address. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. For Vernon Hills residents, Election Day Voting is held at one of four locations – Christ Lutheran Church & PreSchool, Park District Sullivan Community Center, White Deer Run Golf Club or Vernon Hills Village Hall. Check your Voter Power profile to determine which location you are required to visit to cast your in-person ballot for Election Day voting.

For more information, visit the Lake County Clerk's webpages.

Thank You
Thank you to everyone who ensures that casting our ballot is an easy process. Hundreds of folks sign up to assist in the election, putting in long, busy days. Thank you!
New Trustee Nancy Forster (center) is sworn in by Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer as her family looks on. Thank you, Nancy.


Meeting Schedule:
   Wednesday, November 4* 
   Tuesday, November 17
   Tuesday, December 8**

  • In-person meetings have resumed at Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive, beginning at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Note that masks, social distancing, capacity restrictions and other measures will be in place to support a safe environment. 
  • *The November 4 meeting has been moved to Wednesday due to the election.
  • **There is only one meeting planned for December.
  • 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


Actions of Note...

Hawthorn Mall TIF Public Hearing: A public hearing was held on October 6 to provide information and receive input from the public regarding a proposed Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District to support the redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall. The meeting included a brief overview of the Hawthorn TIF plan and eligibility by Robert Rychlicki of Kane McKenna and Associates, Inc., as well as a report from the Joint Review Board meetings. Public comment began with statements from Hawthorn District 73 Board Vice President Wes Polen and Hawthorn Superintendent Dr. Peter Hannigan, who both expressed support for using the TIF as a tool to support redevelopment of the mall. The Village Board is expected to vote on the creation of the TIF during their November 4 Board Meeting. Additional information is posted on the Village's Hawthorn 2.0 webpages. (A recording of the Public Hearing is posted on the Village YouTube channel – Public Hearing Relative to the Proposed Hawthorn Mall Tax Increment Financing District - 10/6/20)

New Trustee Forster: New Trustee Nancy Forster was sworn in during the October 6 Village Board Meeting. She was appointed to fill the spot created when Kari Brown moved out of the Village. Per statute, the Village President with the agreement of Trustees must fill all vacancies within 60 days. This position will be up for election on April 6. Thank you to Nancy for stepping forward on behalf of the community, and to all who offered to serve. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/6/20)

Village Halloween Plan: Trustees and staff discussed a variety of public health guidelines that have been presented to encourage safe celebration of Halloween. Trustees set Saturday, October 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. as official trick-or-treat hours for the Village. More information is outlined above  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/6/20)

Advanced Disposal Rates: As reported in the last Village Voice, due to an oversight on the part of Advanced Disposal, the rate increase that was supposed to go into effect on December 1, 2019 was not implemented. Advanced Disposal has agreed to NOT backtrack to collect the 2019 rate increase from residents. The 2019 rate increase will be implemented for only October and November. Beginning December 1, 2020, new rates as agreed to under our five-year agreement schedule will take effect. More information is available on the Village website(Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/6/20)

Financial Report: Village CFO Kyle Cratty reported that the Finance Department's "Corona Virus Financial Model" created in April has stood up to the realities of the Pandemic. Not only have expenses been cut and projects deferred, but also local businesses have been extremely resilient and creative. Of course, the Village will need to continue to be vigilant as the model will need to be extended beyond what was originally envisioned last spring. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/6/20)

Senior Bus Donated to SRACLC: Trustees revisited their discussion about declaring the former Senior Shuttle Bus as surplus, and providing it to a worthy local non-profit organization. Staff recommended, and Trustees agreed, that the Vernon Hills-based Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County (SRACLC) will receive the bus. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/6/20)

Village Health Insurance: HR Specialist Kristen Svendsen provided options for staff health insurance coverages. Blue Cross Blue Shield was able to provide a reduction in cost for the coming plan year. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/6/20)

Girl Scout Award: Trustees honored local Girl Scout Emily Jones for leading the effort to create a rain garden at the Vernon Hills Memorial Arbortheater. Emily's work earned her the Gold Award, the highest accomplishment for a Girl Scout. Thank you to Emily, her team of volunteers, and Public Works Engineering Landscape Technician Josh Hansen for this project. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/20/20)

Apartment Proposal for former AMC: The Vernon Hills Planning & Zoning Commission heard from representatives of Greystar Development about their proposal to build apartment homes for age 55 and over at 555 Lakeview Parkway – the site of the former AMC Classic Theater. Commissioners reviewed, requested adjustments, and generally recommended the project. (Vernon Hills Planning & Zoning Meeting - 10/21/20)

New Free-Standing Store: The Vernon Hills Planning & Zoning Commission reviewed plans for changes in zoning and site plans presented by Centennial Real Estate with regard to a 4000 square foot free-standing building on an outlot near the current Uncle Julio's restaurant. The building is anticipated to house a Sleep Number store, which is currently located within the Mall. The Commission gave a general recommendation that the project move forward with adjustments. The project now comes back to the Village Board. (Vernon Hills Planning & Zoning Meeting - 10/21/20)

Legion Bingo on Hold: Due to the Pandemic, American Legion Bingo Night at the Vernon Hills Golf Course is cancelled through the fall. Post 1247 is hopeful games might resume in January. 

St. Mary's Road Closure: Looking ahead, CN Railway will close St. Mary's Road for rail crossing repairs, which are currently planned for all day Saturday, November 21. Watch for updates.

Outdoor Restroom Closure: People using our local parks and green spaces should take note that the Park District anticipates closing outdoor restrooms beginning November 2.


Trustee Thom Koch and the Village Board honored Girl Scout Emily Jones for earning the Gold Award, thanks to her work creating a rain garden at the Vernon Hills Arbortheater. She is shown with Trustee Koch, her mother Holly, and Public Works Director David Brown. Congratulations!
Artist's rendering of re-imagined Hawthorn Mall
Good News
  • Best Schools: According to Niche, Stevenson High School was named the #1 school district in the nation, and Community High School District 128 (Vernon Hills High School and Libertyville High School) was named #3 in the nation. We are fortunate that all of our schools in the area are tremendous. Thank you, teachers and staff!
  • Strong Communities: Village President Roger Byrne recently addressed the members of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce, sharing information about the strength of the business community, even during these difficult times. Watch the GLMV Town Hall Legislative Update (10/21/2020) and all of the community updates, including the Vernon Hills segment that appears at the 38 minute mark.
  • Resilient Businesses: Our local corporate, restaurant and retail communities are creatively and proactively adjusting to provide safe environments. Thank you for continuing to support them. Congratulations to Mellody Farm for reaching 100 percent occupancy for their retail and restaurant spaces!
  • Thank you, Dr. Prentiss Lea: Dr. Lea has served as superintendent for Community High School District 128 for a dozen years. He has announced his retirement at the end of the school year. Thank you for your leadership! 
  • Engaged Partners and Leaders: Organizations in our Village and beyond work collaboratively on our behalf. Leaders recently hosted newly appointed State Senator Adriane Johnson. Pictured below are Hawthorn District 73 Superintendent Dr. Pete Hannigan, Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer, State Senator Johnson, and Park District Executive Director Jeff Fougerousse.

Donate Your Winter Gear!

GLMV Coats-and-More Drive

The GLMV Chamber of Commerce Community is gathering new and gently used outerwear – coats, gloves, jackets, hats, etc. for all ages. Items will be distributed to veterans and family members of former and currently deployed military personnel supported by the Midwest Veterans Closet ( Drop boxes are located at Village Hall, the Municipal Golf Course, the Park District Sullivan Center, DreamMaker Kitchen and Bath, Integral Medical & Rehab and other locations around Vernon Hills and the wider GLMV Chamber Area. While this collection ends November 16, the needs of the Midwest Veterans Closet go on all year as the organization works to support veterans and their families. Thank you for your generosity!

Watch a message from Founder Mary Carmody as she receives items gathered in Vernon Hills. By the way, the Midwest Veteran's Closet has been celebrating WWII vet and Midwest Veteran's Closet supporter Lorraine Knuth's 100th birthday with a card and donation drive. The celebration will culminate with a groundbreaking ceremony for the organization's future home at 1720 Green Bay Road, North Chicago. The celebration is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, with Governor Pritzker expected to be on hand. More information is available at



"Adopt the pace of nature: 
her secret is patience."

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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