The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
February 1, 2021
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Restaurant Support
  • Grants
  • Diversity Input
  • Senior Engagement
  • Sears Demo
  • Next Board Meeting
  • Elementary South
  • Tobacco Products
  • Police Reform Bill
  • Capital Improvements
  • South Lake Center
  • West End Lane
  • Grosse Pointe Work
  • Scams
  • Vaccinations
  • Preparedness
  • VH Guides
  • Community Voice
  • 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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Restaurant Support

In an effort to support local restaurants, the Village Board is considering waiving this year's business and liquor license fees, as well as six months of food and beverage tax, for approximately 38 qualifying organizations. The Board is expected to vote on the program during the February 2 Village Board Meeting. (Meeting log in instructions follow later in this eNews.)

As background, Staff developed qualification criteria in an effort to maximize support to smaller local organizations most impacted by the pandemic, particularly those that do not have the support available to larger chains and corporations. Village Staff anticipates this program will result in approximately $250,000 in relief. Once the program is finalized, businesses will be contacted directly. If you have questions, please contact Village Manager Mark Fleischhauer at or 847-918-3550. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/5/21)


Accepting Submissions for Social Service Grants

The Village of Vernon Hills invites local nonprofit organizations to submit applications for Village Social Service Grants for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year. Applications and information are available on the Village website, and should be returned via mail (Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive, Vernon Hills, IL  60061) or email ( by March 1.

Offer Input on Village's
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. Your input is encouraged with regard to the Village's commitment and efforts to ensure consistency and equity in the delivery of services and equal opportunity in the workplace. Please share your input and suggestions for improving policy or 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 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

Thank you to all who created and distributed these activity bags to local seniors (see web article). If you or someone you know would like to be part of the VH Senior Outreach Initiative, please reach out!

Senior Outreach Initiative

The Village of Vernon Hills along with local partners Charter Senior Living and the Victory Centre recently began collaborating with Meridian Health Care to create a new outreach initiative for our valued seniors.

The outreach initiative is in response to isolation due to COVID-19. As public health restrictions have prevented seniors from gathering, isolation has occurred.
In response, this collaborative outreach effort has been developed with the purpose of providing support and programming for seniors during this new era we are all experiencing. The effort aims to increase positive mental and physical well-being, while helping prevent feelings of isolation, disconnection, and depression. 

As part of the initiative, a community engagement specialist is helping create a range of programs and fun activities designed to increase socialization, encourage exercise, and foster engagement while maintaining health and safety guidelines set by the CDC and local health department. 


Please Reach Out...

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 Seniors Center webpage or by calling VH Seniors President David Beckman at 224-433-1539. If you would like to speak directly with the community engagement specialist to learn more about programs and resources, please contact Meridian Health Care Community Engagement Specialist Steve Rainsford at 224-585-9054 or Please watch for announcements of upcoming opportunities and resources.   

An end of an era – and a beginning of a new one... Exterior demolition has begun on the former Sears Auto Center, on the east side of Hawthorn Mall. Check out more information on Hawthorn Mall 2.0 on the Village website.


nMeeting Schedule
   Tuesday, February 2
   Tuesday, February 16
   Tuesday, March 2

  • Meeting Format: The February 2 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 2 meeting.
  • Public comment received prior to 6:45 p.m. on February 2 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 2 beginning at 7 p.m.


Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 999133

Or join by phone:

+1 312 626 6799  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 646 876 9923 
or +1 408 638 0968  or +1 669 900 6833

Webinar ID: 840 5903 0026
Passcode: 999133


Items of Note...

Hawthorn Elementary South Additions: During the January 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, representatives from Hawthorn District 73 presented concept plans for expanding Elementary South, 430 Aspen Drive. This project represents the third of five phases of the District's facilities master plan. As presented, the main Elementary South addition would be located on the hard surface play area on the north side of the building. The expansion would include art and music rooms, a gym, staff toilets, storage, a new secure visitor entry, and an outdoor learning courtyard. Parking will not be impacted, though traffic circulation will require further study. Trustees were favorable, moving the project on to staff technical review and Planning and Zoning Commission/public hearing. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/19/21

Flavored Tobacco Products: Trustees revisited a discussion on flavored tobacco products, which began with a December 8 presentation by the Lake County Health Department and Stevenson High School Catalyst Club. While Trustees called for a moratorium on any new businesses selling flavored vape or tobacco products, they tabled the discussion and took no other action, citing the need for more input from all impacted parties. Any further action will be preceded by a public hearing. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/5/21) (Vernon Hills Board Meeting - 12/8/20)

Concerns Regarding Omnibus Police Reform Bill: Police Chief Patrick L. Kreis shared concerns regarding the state's Police Reform Bill, which as of eNews distribution time awaits the Governor's approval. He noted that the Bill's verbiage was extensive (more than 700 pages), confusing, and sometimes contradictory. He noted that much of this Bill's language was first seen upon introduction, just days before passage, and lacked meaningful collaboration with law enforcement experts such as Chiefs, Sheriffs and State's Attorneys. Chief Kreis reported that law enforcement leaders continue to comb through the new Reform Bill to understand how it will impact processes and procedures. One major concern is the standards applied to the use of body worn cameras. Chief Kreis expressed that he would likely have to recall Vernon Hills' body cameras only six months after issuing them, as the bill would criminally punish (Class 3 Felony) any officer for violating even a department policy. He further explained some of the complexities regarding regulations on the use of body cameras and summarized by saying, "Such standard of attention is unreasonable and draconian. I cannot in good conscience put officers in such potential legal jeopardy." (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/19/21

Capital Improvement Plan Presentation: Public Works Director David Brown outlined a draft version of the Five Year Capital Improvement (CIP) Plan. Of particular note to local bikers and walkers, the plan includes a cooperative project with Lake County Department of Transportation as well as the Village of Mundelein to extend a pedestrian/bike path north along Butterfield Road to Gregg's Parkway. The Village is also looking to complete a path around Harvey Lake. Construction at Hawthorn Mall will include relocating roads and intersections, as well as creating sidewalks and paths. With the addition of pathways across the EJ&E Railroad near Cuneo Mansion, there will be a pedestrian/bike path running from Libertyville to Lincolnshire. The CIP serves as a portion of the Village budget, which will be discussed in sections in future meetings as well as during a Public Hearing, which is usually scheduled for sometime in April, to support the May 1 start of the next fiscal year. As with all Village budgeting and expenditures, the CIP will be monitored and adjusted as appropriate to respond to the pandemic and economy. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/5/21)

Expanded South Lake Industrial Center: Representatives of the new South Lake Industrial Center appeared during the January 5 Committee of the Whole Meeting to present concept plans for expanding their already-approved project on the former Darling Farm property. The developer has been working to secure additional property along Milwaukee Avenue, including the former Forge Club as well as other potential acquisitions. Trustees reviewed concept plans for an additional building that would lie along Milwaukee Avenue, east of the currently approved structures. Trustees were favorable, moving the expanded project to staff technical review. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/5/21)

West End Lane Parking Restrictions: In an effort to support safe travel, Trustees agreed with a Staff proposal to create a 70-foot no parking area on the east side of West End Lane, starting at the corner of Hawthorn Parkway. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 1/19/21

ComEd Work in Grosse Pointe: ComEd will replacing a faulty underground cable in the Grosse Pointe neighborhood. The cable replacement, which is expected to run from February 10 to 18, will be completed by directional boring, with "final landscaping (topsoil, seed and blanket) to follow within 3 weeks of completion of work weather permitting." The bulk of the work will be located in rear yards along Pontiac Lane and North Fiore Parkway.

Scam Alerts: The VHPD warns residents of an uptick in scams, especially those related to COVID vaccinations, unemployment benefits, pandemic relief and ID card changes. One new scam is delivered through text messages that attempt to learn a person's driver's license information, supposedly in order to process benefits or comply with new State ID/Real ID requirements. Do not provide any personal information to this or any other unsolicited inquiry – whether delivered via text, phone call, email or carrier pigeon.  Also, do not click on links – doing so may install malware on your computer or phone. Also, if you receive a debit card but you have not filed for unemployment benefits from IDES, do not activate the card and reach out to IDES for support. More information is outlined in the graphic that follows.
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 1A – which prioritizes healthcare workers and long-term care residents. It is anticipated that we will move to Phase 1B shortly, which expands the list to residents age 65 and older and frontline essential workers. 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 already been administering drive through vaccinations at the Lake County Fairgrounds for Phase 1A recipients, supply dependent.

Moving forward, it is anticipated that vaccinations will also be available through your physician's office, some local pharmacies (potentially including Walgreens, CVS, Jewel-Osco, Marianos, Walmart and Sam's Club), as well as through some employers. 

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



Winter Preparedness

Check out the checklists provided by ComEd and IDOT to make sure you are prepared for stormy winter weather. We also remind residents of a few Village guidelines and resources:
  • Overnight parking is restricted on Village streets. For overnight street parking permission, please request through the VHPD Overnight Parking webpage. 
  • On-street parking is prohibited for 12 hours after a snow of two inches or more.
  • If you are traveling and would like to schedule a vacation house watch, please visit the VHPD Vacation Watches webpage.
  • Our plow crews do their best to keep our roads safe. That said, if you see a problem area or have a concern, please take a moment to leave a message with the Public Works Department (847-367-3726). 
  • While we are at it – thank you to everyone who works to keep our roads clear and safe! We appreciate you!

Support Vernon Hills!
Thank you to everyone who supports our local businesses. Check out the Shop Vernon Hills webpage for links to local restaurants and shops, or snap the QR codes for a list of options. Follow!


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 February 13 blood drive honoring Hawthorn Middle North Principal Robert Collins. Sign up on the Versiti website (search zip code 60061).To share your announcements, please send information and PDFs to

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine,
and the shadows will fall behind you."
– Walt Whitman

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