The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
May 22, 2020
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Memorial Day
  • Restore Illinois
  • Essential Errands
  • Board Actions
  • Congratulations, Graduates
  • Social Service Grants
  • Land Use Plan
  • Stormwater Report
  • Hawthorn Middle North Construction
  • Property Tax Payments
  • Hawthorn Mall Work
  • Road Rehab
  • Meetings/Input
  • Good News
  • Jesse's Scholars
  • GLMV Heroes
  • Thank Yous
  • Metra Day Passes
  • Get Hired Website
  • Hit the Trails
  • VH Businesses
  • Mall Pick Up Service
  • Pageant is On
  • 211 Lake County

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The Village Voice eNewsletter is provided as a service of the Village of Vernon Hills. This eNewsletter is distributed once or twice each month, or as information dictates. You may manage your subscription at the bottom of the page. Please direct your comments to

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Inscription at Vernon Hills Memorial Arbortheater

Memorial Day 2020
Honoring Those Who Died in Service to Our Country

Though we may not be able to gather, we as a community join in honoring those who died while serving our nation. To honor these fallen heroes, Lake County has developed a Memorial Day 2020 Honor Post webpage. Over the coming days, we will also share messages from our local veterans. Please watch the Village Facebook page for those remembrances.

We also share a look back at Memorial Day 1996, which marked the dedication of the Vernon Hills Memorial Arbortheater. Thank you to Craig Warner for providing the home video, which was taken by the family of keynote speaker Bill Hewicker, a volunteer pilot of the first B-17 Flying Fortress bomber sent to rescue the crew of the USS Indanapolis. The video opens with a fly over by Libertyville resident Steve Bolander, and includes music by the Stevenson High School Band (Vernon Hills High School did not open until 1999). Thank you to residents Craig Warner, John Taylor, Gary Garland and many others who worked to create a permanent memorial here in Vernon Hills.

As local statesman Adlai Stevenson is often quoted as saying, "Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." On Memorial Day, we honor those who gave their entire lifetime in service to our country.


Restore Illinois 

As most of you are aware, Illinois is currently in "Phase 2 - Flattening" on the state-wide Restore Illinois plan. As outlined, the earliest any region in the state could enter Phase 3 will be May 29. While metrics appear to indicate the possibility of our Region moving to "Phase 3 – Recovery," we won't know for sure until we get there. (That said, more information and new guidelines are being drafted every day, and we encourage residents to continue to watch for updates through the Coronavirus.Illinois.Gov website and other reputable sources.)

The Village continues to follow the mandates of the Stay at Home Executive Order and Restore Illinois plan, and encourages residents and business partners to continue to do so as well.

Please note that while the Village of Vernon Hills is anxious to open the community and get back to business at some level of "new normal," the Village does not have the authority to override the Governor’s Executive Order. For those who have asked the Village to be more aggressive in reopening, there are risks in defying the Governor’s orders, as those orders are presumptively valid and carry the rule of law unless they are overturned by a court of law. Just as individual businesses run risks if they choose to violate mandates, so does the Village as we work to avoid lawsuits, receive funding, acquire insurance coverage, preserve strong bond ratings, and generally provide sound fiscal management for our community. 

The Village realizes that COVID-19 and these mandates are not easy for many businesses and individuals. We encourage everyone to support our local businesses and franchisees by picking up a curb-side meal, inquiring about a purchase, ordering a gift certificate – any level of support helps. We also encourage people who have a need to reach out. Resources are posted on the Village website as well as on 211LakeCounty.

Thank you for continuing to look out for yourselves, your families and each other. We applaud residents for their continued efforts to maintain social distance, wear face coverings while in public, wash hands, and stay home when ill. These most basic actions are powerful and important, regardless of which Phase we find ourselves.

Step by step and working in collaboration, we will all get through to a new normal.

Hawthorn Middle School North: Trustees and Planning & Zoning Commissioners approved site plans, landscape plans and architectural plans for three additions to Hawthorn Middle School North, 201 Hawthorn Parkway. Renderings of the Gym/Music Addition appear above.

Village Board Actions

Here is an overview of some of the items discussed at the last Village Board Meeting, held via Zoom conference on May 19. View the meeting recording at Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 5/19/20. View previous meetings on the Village YouTube page.

Congratulation, Class of 2020: Village Trustees honored the Class of 2020 with a proclamation. Best wishes to graduates of Vernon Hills High School, Libertyville High School, Mundelein High School, Stevenson High School, Carmel Catholic High School, and all of the other high schools, middle schools, colleges and trade schools that serve our community so well. We know this isn't what you envisioned, but please know we are proud of each of you. Congratulations and best wishes. (Congratulations 2020 Graduates)

Social Service Grants: Each year, the Village budgets funds to support local nonprofit organizations, who apply for grants each spring. During the May 19 meeting, Trustees approved $37,000 in social service grants, awarded to A Safe Place ($5500), Community Alliance Project ($1000), Serenity House Libertyville ($2500), Youth & Family Counseling ($5000), PADS Crisis Services ($5000), University of Illinois Lake County Extension ($500), Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago/NW Indiana VH Regional Service Center ($1000), Lake County Center for Independent Living ($2000), CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children ($7500), Vernon Hills Park District ($2500), and Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County Foundation ($4500).

Comprehensive Land Use Plan Amendments: Trustees passed Ordinance 2020-074, amending the Village Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The amended plan was created with the support of Rolf C. Campbell & Associates, and was also approved by the Village Planning & Zoning Commission during a public hearing on May 13. Changes to the plan are in response to the impact of e-commerce on traditional retail establishments. It also moves the village away from single-use zoning and allows the Village to consider mixed-use developments that include a residential component. Specifically, such changes would support the proposed redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall to create a mixed-use development similar to Mellody Farm. The full Comprehensive Land Use Plan 2012 will now be updated to include the new map, which appears below.

Stormwater Report: Public Works Director Dave Brown noted that May is once again a record breaker – topping the previous two years, which had also set records for rainfall totals. Mr. Brown reported that stormwater management features worked as designed, with little to no property damage reported. Residents are reminded that during extreme rains, it is appropriate for excess stormwater to divert into roads, parks and open spaces. The Seavey Ditch, which provides the main waterway through town, performed admirably. It is expected that work completed by Libertyville, and planned by Mundelein, will also help keep the Seavey Ditch in good shape for years to come by reducing sediment load and maintaining capacity.

Hawthorn Middle School North Construction: Trustees concurred with the Planning & Zoning Commission to approve a series of requests by Hawthorn District 73 to facilitate the construction of three additions totaling 21,885 square feet. New space will accommodate additional classrooms, a gym and a music room. Trustees approved a revision to the Special Use Permit, as well as site, landscape and architectural approvals. With the cancellation of in-person classes, Hawthorn is able to begin construction earlier than anticipated. 

Property Tax Payments: Lake County has announced that due to the hardship caused by the pandemic, 2019 property tax bills may be divided into four payments. Normally due June 8 and September 8, this year property tax payers may divide their payments into four equal payments due June 9, August 7, September 8 and November 9. More information is available from the Lake County Treasurer's Office website. Remember that the Village does not collect any property tax from businesses or residents.

Watch for Demolition at Hawthorn Mall: Hawthorn Mall redevelopment continues with owner Centennial Real Estate moving quickly to take advantage of the construction season. While it was reported a few weeks ago that demolition would begin with the former Carson's building, it is possible that Mall owners will shift efforts to begin demolition at Sears. At any rate, watch for construction fence and activity at the Mall, on Ring Road, and along Milwaukee Avenue, where construction is planned for three outlot buildings. As a reminder, no TIF or development agreements have been put into place. The TIF process will include discussions involving all impacted taxing bodies as well as a Public Hearing, which is tentatively expected to take place sometime this summer.

Check Road Rehab Progress: Reminder to neighbors in Hawthorn Club, Sugar Creek, Olde Grove Farm and along Westmoreland Drive – you may view updates on the status of the road project in your area by visiting the Annual Road Rehabilitation webpage. Public Works Crew Leader Steven Maslov ( reports that paving is complete in the Sugar Creek Subdivision, and by next week, weather permitting, the paving portion of this project should be complete. Residents are asked to move vehicles off the streets by 7 a.m. to allow for more efficient efforts. Thank you for your patience and support.

The Village has updated the Comprehensive Land Use Plan map, which moves away from single-use zoning and incorporates additional mixed-use areas. For information, contact Community Development Director Mike Atkinson at


Village Meets Via Teleconference

Residents are reminded that to support social distancing and public health mandates, Village meetings have moved to virtual Zoom teleconferences. Instructions for logging into each meeting are provided with each agenda, which is posted on the Village Agenda Center webpage prior to each meeting. Residents wishing to provide public comment are asked to send an email to by 6:45 p.m. on the evening of the meeting to be included in that meeting's public comment time.

The Village will continue to follow this format until mandates and best practices determine it is appropriate to return to traditional gatherings at Village Hall. Upcoming Village Board Meetings are planned for June 2, June 16 and July 7. 

Good News Views, clockwise from top: Jesse Goldsmith Scholarship winners; Charter Senior Living blood drive; Masks donated by Threads of Hope; Aarth Bhatt's donations to Vernon Township Pantry; and GLMV businesses donate meals to Advocate Condell Healthcare Heroes.


Here are a few noteworthy items from around the community. Have a Good News story to share? An opportunity to highlight? Send your information to Thank you all for all you do!
Jesse Goldsmith Scholarships
Congratulations to the 2020 recipients of the Jesse Goldsmith Scholarships, presented by the Vernon Hills Police Department. Due to health mandates, this year's students were presented with the scholarship awards at their homes. Congratulations to scholarship recipients Riya Rathod, Weiyao Zhao, Rebecca Kessler and Caroline Sear. (2020 Jesse Goldsmith Scholarship Fund Recipients video)

GLMV Chamber Healthcare Heroes Fund
Thanks to the many businesses who continue to give to others during this difficult time. In this spirit, the GLMV Chamber of Commerce and its members continue to support front line healthcare heroes and first responders by providing meals. To donate toward this effort, visit the GLMV Helping Healthcare Heroes GoFundMe page. 

Thank You for Meals, Supplies, Support
Our neighbors and business community continue to reach out with great generosity to healthcare workers, VHPD, firefighters and other first responders. Thank you to so many individuals and businesses who have donated meals. At the risk of missing many, we thank McAlister's Deli, City BBQ, Jameson's Charhouse, Lazy Dog Restaurant, Lolo's Bowls, Roti Modern Mediterranean, Halsted Street Deli, Shaker Management/Vernon Hills Town Center, Bo-Bo's Gyros, Max's Dawg House, McMahon Services, Real Urban Barbecue, Crepes a Latte, Lake County Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Taquerie Toluca, Portillo's, Stand Strong Coalition, Joanie's Pizzeria, and so many more for keeping tummies full and spirits warm. Thank you to Axon Enterprise, Brookdale Hawthorn Lakes Independent Living, Chinese American Civic Action Alliance, CIDEAS Inc., Dimension Design, Carolyn Gordon, North Shore Distillery, 28 Mile Vodka, Willow Southlake Church, Windy City Novelties and many more for donating masks and supplies to VHPD, particularly early in the Pandemic, when securing supplies was a challenge. The list is much longer than this, but you get the idea – our community is filled with truly generous and caring folks. Thank you.

Blood Drives Saving Lives
Kudos to many organizations who have held blood drives – and more are being planned. Thank you to Charter Senior Living, Dream Makers Bath & Kitchens, and Sports Clips for hosting Red Cross blood drives. Thank you, also, to everyone who turned out for the recent Lion's Club Blood Drive at the Park District Sullivan Center – every reservation was filled!

Well Done, Aarth
Eight year old Aarth Bhatt wanted to do something special for his birthday. After a little thinking, he chose to donate items to the Vernon Township Food Pantry. The Vernon Hills Police Department decided to join him and donate items collected from VHPD employees to help support his awesome birthday wish. Thank you, Aarth, for the great idea. FYI, the Vernon Township Food Pantry's greatest needs right now are shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, brown paper grocery bags, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and napkins. If you can help, please contact Vernon Township.

Thanks, Threads of Hope
High School student Amrita Johar has been supporting VHPD and many others by making beautiful cloth face masks. Amrita used her birthday money to purchase materials, and she joined with her friend Manjula Jain to make protective wear for neighbors and others, including our community's first responders. Amrita and Manjula call their work Threads of Hope – and they truly give us hope. Thank you!

MTC Helps Families in Need
Do you know a family who could use some assistance during these challenging times? Mobile Therapy Centers (MTC) would like to help. Each week through the end of May, three families will be chosen at random to receive $125 in pre-selected grocery staples delivered to their door. Visit the MTC website at to nominate and help a family impacted by this crisis. Located in Libertyville, MTC is a GLMV Chamber of Commerce member and supporter of our wider community.

Metra Offers $10 All-Day Pass
Starting June 1, Metra will offer $10 All-Day Passes good for unlimited rides on any Metra trains all day until 3 a.m. the following morning. Metra encourages customers to purchase using the Ventra app for a "Touch Less, Pay Less" option. Metra continues to offer free rides to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other personnel on the front lines of the pandemic for the duration of the Stay at Home Orders. Finally, Metra reminds riders to wear face masks and maintain social distance as best you can while on the trains and in the stations. More information is posted at

Illinois Launches "Get Hired" Website
Illinois is launching a website designed to link people with available jobs. The site is also expected to begin offering online training through Coursera as soon as early June. Visit for information.

Hit the Trails
So many people are getting out and about to enjoy the beauty of our community. Our Vernon Hills Park District offers acres of green space and walking paths – check their list of parks at to see if you have visited all of them. In addition to enjoying our miles of beautiful Park District walking paths, you might consider venturing a bit farther – including along the Des Plaines River Trail or along the many bike trails in Lake County (see the Bike Lake County map or the Lake County Bikeways webpage for inspiration). By the way, the new Park District Skate Park is open with restrictions to support health mandates. Visit the Skate Park reservation webpage to reserve your free hour-long time slot.

Muni Golf Course Earns Top Ten Ranking 
Congratulations to the Vernon Hills Municipal Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive, for their recent Top Ten honor from The Chicago Golf Report. The Muni 9-hole Course ranked sixth (out of 38 entries) for the entire Chicagoland area. Reserve a tee time, take a lesson, have some fun! Visit for information.

Please Support VH Restaurants and Retailers
Hungry? Many of Vernon Hills' restaurants are open for curb-side pick up or delivery. And many of our retailers are reopening with similar order-ahead-for-pickup processes. Rather than going to your favorite online store, please consider checking to see if a local business is available to serve you. And when it's time to eat, check the alphabetical list of Vernon Hills restaurants for ideas – and touch base with each as schedules and menus change. Thank you for supporting our friends and neighbors who make up the Vernon Hills business community!

Hawthorn Mall Offers "Retail to Go" Pick Up
Hawthorn Mall has unveiled a new way to shop. "Retail to Go" is an easy way to access Mall businesses without getting out of your car. Call participating restaurants and retailers to place your order, then a Mall "runner" will bring your items to one of the designated "Retail to Go" pick up spots located around the Mall. Give it a try! Here are a list of the current participants:
  • Hawthorn Mall Restaurants:
  • Charley's Philly Steaks - 708-205-9119
  • Chef Yan Can - 847-281-7598
  • Cinnabon - 847-247-4417
  • The Claim Company - 847-247-1973     
  • Gloria Jeans - 847-680-2912 and/or 626-589-2226
  • Maggiano's - 847-918-0380
  • Hawthorn Mall Stores:
  • Macy's - 847-918-2700 Ext. 7557, Ext. 7558
  • Pandora - 847-816-3102 ext 3
  • PGA Tour Superstore - 847-932-1300 
  • The Painted Penguin - 847-764-0891

Be a Part of the Vernon Hills Pageant!

2020 Pageant Moved to August 15
Applications now due July 15
Learn more at


211 Lake County

Get Help – and Give Help!

The Lake County 211 Resource Center has support and information on a variety of topics
. The site also offers opportunities for people who want to volunteer. Visit – or call or text to 211.


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The Village Voice

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