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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

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Board of Commissioners

A 21-member elected Board of Commissioners governs your Lake County Forest Preserves. They guide the agency's mission and approve all land acquisitions, restoration and improvement projects, educational and cultural programs, the annual budget and other administrative actions. These same officials also serve as County Board members, overseeing all other aspects of Lake County government.

Integrity | Accountability

Each elected member of our Board is committed to being open, transparent and accountable for their actions as they govern and make decisions on behalf of their constituents and for the sustainability of the Lake County Forest Preserves. They lead with integrity and professionalism as public servants to you and the land. If you have any questions about actions or decisions made by Board members, or if you would like to invite a member to speak to your community group, school or other organization, please contact them directly.

View Meetings, Agendas and Minutes

Elected Officials | 2014–2016

President: Ann B. Maine, Lincolnshire (District 21)

Treasurer: S. Michael Rummel, Lake Forest (District 12)

Vice President: Linda Pedersen, Antioch (District 1)

Assistant Treasurer: Audrey Nixon, North Chicago (District 14)

Officers of the Board & Executive Office


Executive Director: Alex Ty Kovach
Deputy Treasurer: Steve Neaman
Secretary: Julie Gragnani
Assistant Secretary: Maureen Clausen

 

Committees

Each member of our Board serves on one or more standing committees, and may also be appointed by the president to special committees.  

Standing Committees

Education, Cultural Resources and Public Affairs
Responsible for the plans, policies, and operational procedures of the Environmental Education and Public Affairs Department and the Cultural Resources Department. Learn more »

Oversees a wide variety of Forest Preserve educational, historical and cultural services and public information efforts at preserves and other locations countywide. The committee provides direction for the following educational facilities: Lake County Discovery Museum, Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, Greenbelt Cultural Center, Bonner Farm, Independence Grove, and the Adlai E. Stevenson Historic Home.

Craig Taylor, Chair
Mary Ross Cunningham, Vice Chair
Chuck Bartels
Steve Carlson
Audrey Nixon
Brent Paxton
S. Michael Rummel
Nick Sauer
Jeff Werfel

Finance and Administrative
Supervises all financial and administrative affairs and policies, including all general regulations pertaining to the operation, maintenance, programming and promotion of all Forest Preserve properties. Learn more »

Oversees facilities, programs and services, including bond issues; applications for grants; preparation of budgets, appropriations and tax levies; wage and job classification policies, compensation and benefit program; collective bargaining; insurance; safety; user fees and concession arrangements; and all legislative and legal matters. The committee also reviews fundraising strategies. The committee may not commit funds or incur liabilities except as approved or authorized by the Board.

S. Michael Rummel, Chair
Linda Pedersen, Vice Chair
Steve Carlson
Bill Durkin
Sandra Hart
Aaron Lawlor
Audrey Nixon

Land Preservation and Acquisition
Studies and reviews potential land acquisition sites; and, where appropriate, obtains appraisals, surveys, title reports, and other acquisition information. Learn more »

Recommends acquisition of sites to the Board. Upon approval, proceeds to acquire the approved sites, including full authority to manage litigation, and present the final terms of acquisition for approval by the Board. Cannot initiate condemnation proceedings without receiving prior Board approval by a majority (12) of all of the members of the Board.

Carol Calabresa, Chair
Steven W. Mandel, Vice Chair
Bonnie Thomson Carter
Linda Pedersen
Tom Weber
Jeff Werfel
Terry Wilke

Planning and Restoration
Responsible for preparing lands and facilities for use by the general public. Prepares, reviews and implements plans and uses for land and facilities in the areas of construction, reconstruction, reconditioning, restoration and conservation, including annually updating the 5-year Capital Improvement Plan. Learn more »

The committee sends any plan or use that would (i) have a significant impact on Forest Preserve land or other plans or uses, or (ii) involve a new use of such land, to all standing committees so that they have an opportunity, within a 120-day time period, to review the potential impacts. If the committee votes to recommend the approval of such plan or use after review has been provided, the plan or use will be implemented only after it has been prioritized and funded as part of the annual budget policies review, budget ordinance, and appropriation ordinance process.

Bonnie Thomson Carter, Chair
Nick Sauer, Vice Chair
Carol Calabresa
Bill Durkin
Sandra Hart
Diane Hewitt
Sid Mathias
Craig Taylor
Tom Weber

Rules
Considers all proposed new rules and amendments to the Board’s Rules of Order and Operational Procedure, and makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for adoption.

Linda Pedersen, Chair
Bill Durkin, Vice Chair
Bonnie Thomson Carter
Diane Hewitt
Audrey Nixon
S. Michael Rummel
Jeff Werfel

Special Committees

Diversity and Cultural Awareness
Meets as needed to discuss topics related to diversity and cultural awareness.

Audrey Nixon, Chair
Jeff Werfel, Vice Chair
Mary Ross Cunningham
Sid Mathias
Brent Paxton
Terry Wilke

Ethics
Meets as needed to review the existing ordinance regulating ethical conduct and political activity by elected officials and employees, and recommends revisions to the Board of Commissioners.

Sandra Hart, Chair
Chuck Bartels, Vice Chair
Steve Mandel
Brent Paxton
Nick Sauer

Friends of Lake County Discovery Museum Board
Steve Carlson, Liaison

Brushwood Center Board
Ann B. Maine, Liaison
Aaron Lawlor, Liaison

Illinois Association of Park Districts
Sandra Hart, Liaison

Lake Michigan Watershed Ecosystem Partnership
Steve Mandel, Representative

Preservation Foundation of The Lake County Forest Preserves Board of Directors
Ann B. Maine
S. Michael Rummel

Voting Members of The Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves
Ann B. Maine
Carol Calabresa
Bonnie Thomson Carter
S. Michael Rummel
Craig Taylor
David F. Nelson, Ex-Officio

Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Board Liaison
Tom Weber

Legal Appointments

Corporate Counsel
Holland & Knight, LLP

Land Acquisition, Environmental Counsel
Holland & Knight, LLP

Legislative Services
Kolkmeier Legislative Consulting

Outside Ethics Advisor
Ron Mehling

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Congressman Robert Dold (R-Illinois, 10th District, Waukegan, Highland Park, Round Lake Beach) speaking on the floor of the United States House of Representatives on June 4, 2015, about our 100-year Vision for Lake County.


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