Four vying for Lake Bluff trustee seats
Resident: Since 1994.
Occupation: CEO of RevZero, Inc., Minnesota medical device company he co-founded.
Volunteer work: Lions Club, Lake Forest Open Lands, Lake Bluff History Museum.
Civic involvement: District 65 School Board and President.
Resident: Since 1995.
Occupation: Semi-retired; manages and invests in commercial real estate; owns and operates a chain of health clubs in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Volunteer work: Local youth Scouting organizations.
Civic involvement: Village Trustee since 2009; Village Clerk, 2007-09.
Resident: Since 2005.
Occupation: Attorney and partner at Schiff Hardin LLP.
Volunteer work: Chicago Public Schools Student Science Fair, Inc., former board member and past president; Cook County Court Watchers, former board member.
Civic involvement: Village clerk, 2011-13.
Resident: Since 2001.
Occupation: President, AIM Group Construction Management.
Volunteer work: Local schools, church and Lake Bluff Fire Department.
Civic involvement: First time running for elected office.
Updated: February 22, 2013 9:28AM
LAKE BLUFF — Lake Bluff voters will elect three village trustees from four candidates on April 9.
The Lake Bluff Caucus-slated candidates are Eric Grenier, incumbent John Josephitis and Bill Meyer. Greg Tchamitchian, who did not seek caucus endorsement, also is running.
Q. What are your thoughts about a Target store in Lake Bluff?
Grenier: Any increase in retail is important. I have concerns about how Target will fit and how it might change the landscape in Lake Bluff. I would want to look at this very carefully.
Josephitis: Financially, it makes sense to move forward to generate new sales tax revenue we need. On the other hand, a lot of residents are concerned about additional traffic and whether or not it fits with the character of Lake Bluff. We need to get feedback from residents before making a decision.
Meyer: One of our primary concerns is planning for the future economic development, consistent, of course, with the nature of the village. We need something that’s going to help support the village.
Tchamitchian: In principal, I support replacing the existing car dealership, which has not been in business for a few years, with an income-producing retail business, such as Target. Naturally, this project should be designed to avoid negative impact on traffic and the environment.
Q. What would be the best outcome at the Stonebridge property?
Grenier: I would like to see Stonebridge developed, anything that we can do to spread the property tax burden across more people. My biggest concern is minimizing the impact on the homes in the area.
Josephitis: The sooner this property is developed, the better it will be for everyone involved. Development would help stabilize property values in that area.
Meyer: Stonebridge is going through the village’s approval process. When it’s presented to the Village Board, it will have been through a process where an awful lot of pretty smart people have taken a look at it. I encourage the community to come out to all of those meetings and let their voice be heard.
Tchamitchian: Having larger lots and reflecting the charm of the village of Lake Bluff, the Stonebridge property should be developed.
Q. What are three biggest issues the village faces?
Grenier: Lowering the tax rate by cutting expenses and broadening the tax base. We have to make sure we are keeping up with and investing in infrastructure, that includes the beach. Last, being attractive to businesses. We need to make it easier for businesses to move into Lake Bluff.
Josephitis: First, reducing our property tax bills. We have very high property tax bills compared to neighboring communities. Second, the long-term financial stability of the village. We’re dipping into our reserves. Third, the police pension fund needs to be addressed.
Meyer: First, promoting our economic base. It’s a challenge when you have a community that is the size of Lake Bluff to be able to continue the revenue stream needed to provide the level of service we need to provide. Second, volunteerism. We have a volunteer fire department and a village run largely by volunteers. Fostering that is important. Third, maintaining our character as a family-friendly place and help business that coming into Lake Bluff be successful.
Tchamitchian: Keeping the charm of the village, securing the necessary resources to increase and/or maintain all the services Lake Bluff offers and providing the necessary accommodations and amenities for a diverse population and encouraging a diverse economy.