LAKE FOREST — Former Historic Preservation Commission Chair Jim Preschlack earned the backing of the Lake Forest Caucus to represent the city’s Third Ward November 7 at the organization’s 83rd annual meeting at the Gorton Community Center.
The Caucus also endorsed current aldermen Prue Beidler (First Ward), Tim Newman (Second Ward) and Michelle Moreno (Fourth Ward) for re-election in the March 20 election.
Though the March 20 contest is a primary election for federal, state and other local candidates seeking a party nomination for the November election, it serves as the general election for the City Council and precinct committeemen.
Anyone else who wishes to run for the council can collect the requisite number of signatures on nominating petitions and file them between November 27 and December 4 at City Hall in Lake Forest.
Should Preschlack win in March, he will replace Alderman Stanford Tack. Tack, who is finishing his third two-year term, cannot run again because of term limits. Beidler and Moreno are running for their third term and Newman his second.
Preschlack got his introduction to citywide service when he served on Lake Forest’s Historic Preservation Commission from 2010 to 2016, chairing it his last year. When he was first asked to serve he was reluctant because he did not have an architectural background. He had a different outlook when his term ended.
“It gave me a deep appreciation for the city and the people (like city staff) who do all the work to make it what it is,” said Preschlack during his presentation to the more than 100 people in the crowd.
Along with his time on the commission, Preschlack spent three years on the Caucus Committee representing the First Ward. He has since moved to the third. He is also part of the Vestry of The Church of the Holy Spirit.
When he is not serving Lake Forest, Preschlack is a co-founder of InFlow Partners, an incubator that helps new businesses develop and grow. He said he will bring that experience to the council.
“I’m very data driven,” said Preschlack. “I rely on the facts.”
Beidler, Newman and Moreno also spoke to the audience members, who cast ballots giving them a yes, no or abstention. Moreno said the most important issue to her is preserving the quality of life in the community.
“I believe very, very much in sustainability,” said Moreno. “If I have an issue that’s it. I want us to be here forever.”
Newman emphasized government in Lake Forest is about volunteerism, not politics. All commission, board and council members are unpaid. He also gave credit to the city’s staff.
“They are the ones who pull us through,” said Newman.
While introducing Newman, Mayor Rob Lansing said Newman’s financial acumen has been a major asset as the city tries to tackle some of the financial issues imposed on the city by Springfield.
Beidler urged people in the crowd to get involved with city government sitting on a commission and eventually running for office. She spoke directly to the women in the room.
“I’ve had the dream opportunity to be a woman in government and I love it,” said Beidler. “We’re not done. We need more women to volunteer for our boards and commissions and possibly run yourself.”
Though Beidler said one of the most important parts of the aldermanic job is listening to people and helping solve their problems, she offered some advice for those writing to her and her colleagues.
“Telling me I’m stupid is not effective,” said Beidler. “Say let me tell you my point of view.”