Pedestrian killed / Late votes boost D102 referendum / 'Synergy' driving Village planning efforts

 Crash kills pedestrian

An 81-year-old Buffalo Grove man was killed after being struck by a vehicle on Buffalo Grove Road north of Golfview Terrace. The man, Alex Gorn, was taken to Northwest Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.  No charges have been filed.


Other Community News

Provisional, late ballots give edge to D102 referendum

            Residents and officials in Aptakisic-Tripp School District 102 may be taking a cue from the late Yogi Berra when it comes to the $49-million referendum – It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.

            While critics and opponents of the referendum were cheering what they thought was a defeat on election day, April 4, the nine-vote margin that indicated a defeat of the measure did not include provision and late-arriving ballots. While results are still listed as unofficial at the Lake County Clerk’s website, the tide for the D102 referendum had changed by late afternoon on April 11. Results, still unofficial, indicated that the measure had received 792 yes votes and 734 no votes.

            The site also noted that there were 28,716 uncounted ballots.  However, the Lake County Clerk’s website noted that as of late Tuesday, April 11, of that 25,570 ballots were listed as sent, but not returned, leaving 214 provisional ballots and 2,933 ballots marked mailed and returned to be counted.

            A provisional ballot is one that can be subjected to eight different scenarios, found here, that keep the ballot from being counted on election day. According to the clerk, “All tallies from provisional and late-arriving ballots voted by mail are reported 14 days after Election Day when the election results become final. The official canvass of the results occurs the following day.”

New Park czar named

The Buffalo Grove Park Board of Commissioners has selected the District’s deputy director, Erika Strojinc, to be the next executive director of the Buffalo Grove Park District.

Strojinc first joined the District as the Clubhouse assistant director in December of 2005, and was promoted to recreation supervisor in May of 2008. She was promoted to superintendent of recreation in May of 2014, director of recreation and facilities in December of 2020, and deputy director in August of 2022.  

Strojinc holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her master’s degree in Public Administration with specialization in Strategic Public Management and Leadership from Northern Illinois University, where she graduated Phi Alpha. She will be the sixth executive director in the District’s history and the first woman to lead the organization.

Senior Expo April 18

The annual Buffalo Grove Senior Citizen Expo will take place from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 18 at the Buffalo Grove Park District Community Arts Center, 225 N. McHenry Road in Buffalo Grove.

This event, hosted by the Friends of the Parks Foundation and coordinated by the Buffalo Grove Park District, offers seniors to interact with over 50 vendors and service providers, enabling them to become familiar with the wide range of services available to them.

In addition to free samples and giveaways, there will also be raffle prizes, featuring a grand prize of a TV, donated by Mark Drug Medical Supply, and blood pressure screenings provided by the Buffalo Grove Fire Department.

The Buffalo Grove Senior Expo is sponsored by Athletico. For more information, contact Chuck Burgess at 847-850-2125 or

The heck with Waldo, where’s the Congressman?

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D10, IL) is hosting “Congress on Your Corner at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 15th in Vernon Hills. Well, somewhere in Vernon Hills.

Schneider’s office says he will discuss common-sense gun violence prevention, making health care more affordable, and Congress's work to support our families. Schneider will answer questions about all of that and more while providing an update on his work in Washington.

But where?

It’s not clear, not even the Shadow knows.  That’s because to find out the exact location, you need to RSVP here, at which time, notes Schneider’s office, the exact location provided upon RSVP.

There’s no explanation why the secrecy exists unless  there are concerns about mysterious flying balloons.

Aptakisic Road project delayed

            Despite what appears to be preliminary utility work, the widening of Aptakisic Road from Buffalo Grove Road to Ill. Rt. 83 has been delayed.

            The project, coordinated by the Lake County Department of Transportation, is on the schedule for 2023.  However, village officials have indicated to BGNI that Lake County has had some delays with property acquisition. The project, officials note, may be going to bid soon, and once awarded, the County will announce the schedule.

            Details about the project can be found using this link.

Symphony’s season starts May 13

The Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band kicks off its 2023 concert series on May 13 with a performance of 'Musical Mindscapes,' featuring works from 'Pictures at an Exhibition,' Suite Francaise, Danza Finale, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony and more. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will be at the Adlai Stevenson High School Performing Arts Center, 1 Stevenson Drive in Lincolnshire.

Tickets are $10.  Senior citizen and student tickets are $8.Tickets can be purchased at this site.

Program provides information for first responders

The Illinois Premise Alert Program allows individuals with special needs or disabilities or their guardians to provide important personal information to first responders to have on file in the event of an emergency.

This can help first responders know right away about any special precautions, medications or medical conditions when responding to a scene. Learn more and sign up using this link.

Food truck festival benefit May 13

            The Buffalo Grove Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Local 3177 is hosting the Fire Up! Food Truck Festival 2023 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13. The event, reports the Daily Herald, is a benefit for Project Fire Buddies, which teams first responders with children battling pediatric cancer and other serious illnesses. Full details can be found at this link.

Park gets grant

The Buffalo Grove Park District’s Raupp Museum will receive $226,500 for the development of Phase 2 of the educational gardens at The Nature Classroom at Mike Rylko Community Park as part of $19.7 million Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program.

The facility is one 36 Illinois museums to receive funds to help museums improve facilities and develop new exhibits.


Village Board Discussions

Synergy driving strategic, comprehensive plans, community engagement

            Three key initiatives coordinated by the Village Manager’s office are being boosted by a strong dose of “synergy.”

            At least that’s what the Village Board was told during its Committee of the Whole meeting April 10.

            The three initiatives, trustees were told, are the Strategic Plan, the Comprehensive Plan and a program to enhance Community Engagement.

            In a memo, Board Members were told that “…Each initiative has a customized mission and deliverable(s), but all three centralize over key questions of who the community is and where the community

wants to go.”

            Assistant to the Village Manager, Evan Michel, is coordinating the goals and objectives, performance measures, etc. for the current strategic plan and budget process for the Strategic Plan. The Village is currently being served by the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. In addition to staff, external consultants are working with the village.

In November of 2022, the Village Board approved a contract with Lyle Sumek Associates Inc. in an amount not to exceed $37,000 for Strategic Planning Services during FY23. According to Deputy Village Manager, Chris Stilling, “While staff and Board annually evaluate the Strategic Plan as part of the budgeting process, the last major update was done in 2017-18. The goal of this new plan is to build off the past five years of engagement to set a strategic direction not only for the organization but for the community. Staff evaluated several consultants and determined that Lyle Sumek Associates Inc. had the experience and skills to assist the village in achieving its goals.”

Stilling noted that the firm’s selection was based on its specialization in team building, strategic planning, and goal setting for local governments. Stilling added that the process will take place in two phases, with Phase 1 recently being completed. Phase 2 is set to begin this Spring and will include community engagement and a Citizen Summit to gather input from residents and other key community stakeholders. Village officials anticipate that this strategic planning process will be completed later this year.

            Director of Community Planning, Nicole Woods, is at the helm of the Comprehensive Plan. While “similar” to the Strategic Plan, The focus of this component is, trustees were told, “However, the Comprehensive Plan focuses more on a community’s physical environment and generally includes such topics as land use, housing, economic development, parks and open space, natural resources, transportation, and circulation.”  In 2019, the village “originally hired Ratio (and later Lamar Johnson Collaborative) to lead the Comprehensive Plan Process in 2019.”

The decision to retain the Lamar Johnson Collaborative was due to staff changes at Ratio during the height of the pandemic.  “In July, 2019 we retained Ratio and their team to lead the Comprehensive Plan project with an approximate budget of $223,000,” Stilling explained in an email to BGNI.

Stilling adds that as a result of Covid, the project was put on hold. “Coming out of Covid, Lesley Roth, who was the project director for the Comprehensive Plan project left the firm, Ratio, and joined Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LBJ) in January of 2021,” Stilling says, adding that “with her departure, Ratio closed down its planning division and did not have the proper personnel to carry out the project.”

Stilling says the village decided to engage LBJ to complete the comprehensive plan, using the work completed by Ratio. “At that time, the Village spent $103,000 with Ratio, thus leaving a remaining budget of approximately $120,000 of the original budget for LBJ,” Stilling says. Village staff continued to work with LBJ to work on the project.

However, Stilling says that late last year, village staff “looked at deliverables associated with the Comprehensive Plan and found them to be outdated and should be updated with the latest projects (i.e., The Clove, new Public Works Building, Mike Rylko Park, etc.).

Stilling adds that “At that time, we spent approximately $77,000 with LBJ, thus leaving a remaining budget of approximately $46,000. The funds left in the Comprehensive Plan budget were not deemed sufficient for Lamar Johnson Collaborative to update the deliverables and finish the process up to the standards that is expected by the Village Board and community.”

As a result, Stilling says, the village terminated the current contract with Lamar Johnson Collaborative and staff proposed to build-off of the work and research that has been performed to-date, and finish the process generally in-house. “This was determined to be a good solution given the restored staffing levels in the Community Development Department,” Stilling says.

            Work on the long-standing effort to establish a “brand” for Buffalo Grove picked up steam with the hiring last year of Molly Gillespie as director of Communications and Community Engagement.  Last month, the Board gave the nod to a $98,000 agreement with North Star Place Branding + Marketing last month to conduct the community branding initiative. A focus of this initiative detailed in the Board memo is to “deliver comprehensive brand guidelines that include a logo set, colors, and font standards, as well as style guides. This phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

            Details about all three of these programs can be found at this link.



A little prevention can help

A rash of residential burglaries has Buffalo Grove Police offering some surprisingly simple tips on how to reduce the chance of a home break-in – so writes resident Stan Zoller in his Gaggin' in the Grove blog. Transparency time: Zoller also produces BGNI.

What’s your view?

            Got something to say about things in the village of big bison? Write away! Your point (or points) of view will be posted as a new blog connected to BGNI called Focus and Forum. Just submit your thoughts via email to Make sure to include a phone number, email and picture with your submission.


Need a Reason to Celebrate?


April 11

Dog Therapy Appreciation Day

International Be Kind to Lawyers Day – There’s comedy here.

International Louie Louie Day – Will the “real words” be revealed.

National Clean Up Your Pantry Day

National Eight Track Tape Day  -- Kids, ask your grandparents about this.

April 12

Hamster Day

National Licorice Day

Teak Awareness Day

April 13

International Plant Appreciation Day

International Special Librarians Day

National Borinqueneers Day

National Silly Earring Day

April 14

International Moment of Laughter Day

National Donate a Book Day

National Look Up at the Sky Day

April 15

Husband Appreciation Day  -- Wait, just one day?

National Anime Day

National Griper's Day

National Rubber Eraser Day – As if anyone uses one anymore.

April 16

Day of the Mushroom

Go Fly a Kite Day

Good Deeds Day

National Angel Day

Teach Your Daughter to Volunteer Day

April 17

Blah Blah Blah Day —  Ironic, isn’t it?  The same day as a Village Board meeting.

International Bat Appreciation Day

National Cheese Ball Day

There’s Nothing Like a Dame Day – So much for political correctness.


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In case you didn’t know…

Buffalo Grove News and Info, is independently produced by Buffalo Grove resident Stan Zoller. A longtime journalist and journalism educator, Zoller covers Buffalo Grove and monitors news and information about the village, its schools, park district and community events. Buffalo Grove News and Information is not affiliated with any municipal body. Zoller is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Chicago Headline Club.


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