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Year in Review by Mayor Rotering

December 21, 2018 -- "On behalf of the Mayor’s Office and the City Council, I’m pleased to report that we achieved many milestones in 2018. In addition to enhancing our community’s overall quality of life, we protected the city’s on-going fiscal sustainability, invested in hundreds of infrastructure projects to improve our neighborhoods, and kept our city safe. We worked hard to advance business development, increase communications, and support human services, environmental sustainability initiatives, and cultural arts plans. I am eager for our community to continue our work together, crafting a vision that plans for decades to come. My City Council colleagues and I are proud to work with City staff, government partners, residents, and local businesses focusing on issues that matter to all of us. Together, we strive daily to strengthen our community.

Recognizing that collaboration and synergies benefit the public and improve efficiencies, we continue to meet regularly with government partners, local clergy, and multiple citizen advisory task forces and community groups. Members of the City Council serve as liaisons to each of the school districts as well as the Park District. Conversations result in collaboration on a multitude of initiatives that benefit our daily life, achieve synergies, and provide representative government at its best.

Notably, we finalized the sale of the Highland Park Country Club golf course to the Park District, helping them achieve an objective in their long-range Green Print plan as well as keeping an eye on using part of the land for flood mitigation. We have taken the lead working with both Lake and Cook Counties, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the US Army Corp of Engineers on a long-term flood mitigation solution focusing on impacted areas of Highland Park and dozens of other communities throughout the region. With the City’s assistance, North Shore School District 112 implemented new traffic plans addressing increased enrollment at its middle schools and successfully completed the addition of a road at Edgewood Middle School to achieve much needed public safety.
Additionally, sister governments worked together to promote a culture of inclusivity, and supported human and social services including food security, housing, and mental health care.

Partnerships with our business community continue to support our strong local economy, create new jobs, and reduce property tax burdens on residents. Our development process has been streamlined, bringing new market-driven housing to our downtown, and in-fill development throughout neighborhoods.  We are eagerly awaiting the completion of the redevelopment of the former Highland Park Movie Theater site to help revitalize the east end of Central Avenue in downtown Highland Park, an updated Ravinia Festival with the addition of a new Experience Center, and we are looking forward to the groundbreaking of a new apartment building in the Ravinia Business District.

As the New Year begins, we remain deeply committed to meeting the needs of our community now and in the future. In 2019, we head into a year’s worth of celebrating Highland Park’s 150th Anniversary. We invite you to join with us as we reflect on our rich history and bring the community together to celebrate our future. A number of fun, family-friendly, community-wide events and programs are planned. Thank you for being our partners and our neighbors."