Round Lake-area mayors tout villages' cooperation
The leaders of the four villages that make up the Round Lake area touted their cooperation over the past year at a Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.
Terry Lumpkins, who has been mayor of Round Lake Heights for 26 years, said he feels the current mayors collaborate better than any group before.
"We're striving to think about the surrounding areas and not just about our individual communities," Lumpkins said.
Lumpkins shared the stage with Linda Lucassen of Round Lake Park, Dan MacGillis of Round Lake and Richard Hill of Round Lake Beach.
With a population of 27,776, Round Lake Beach is the largest of the four towns, followed by Round Lake (18,375), Round Lake Park (7,519) and Round Lake Heights (2,707).
Perhaps the best example of that regional thinking is an effort by the four villages to identify and maximize ways to deliver services to Round Lake-area residents.
The effort, which kicked off over the summer and is being guided by the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies, has included a survey of 1,000 random area homes as well as area-wide network meetings to promote similar cooperation with other taxing districts, such as schools.
Hill praised the initiative in his speech and said it has led to more collaboration and meetings.
"Unfortunately, sometimes, lots of meetings," Hill joked.
MacGillis agreed that the villages were working well as partners. While creating a new rental property registration program last year, Round Lake officials reached out to Round Lake Park for help. Round Lake Park has had its own program in place for years.
"It meant we didn't have to go through the same pitfalls they did," MacGillis said.
MacGillis also praised the other Round Lake-area municipalities and organizations that serve residents of all four villages, including the Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the luncheon for members at its Round Lake Beach headquarters.
"The Round Lake area is an absolute gem in northern Illinois, an absolute gem in Lake County," MacGillis said. "And I'd like to think that the village of Round Lake is a diamond in that pile of gems."