To combat stress and keep my memory sharp, I play an occasional game of Bridge with a lovely group of ladies. We are all of a certain age. Recently, the table talk was about the trouble several of us are having getting a decent night’s sleep. Starting last summer and all through the fall and winter, I have not slept well and many mornings woken up before daylight and been unable to stop worrying, mostly, about Long Grove. But in May of this year, I came to a decision that has given me such a sense of peace. In fact, I have been sleeping like a baby all summer long. I have decided not to seek a second term as Village President. The realization hit me during our bridge game conversation, “I thought it was a menopause, but as it turns out, it was just the Village!”
When I ran for office I fully expected that the job would require a major time commitment and involve some difficult and controversial decisions. While true, this does not deter me as I am a hard worker and not afraid of taking a stand on an issue or breaking a tie or two (or in this case,
14 15!) for the good of the whole, regardless of the personal backlash. I have simply wanted to contribute my genuine love and concern for the community, and my experience as a leader to help our residents through some challenging years. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Long Grove in this capacity. At the end of my term I will have spent six years volunteering on the village board and I believe I have given to the best of my abilities in this position. Throughout it has been a learning experience and I have many good memories to carry forward.
However, what I was not anticipating was the degree to which this job would impact my quality of life. Serving as a mayor is truly a 24/7 responsibility, no matter the size of your town or the magnitude of the issues. I am thinking and working on some aspect of the Village of Long Grove nearly every day. This has increasingly become the case as our village board continues to struggle to work together as a team, despite mutual acknowledgement that this is what is most needed for success. It is frustrating and exhausting to have to make the dysfunctional, functional. What I have experienced is that very little of my time and energy is left over to give to my loved ones, myself, and other worthy causes and activities that I enjoy. I do not regret the sacrifices made, but it is time now to reset my priorities. This decision has taken into account the advice and feelings of many caring people who have supported me over these past years. The satisfaction of serving my community has been great, but I’m ready to move on to the next adventure.
I am hopeful that several candidates from the greater community will be motivated to come forward and throw their hats into the ring. Change is good! Many residents have been highly engaged in the variety of controversial issues that have come before the board in recent years and perhaps we will see some of these outspoken individuals step up to the challenge of elected office. I have often remarked that the position of Village President was not one that I was seeking, but rather I found that the position was seeking me. Long Grove is now seeking a future leader who has the capacity to serve something bigger than self. Someone who can listen to others and take advice, is even-tempered, and possesses the skills needed to work towards compromise on the many diverse issues and potential changes on the horizon. Perhaps that person could be you?