Buffalo Grove’s Plan Commission chairman is expected to become the newest member of the Village Board.
Village President-elect Jeffrey Braiman announced Wednesday that he will recommend the appointment of Lester Ottenheimer to fill the remaining two years of his own trustee term.
Ottenheimer, an attorney who has lived in the village since 1986, was appointed to the Plan Commission in the early '90s and has served as chairman for the past 16 years. Previously, he volunteered on the Buffalo Grove Days committee.
“I’ve probably worked my way up the ranks,” he said. “I guess this is the next logical step.”
He said his goals as trustee will include fiscal responsibility and keeping his eyes open for new development opportunities.
“I’d like to keep the village fiscally sound as it is, and maybe find ways to cut expenses to prevent tax increases,” he said.
During his time on the Plan Commission, he reviewed projects such as the shopping center at Buffalo Grove and Aptakisic roads, the car wash on Weiland Road, and various recreational uses in the village’s industrial district.
He noted that with little undeveloped land remaining, the emphasis is now on redevelopment.
He said that at some point, he’d like to see the village consider a commercial/residential development, similar to The Glen in Glenview.
“I’m a big proponent of mixed-use development,” he said. “It should always be on the radar. I just want to wait for the right time and the right opportunity and the right parcel.”
Ottenheimer said that he’s long been interested in joining the Village Board, but hasn’t had the time until now.
“If I want to do something, I want to do it right,” he said, adding that he plans to run for a full term when his appointment is up in 2013.
He was one of seven residents who applied for the open trustee position and were interviewed by Village Board members. Braiman, who as village president will make the appointment, said he expects unanimous approval by the board Monday night.
“I’ve known Les for a long time. He’s been involved in the village for a long time. I think the experience factor is one of the main things I looked at,” he said. “I’ve known him to be fair, reasonable and he works well with the board. I think he’ll add a lot to the board.”
Braiman said Ottenheimer’s experience on the Plan Commission — namely, his ability to compromise — will be an asset to the Village Board.
“It’s healthy to have different opinions,” Braiman said, adding that good boards are able to overcome their differences to work toward the best possible solution. “We want to move toward consensus and team building,” he said.
In addition to the appointment of Ottenheimer, the newest members of the Village Board will be sworn in Monday night. They include Jeff Berman, Andrew Stein, Mike Terson and Steve Trilling as trustees and Janet Sirabian as clerk.