A press release from the Village of Lakewood:
City of Crystal Lake. The recent transition of fire service to the City of Crystal Lake through a long-
Village Announces Departure of Village Manager
After 14 years of dedicated service to the Village of Lakewood, Village Manager Catherine Peterson will be leaving in early September as she has accepted a position as Dean of the Woodstock Center of Aurora University.
Peterson began her career with the Village back in June 2002 when the community faced significant fiscal challenges.
Throughout various Board transitions, including 3 Village Presidents, Peterson’s consistent leadership and fiscally conservative management brought financial stability to the Village.
The Village now has the lowest tax rate in McHenry County and has achieved a AAA bond rating, the highest possible bond rating and a designation reached by only 2.6% of Illinois municipalities.
Never compromising Lakewood’s long-standing commitment to “quality living in a natural setting,” she remained committed to long-term planning to secure Lakewood’s future.
Peterson was instrumental in diversifying the otherwise limited tax base by introducing Lou Malnati’s to the community and further developing the Lakewood Commons commercial center.
She prided herself in understanding the Village Board’s vision and communicating this vision to potential developers early in the process.
Working to realize this vision, she oversaw the voluntary annexation of over 600 acres of property into the Village of Lakewood. Just last year, these properties were included in a Tax Increment Financing District, which better positions the Village to attract commercial development to the far western limits of the community.
Peterson initiated the process of extending utilities to the critical intersection of IL Route 47 and IL Route 176 by completing both preliminary and phase II engineering.
While construction won’t commence until a viable project can be brought forward, these critical steps strategically position the Village for the growth necessary to sustain the needs of the community.
Understanding the critical value of investing in infrastructure, Peterson secured grant funding for significant roadway improvement projects.
She has also placed an emphasis on improving drainage issues on the east side of the community through the continued investment in storm sewer maintenance and repair.
In 2007, she oversaw the construction of a state of the art wastewater treatment facility.
With the completion of the East Sewer project this summer, Peterson will have further advanced the Village towards becoming a self-sustaining community.
Peterson partnered effectively with other communities to provide the highest quality services to
residents at the lowest price.
She set an example for other communities to follow through intergovernmental agreements with the City of Woodstock, Woodstock Fire Rescue District and the City of Crystal Lake.
The recent transition of fire service to the City of Crystal Lake through a long-term service agreement was an important step in securing financial stability for the Village in the future.
The Village of Lakewood is supported by a very capable staff, including outstanding Department Managers.
Peterson was responsible for hiring
- Redtail Golf General Manager Chris Neuhart
- Chief of Police Leigh Rawson
- Deputy Village Manager Shannon Andrews, who will continue to provide outstanding leadership following her transition.
“Catherine Peterson has been an outstanding leader, both within the Village of Lakewood and the
broader community,” said Village President Erin Smith.
“On behalf of the Village Board and the residents of Lakewood, I would like to thank Catherine for her strategic vision, strong financial leadership and many contributions to our community.”
The Village Board will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss options for her replacement.
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Missing from the press release is the electric aggregation program that saved participants hundreds of dollars a year and the designation of the Dorr Township part of Lakewood as an EB-5 development area.