I think the blended idea is a good one if it’s in good balance because I think we have to take care of people who just want to enjoy the area…. But we have to keep it in good balance and we have to do some (budget) trimming. And I’m glad to see consideration of privatization has returned. And I think that is a wonderful answer for us. – Susan Loving Gravenhorst
Susan Loving Gravenhorst is the Lake County Commissioner from District 13. Her district includes the Village of Lake Bluff and the City of Lake Forest. It was therefore stunning to hear Commissioner Gravenhorst unblinkingly endorse the development of the Fort Sheridan golf course without even acknowledging the distress her constituents are experiencing and have expressed.
This is what Commissioner Gravenhorst heard at the committee meetings and ignored:
1. Lake Forest Mayor James Cowhey saying, “Don’t build a 9-hole course that will compete with our course.”
2. Lake Forest City Manager, Robert Kiely saying, “We can’t endorse something that will kill our course.”
3. Golf marketing consultant, Chris Brewer showing the likely loss of revenue to Lake Forest would be as much as $142,000 and to Lake Bluff over $100,000 as well as $400,000 loss to existing Lake County golf courses
4. Lake Bluff Park District Vice President Sandra Hart saying additional revenue reductions (resulting from the impact of the Fort Sheridan course) would be “devastating” and result in reduced services to its residents.
Surrounded by a torrent of bad news and the two major government districts within her county district attempting to kill this issue, Commissioner Gravenhorst thinks building a golf course is still a good idea. You can watch the video for an explanation but (spoiler ahead…) we’ll never know why.