Pam Drell Endorsement
Although I recently retired to Arizona, I grew up on the North Shore, raised my children on the North Shore, and still have family living in Highland Park. My knowledge of Highland Park and what makes an elected official successful makes me believe that Laura Saret is the best choice for the City Council seat vacated by Paul Frank.
I first met Laura more than 35 years ago at Oakton Community College where we both taught, me in the English Department, and Laura as Chairperson of the Computer Technologies Department and Professor of Business and Management. During that time we became close friends both professionally and personally.
As Faculty President and IEA/NEA union leader, no faculty situation, no matter how serious or inconsequential was too difficult for her to tackle. She often was praised by administrators, faculty, and staff for her creative problem-solving abilities. She has the ability to understand the issues involved and always looks for an interest-based solution to a problem. She has a unique ability for inspiring loyalty in those who get to know her.
Laura is inclusive when forming a leadership team. She seeks input from others, especially those who disagree with her. She believes that people can and should disagree without being disagreeable. She made sure that all voices were represented on negotiations teams and believes that diversity creates better solutions. She is a woman who listens to people and can be their “voice” to others; yet a woman who leads with common sense.
Laura is an excellent communicator who always kept the faculty abreast of all college matters that affected them or their students. She is transparent and always made sure that others understood her decisions even if they didn’t always agree with them. Under her leadership, dissenters became allies and became involved in the process.
Laura is the only retiree running for the seat vacated by Paul Frank. She will bring a unique perspective, creativity, and excellent leadership to the Council. For these reasons, I believe that Laura is the best candidate for Highland Park City Council. You can learn more about Laura by visiting her website http://www.LauraSaret.com.
Lisa Temkin Endorsement
I’ve worked closely with Laura Saret for the past several months as co-presidents of the Ravinia Neighbors Association. We have a similar vision for the RNA and we bring different strengths to the board as a whole, as all strong boards should. As a board member, Laura consistently asks questions and encourages open dialogue. She is interested in hearing from our board colleagues as well as others that attend our meetings. Laura strives to synthesize all opinions and aims for the best outcome for all stakeholders.
The city council has evolved over the last few years into a body that appears to always be in agreement, regardless of the issue. In my opinion, a healthy board or council is one that has open discussion at a public meeting, weighing pros and cons, with council members expressing their own opinions, giving their reasons for voting in a particular way, and modeling transparency. Laura is a person that is not afraid to voice an independent opinion and is not intimidated by peers. Her volunteer tenure as a board member spans state and university boards to our local Housing Commission. She’s dealt with financial and pension issues, budgets and salaries and understands the complexity of balancing a budget.
Laura has the experience, analytical insight, and savvy to effectively serve on City Council. We need a new voice on City Council that is interested in all residents—from the Highlands to Braeside, to the West Side and Highwood. We have diversity in Highland Park that should be reflected in our commissions, boards, and city council. We also need professional diversity on city council and other commissions to bring varied experiences and insights. Laura has the experience in multiple professional settings that few other candidates, if any, can match. She is now retired and is able to put in the hours and energy, bringing a new voice to the city council. Our boards and commissions are full of investment bankers, lawyers and developers. Let’s refresh our city council—vote for Laura Saret for the 2-year City Council seat.
Carole Shapero, Adele LeGere, and Sylvia Stacey Endorsement
We are writing in support of Laura Saret’s candidacy for the vacated seat on the Highland Park City Council. She possesses all the qualities necessary for such a post. She is not only a well-respected able, and talented leader, she is an ethical mediator.
When Laura assumed the presidency of the faculty senate at Oakton Community College, she represented us fairly, ethically, and with an incredible measure of success. As a negotiator, she was able to listen to varying points of view compassionately and rationally.
We know that Laura will be an excellent communicator and leader. She has set a standard of excellence and empathy, and we whole-heartedly support her willingness to serve the citizens of Highland Park.
Gwen Nyden Endorsement
I am writing in support of Laura Saret's campaign for a seat on the Highland Park city council. As a colleague at Oakton Community College I have known Laura for more than 25 years. I served with Laura as an executive board member of the Oakton Community College Faculty Association and in that position had many opportunities to see her leadership skills in action.
As a leader Laura is a fighter, strongly committed to working tirelessly for the people whom she represents. I worked with Laura as she led two successive contract negotiations that resulted in improved benefits and salaries for the 155 full-time faculty in the collective bargaining unit. These negotiations involved countless hours of meetings, which Laura led while still teaching and carrying out other professional responsibilities. They also involved balancing the often conflicting interests of different faculty groups, as well as those of the administration that were sometimes at odds with those of the faculty; her negotiating skills resulted in a "win-win" outcome for all involved
I believe that Laura would bring this same commitment and dedication to the Highland Park City Council. She will work hard, reaching out to different constituencies and giving her all to finding solutions to the problems facing the city. She is a proven leader who will get results.
Gabe Wallace Endorsement
The purpose of this letter is to offer my strongest endorsement of Laura Saret for the office of City Council Representative for the city of Highland Park, Illinois.
I met Laura when I joined the faculty of Oakton Community College in the fall of 1989. My first impression of her was formed by listening to her address the assembled faculty and administration of the college as part of the orientation proceedings for the beginning semester. Laura's speech, as president of the Faculty Senate, followed that of the president of the college, and I found it equally inspiring. Over the following twenty seven years of my tenure at the college, that first impression deepened into a warm collegial relationship and a profound respect for her judgment and skill in executing her responsibilities.
Laura is a person who knows how to get things done by understanding all sides of an issue, regardless of its complexity, and helping to forge a durable and constructive consensus. These attributes were consistently on replay as she served in various capacities in addition to that of Faculy Senate President: from Faculty Development Coordinator, to IEA/NEA union leader, to co0chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and many others. She has a natural and very strong desire to serve others.
As I think about the requirements for the office of City Council Representative, it seems to me that it is a position for which Laura is uniquely qualified and in which she will serve with dedication and distinction. For these reasons, I urge you to support her candidacy for that office.
Larry Saret Endorsement
Some may say I am biased.
Laura Saret is running for HP City Council and I am her husband. So of course, I am biased about Laura. I am also in the best position to describe those qualities that make her the right choice for City Council.
Laura is running for the seat vacated by Paul Frank. Her opponents are NOT incumbents Kaufman, Stone, and Knobel.
Laura has the traits that City Councilmen should have and that distinguish her from her opponents. She has significant experience with city matters and a track record of community volunteer involvement including: HP Housing Commission, Board of Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH), Board of HP Volunteer Pool, co-President of Ravinia Neighbors Association, and student mentor for College Bound Opportunities.
Laura exercises leadership, independent judgment, believes in complete transparency in decision making, and has no business interests that could present conflicts of interest with city decisions. Likewise, I do not work on any city commissions or boards or have any business interests to present possible conflicts of interest.
Laura is retired from Oakton Community College (following years in the corporate world), where she was a Department Chair, Business and Computer Technologies Professor, and the Faculty President who led contract negotiation teams, confronted pension and strategic planning issues (she co-chaired the College’s Strategic Planning Committee), was Faculty Development coordinator, created the College’s Teaching and Learning Center, and engaged in interest-based, creative problem solving. In these roles, she helped students, faculty, and staff, even when it wasn’t her job. That is what a leader does.
Laura is smart with outstanding people skills. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in adult education from NIU. Anyone who could satisfy an entire faculty, as Laura did at Oakton while negotiating a series of fair, fiscally responsible contracts with the college administration, has rare people skills.
Laura has the time to work for the people of HP. She does not have a full time job, as her opponents do, creating conflicting demands on their time and interests.
Laura is the right choice for HP City Council. She values diversity of opinion, transparent and ethical decision-making, and will listen. You can trust her to be your voice on the City Council. Her opponents lack anything close to her experience and abilities.
But of course, some may say I am biased.
Sally Spero and Marietta Stevens Endorsement
We are writing this letter to endorse the candidacy of Laura Saret for Highland Park City Council.
We met Laura through her work on our Board of the Volunteer Pool of Highland Park. Laura joined our Board shortly after retiring from Oakton Community College, where she was a professor of business, management and computer technologies. She chaired the computer technologies department and was president of the faculty senate and faculty association (IEA/NEA). As part of her work as Faculty Development Coordinator, she initiated and helped write grants to support the program.
Laura believes in volunteerism and is an outstanding member of our Board who contributes her time, energy, and great ideas. She is a great leader, who listens carefully to diverse viewpoints before making a decision. She has helped us apply for grants, write letters, and connect with the community. Board members respect her ability to listen, her creativity and her willingness to help out whenever needed.
Laura understands the impact that volunteers make to the health and well-being of Highland Park. In addition to serving on our Board, she volunteers on several other local Boards.
We believe that Laura is the best choice to fill the Council seat vacated by Paul Frank. We have seen Laura’s leadership in action. Laura is a caring person, and no issue or problem is too small for her attention if it affects a friend, colleague, or neighbor.
Joe Adler Endorsement
My name is Joe Adler, a 40-year resident and caring, active member of the Highland Park community. I am writing this letter to share my endorsement of Laura Saret, candidate for Highland Park City Council.
I first met Laura many years ago, when we were both volunteers at the Tenth Congressional District Democrats, a grassroots organization that supports efforts to elect Democratic candidates at local, state, and national levels. Tenth Dems also educate the community about issues facing residents throughout the District. Working together I saw, first-hand, how passionately Laura worked to assist, at everything!
At present Laura and I are serving as Commissioners on the Highland Park Housing Commission, whose purpose is to encourage, engage and facilitate the development of low- and moderate-income housing in our community. The Commission oversees rental housing for seniors and families in need for affordable housing. In addition, the Commission works closely with Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH). When the Commission was looking for a volunteer representative on CPAH’s board, Laura stepped up, as she does, whenever she sees a need.
The HP Housing Commission also deals with a variety of fiscal issues. Laura’s insights in these areas are no less than exceptional. With her MBA and extensive experience, managing budgets in business and higher education, Laura has been a most effective contributor.
Clearly, Laura cares genuinely about Highland Park and its residents. When asked to serve on the Highland Park Human Services Task Force to identify needs and fill-in gaps in resident services, Laura accepted the challenge and has been using her technology background to help analyze and make sense of the data collected by the Task Force.
Using her higher-education background Laura currently assists College Bound Opportunities, mentoring a first-generation Highland Park student who will be starting college next fall. Laura values volunteerism, as demonstrated by everything noted above, plus her work as…
…Board member for the Volunteer Pool of Highland Park;
…co-president of the Ravinia Neighbors Association;
…President of Oakton Community College’s chapter of the State University Annuitants Association, giving her a unique perspective and understanding of pension and other financial issues faced by local governments in Illinois.
Given all this, Laura Saret is the best choice to fill the Council seat vacated by Paul Frank. She is an outstanding listener and open to compromise, when appropriate. She never says “something can’t be done, only that we haven’t found a way to do it, not just yet!”
Laura Saret would like to be your voice on the City Council. She deserves your vote!
Scott Drury, State Representative Endorsement
I want to let you know that I endorse Laura Saret for the open 2-year term for Highland Park City Council. By electing Laura, the Highland Park City Council will become more reflective of Highland Park's population. As a retiree, Laura will bring a unique and needed perspective to the City Council. Further, Laura will be an independent voice who will fight for what is best for all of Highland Park, while also having the judgment and courage to make the right decisions on the many issues Highland Park will confront in the coming years. I hope you will consider voting for Laura.
Carol Spielman, Former Lake County Board Member Endorsement
This is about Laura Saret, candidate for the two-year term on the Highland Park City Council. I am writing to you in the hope that you will join me in voting for the best candidate for that seat on the City Council. Here are my reasons:
Mostly it is Laura’s personal qualities - but an MBA from the University of Chicago, as well as a Doctorate in Adult Education and Community College Management from Northern Illinois University, and her work experience accomplishments are starters.
She taught business management and computer technologies at Oakton Community College. Laura was the President of the Faculty Association, leading contract negotiation teams. She dealt with issues surrounding pension reform and has experience in mediation and strategic planning. Upon retirement, she assumed the role of President of the college’s chapter of the State University Annuitants Association.
Digging into the core priorities of the City Council, Laura highlights issues that include the uncertainty of federal and state funding on the fiscal stability of Highland Park. She analyzes ways to increase thriving and suitable businesses for our residents. The safety and needs of our school-age children, older residents, and our first responders figure prominently in her proposals.
Laura Saret has a proven commitment to Highland Park and is fully engaged in the community. She is a board member of the Highland Park Housing Commission, the body that oversees rental housing for seniors and families in need of affordable housing. She is also on the board of Community Partners for Affordable Housing. As a member of the Highland Park Human Services Task Force, she volunteered her considerable technology skills for the project.
I hope you will check www.LauraSaret.com to learn more from her. She doesn’t say this, but I will: Laura Saret is smart, comprehensive about public matters, principled, and has fortitude.
John D'Anca, PhD Letter of Endorsement
My name is John D’Anca, and I am writing this letter to endorse Laura Saret, who is running for the City Council seat vacated by Paul Frank.
My wife, Carolina and I, are long time residents of Highland Park, however, I have known Laura for more than 30 years, first as a colleague at Oakton Community College, where I teach psychology, and then as a neighbor in Highland Park.
Laura taught business, management, computer technologies, and student success at Oakton. She chaired the computer technologies department, co-chaired the strategic planning committee, created the Teaching and Learning Center for Faculty Development, to name a few of her accomplishments. Laura often came to me for advice regarding students. However, most of my interactions with Laura occurred as a result of her role as Faculty Senate and Faculty Association (IEA/NEA) President.
One of my earliest memories of her phenomenal leadership skills was a conversation I had with Laura regarding an issue that arose during negotiations. Laura listened carefully and brought my concern back to the contract negotiating team who disagreed with my request. Laura then convinced me to get involved in faculty governance and selected me for the next negotiation team.
Laura believes strongly in interest-based problem solving and leads by example. She understands that issues are multi-dimensional and that there are many options to satisfy the interests of those involved. She encouraged diversity of opinion and consensus building among her constituents. No problem was too small for Laura to respond to, and she was very creative in coming up with solutions that met the interests of both the faculty member and the College. Laura treated all faculty with respect, and as a result, the faculty were very loyal to her. During her 15 year-tenure as faculty President, 100% of the 150 faculty joined the union because of her caring and leadership.
Most importantly, Laura is a woman who listens to people and can be their “voice” to others. She was the “voice” of her students and her colleagues at Oakton for more than 30 years. She has been greatly missed since her retirement.
You can learn more about Laura by visiting her website http://www.LauraSaret.com. You will see, as I already know, why she is the best candidate for Highland Park City Council, and you would be lucky to have her represent your voice on the Council.
Gene and Nicole Terry
We enthusiastically endorse LAURA SARET for City Council. Having lived in the same Highland Park home for over 50 years, the home in which we raised our children, we have seen our "town" grow to our "city.” We even remember horses from the nearby stable trotting on the unpaved road in front of our house! The skills once needed for Councilmen to be effective have also changed. Now we require members with Laura’s qualities and background, experienced in strategic planning, pensions, contracts, management and technology, all of which she gained thru her experiences and education, including an MBA from the University of Chicago, work in the banking and pharmaceutical industries, president of Oakton Community College’s (OCC) faculty union, Professor of Business, Chairperson of the Computer Technologies department, President Of the Faculty Association (IEA/NEA), and Chairperson of Computer Technologies at the College.
Laura believes that citizens need to “give back” to their community, and as such, will be donating her salary to Highland Park not-for-profits. She has demonstrated her willingness to work hard on behalf of the residents of Highland Park including her service on the Housing Commission, the Human Services Task Force, the boards of Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) and the Volunteer Pool, co-President of the Ravinia Neighbors Association, and mentor for College Bound Opportunities. In addition, she organized a toiletries collection for Moraine Township as part of her campaign outreach.
The duties and time required of a Council Member have grown and changed, as our town has grown and changed and requires considerable time and attention of its members. Laura is retired and has pledged to devote her time to her Council duties, not what she can "squeeze" out from her employment.
Laura is the person most qualified for the City Council. She will be your VOICE on the Council. Think about our City and her outstanding qualifications when you vote.
Jody Wadhwa Endorsement
My name is Jody Wadhwa, and I am writing this letter to endorse Laura Saret, who is running for the Highland Park City Council seat vacated by Paul Frank.
Although I do not live in Highland Park, I have known Laura for more than 30 years as a friend. During her entire career at Oakton Community College, I served on the College’s Board of Trustees.
One of the best decisions I made as a Board member was recommending that the College hire Laura. She was initially hired to teach computer technologies, but when the demand for computer courses declined, as department chair and faculty president, aura worked with the College to ensure that faculty with credentials to teach in other areas and for which there was demand for other faculty, were able to change departments. At that time, Laura moved to the business department where she taught management and business for the rest of her career at Oakton.
Most of my interactions with Laura occurred as a result of her role as Faculty Association (IEA/NEA) President and her job of representing the faculty to the Board of Trustees. We met for breakfast periodically to informally discuss issues that might come before the Board and to provide information I might find useful in decision making.
Even when we disagreed, Laura was never disagreeable. She made her case, carefully listened to my point of view and corrected me when I was wrong (as I did her). From these conversations, our friendship grew. Laura is an advocate of interest-based negotiations, and she understands that decision don’t have to be “either-or,” and that when people work together, they can come up with solutions that may be better than what either of them could have created alone.
Laura treated everyone at the College with respect and regarded her colleagues’ problems as her own. She volunteered when help was needed, and served on many college committees. During her 15-year tenure as faculty President, 100% of the faculty joined the union because of her caring and leadership. She earned the respect of faculty, staff, administrators, and the Board.
Laura was the “voice” of her students and her colleagues at Oakton for more than 30 years. Since retirement, she has been actively involved in Highland Park and volunteers to help her neighbors by being their “voice” on various boards, organizations and commissions. You can learn more about her by visiting her website http://www.LauraSaret.com. You will see, as I already know, why she is the best
candidate for Highland Park City Council.
Chris Turley Endorsement
My name is Chris Turley, and I am writing this letter to endorse the candidacy of Laura Saret for Highland Park City Council.
I raised my family in Highland Park for 20 years before temporarily moving to Highwood and I continue to be engaged in multiple ways with the community. For the twenty years that I have been here my business as an architect and builder has led me in discovering and discussing a lot of the issues that occur in this town and in the north shore as a whole.
I have served with Laura on the Board of Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH), where she has demonstrated her leadership and interest in the well-being of her fellow Highland Park citizens who struggle to meet their basic human need of housing by helping to bridge the gap between the high cost of housing and the incomes of many low- to moderate-income households who live and work in Highland park. Laura also understands the economic and human impacts of what CPAH brings to Highland Park in rehabilitating problem properties in the community, promoting cultural and economic diversity, preserving the character of neighborhoods, encouraging local workers to live and spend their incomes locally, and providing employment opportunities for local contractors.
The outstanding qualifications that Laura brings to the CPAH Board are the same ones she would bring to the City Council. In addition to her work on CPAH, Laura demonstrates her care for her fellow citizens with her long track record of volunteerism in Highland Park including serving on the Housing Commission and the board of the Highland Park Volunteer Pool. She is also co-President of the Ravinia Neighbors Association, and mentors a student for College Bound Opportunities.
I have witnessed Laura's work on the board and have discussed local issues with her. Her education, including an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in adult education giver her the knowledge to serve Highland park on the City Council. She is a good listener and a natural "people person" and no issue or problem is too small for her attention if it affects a neighbor.
Laura is the best choice to fill the Council seat vacated by Paul Frank and I recommend your support and endorsement.