Four years ago, Ed Bender defeated the incumbent Fox Lake village president with the promise of making the border town more than a place to stop for gas en route to Wisconsin. Since then, he has used his business experience and plentiful contacts to rouse the interest of developers, including a hotel builder. Fox Lake's proximity to the Chain O' Lakes makes it prime destination place, and Bender is seizing the moment. In addition, he's made significant progress on improving village coffers with steps like outsourcing and refinancing, resulting in a budget balanced the past two years. While he has improved engagement with residents through public meetings, Bender admits to poor communication at times with his own board but says he aims to improve that. He is opposed by Donald "Donny" Schmit, a trustee with expertise in business and training in FOIA matters that are an asset to the board. But Bender's leadership will best keep Fox Lake moving forward.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.