Former trustee Terson running for Buffalo Grove mayor
Michael Terson, a former Buffalo Grove village trustee and current public relations manager at the Buffalo Grove Park District, will run for mayor next year.
Terson, 48, said he has been testing the waters, collecting petition signatures and talking to residents at public places like Dunkin' Donuts about a potential run.
"Growing up here, moving back here, being a resident, serving on the village board as a trustee for a term and working in the community, I have had the opportunity to see things from a lot of different perspectives," said Terson, a graduate of Buffalo Grove High School.
"I'm just not sure that we have the kind of leadership where we're able to achieve progress to our full potential," he said.
Terson served on the village board from 2011 to 2015. He lost a re-election bid in 2015.
Current Village President Beverly Sussman said she is not ready to announce whether she will be seeking a second term.
Terson said he believes the village president not only needs to be a leader on the village board but also an advocate for the village in Springfield, communicate more with the business community and reach out to property owners in parts of the village without much economic development.
Terson admits being "considered a little bit of a lightning rod" when the village was considering a downtown-style development on the village campus. The proposal stirred significant controversy among residents and ultimately failed to move forward.
"While I realize that that project is dead and gone, I learned a lot back then. I learned a lot about having those kinds of conversations with the community and being ready for a project like that to come knocking on our door, to have those conversations ahead of time," he said.
Terson said he is still favors developments that would bring in high-end retail businesses and restaurants "where our residents don't go spend their money in places like Deer Park, Vernon Hills and Arlington Heights" and take some of the tax burden off property owners.
"I don't have anything against Bev (Sussman)," he said. "I have served with Bev both as an elected official and as a community volunteer before either one of us were elected officials. At the end of the day, I think that Bev is a good person who has served our village very well and given a lot of her time to the community."
However, he said, "I'm giving the community a choice."
Terson said he would give voters the choice of someone who wants to move the village faster into the modern economic development era. He pointed to dormant sites like the Rohrman property and Cambridge Commons on Dundee Road as developments that need to move forward.
"When you see projects like what's been going on in Wheeling and what's been going on in Deer Park, we're not there yet," he said.