Mundelein honors Abernathy, Meier and Semple as they prepare to leave village board
As their political service comes to a close, the Mundelein village board's three most-senior members were publicly honored Monday.
Proclamations lauding Trustees Dawn Abernathy, Robin Meier and Ray Semple were read aloud by Mayor Steve Lentz near the start of the evening's board meeting -- the trio's last as elected officials.
Lentz shared memories of each trustee as well, and he presented them with commemorative signs and framed copies of the proclamations.
Abernathy and Meier gave up their trustee posts this year to run for mayor, ultimately losing to Lentz in the April 6 election.
Abernathy has spent eight years on the board, and Meier 11 years over two stints.
Semple, whose 26 years of service made him the longest-serving elected official in Mundelein history, didn't run again.
Their terms end Friday.
Meier was feted first. While acknowledging that they didn't always agree on issues, Lentz noted he and Meier worked together on the public-private partnership that led to the construction of village hall in 2014.
When asked to share a few words, Meier thanked voters and said she's enjoyed "every minute" of her service.
Abernathy's proclamation came next. Before reading it, Lentz spoke of what he called Abernathy's "legacy of unfiltered candor." He said he's appreciated her honesty, even though it sometimes struck people the wrong way.
Fighting back tears, Abernathy said it's been an honor to serve.
"I think we have done some incredible things here as trustees," she said.
Then came Semple's time in the spotlight. Lentz called him a "wealth of wisdom" who will be irreplaceable on the board.
As he prepared to speak, Semple choked up, too.
"I've enjoyed this so much," he said. "The 26 years have gone by fast."
Trustees-elect Sol Cabachuela, Jenny Ross and Tim Wilson will be sworn in at the board's next meeting on May 10. So will Clerk-elect Karen E. Walsh, who will replace Cabachuela in that role. Lentz will recite his mayoral oath again, too.