A new era in Buffalo Grove as Smith takes over as village president

It seemed that virtually everyone who had attended a Buffalo Grove village board meeting in the past two decades showed up Monday night for a changing of the guard.

Tributes flowed in for former Village President Beverly Sussman as her successor, Eric Smith, was sworn in as the town's top elected official.

"We survived and thrived under Bev's leadership," Smith told the audience that included current and former village leaders and representatives of community groups. "She leaves us in a good place."

The honors for Sussman included the naming of the village trustee conference room at village hall in her honor. The former two-term village president also received a "Buffalo pin" - something Sussman often bestowed upon other honorees - along with a ceremonial road sign with her name on it.

Sussman thanked several people, including Village Manager Dane Bragg, and laced her farewell speech with humor, saying she enjoyed visiting with children, whose questions included who was her favorite trustee and whether she lived in a mansion.

"Buffalo Grove will always be a great place to live, work and raise a family," she said.

Also sworn in Monday were incumbent Trustees Gregory Pike and David Weidenfeld and newcomer Frank Cesario. Trustee Andrew Stein was designated the village's president pro tem.

Lake County Judge Charles Johnson, a former village trustee, swore in Smith, who put his hand on the Bible his wife, Judie, received for her bat mitzvah.

In praising his predecessor, Smith cited the village's AAA bond rating, its infrastructure modernization program, the redevelopment of the Town Center into The Clove, and plans for a new public works building.

  Buffalo Grove Village President Eric Smith hands a proclamation to former Village President Beverly Sussman honoring her service. Trustees David Weidenfeld and Gregory Pike, to the left, and Village Manager Dane Bragg, on right, look on. Steve Zalusky/
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