The Park District of Highland Park is governed by a five-member elected Board of Park Commissioners. Members serve without compensation and are directly responsible to the electorate. Commissioners serve staggered terms of six years with elections every two years. The Board establishes policy and strategic direction; creates ordinances that govern the District; appoints Board officers, Executive Director, Park Board Attorney and Auditor.
Each Commissioner individually acts as a liaison to the District’s internal and resident advisory committees. The Board meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month and holds a workshop (meeting of the whole) on the second Wednesday of each month. Any resident of the Park District of Highland Park who meets the requirements set forth by the Lake County Board of elections is eligible to run for a seat on the Park Board.
Terry Grossberg enjoys his term on the Park Board and serves as the Park Board liaison to the Human Relations Advisory Group (HRAG). He is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Music Education as well. Terry retired from teaching in 2022 after 36 years in education at all levels.
Terry and his wife Marla moved to Highland Park in 1993. They made the move in part because of the parks and lakefront which made Highland Park stand out above other communities. Along with their two children, Emily and Danny, they are still proud to call Highland Park home.
Terry is a passionate volunteer and dedicates much of his free time to a variety of causes. Aside from his work with the HRAG, he also helps organize the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service, volunteers at the Moraine Township Food Pantry and helps out around the city and township whenever he is needed.
Terry’s new endeavor is as a Teen Board Advisor for Gratitude Generation, a local charitable organization whose mission is to instill gratitude in future generations through education and service. Additionally, he is the Conductor and Director of Music of the Crystal Lake Community Band in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Terry is an avid tennis, paddle and pickleball player who also enjoys finding sea glass at Moraine Beach, taking walks to Millard Beach and The Preserve with his family and their dog Shady, and of course hitting the links at Sunset Valley Golf Club.
Jen began her journey of local voluntarism shortly after settling in Highland Park in 2010. She has held leadership positions on community boards and committees such as the Parks Foundation of Highland Park, Highland Park Historical Society, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), NSSD 112 Caucus and NSSD112 Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team. As a board member for the Parks Foundation of Highland Park she worked closely with the Park District administration to help raise awareness and funding for the SMILE Grant-in-Aid program for those in our community who are financially unable to participate in Park District programming.
Jen is a former practicing litigator and currently holds a senior business development role for a Chicago tech company. Prior to this, she leveraged her litigation and legislative/regulatory expertise into a fifteen-year tenure in legal tech consulting for two large advisory firms.
Jen appreciates the effort and planning it takes to balance a budget and achieve balance as a working mom. With three elementary-aged kids, her personal experience with Park District facilities and programs inspired her to participate in the success and innovation of both going forward. She champions intergovernmental cooperation and has considerable knowledge of and familiarity with other local governing entities and organizations. Jen brings her dedication to Highland Park, knowledge of and love for the Park District, and prior local board experience to the Park Board.
Re-Elected to the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners in April 2019, Calvin (“Cal”) Bernstein was named chairman of the Park District’s Finance Committee in 2011. He co-chairs the Golf and the Baseball Advisory Committees and serves as the Park Board liaison on the Greenprint 2024 project team.
His commitment to Highland Park and its ongoing success is shown through his community involvement. Over the last 22 years, Cal has coached dozens of Park District-sponsored house and travel baseball teams. He is a former member of the City of Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals and currently serves as a charter member of the Highland Park Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Cal Bernstein earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and holds a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law. Currently, he is a named partner in the law firm Samuels & Bernstein. Cal, his wife Julie, and his children continue to be active users of the Park District programs and facilities.
Brian Kaplan’s passion for the Park District of Highland Park was born from his own experience forming, coaching and managing a local youth travel baseball team for six years.
Elected to the Park District Board of Commissioners in April 2011, he currently co-chairs the Athletics, Hidden Creek AquaPark, Recreation Center of Highland Park, Senior Program, Sunset Valley Golf Course, Sustainability, and Youth Program Advisory Committees. He also serves as the Park Board liaison to the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA).
A member of the law firm of Dickler Kahn Slowikowski & Zavell, Brian has over 28 years of litigation experience representing parties in civil litigation matters, including personal injury claims, contract matters, product liability claims, medical malpractice claims, third party and employers’ liability claims, and arson claims. In addition, for the past 14 years he has handled workers’ compensation claims on behalf of employers.
Brian’s legal work is concentrated in all phases of trial work. He has successfully defended employers in numerous arbitration hearings and oral arguments before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, as well as several Circuit Court and Appellate Court appeals.
A Highland Park resident since 1969, Brian remains dedicated to the ongoing improvement of the community. He has two children with his wife Julie, who are all frequent users of the Park District of Highland Park programs and facilities.
Barnett (Barney) Ruttenberg was re-elected to the Park Board of Commissioners in 2019. He serves as the Park Board Commissioner and as a member of the Finance Committee. Having earned his BA from the University of Illinois and his JD from Northwestern Law School, Barney’s legal career focused on Real Estate transactions. His ability to listen to people, synthesize information, and negotiate solutions to problems serves him well in public service.
Serving on the Park Board is another in a long list of Barney’s public service contributions. While actively engaged in his legal career, Barney served as a member and chairman of the Highland Park Plan Commission. He served on the Lakefront Advisory Committee, the Rosewood Beach Task Force, and on his synagogue’s school board. Barney offered pro bono counsel to Openlands in the acquisition and development of the Fort Sheridan nature preserve site.
Raising two sons in Highland Park, the family enthusiastically used many of the Park District’s programs, camps, and facilities. As energetic adults, he and his wife Marsha are frequent users of the Recreation Center of Highland Park and Park Avenue Beach where Barney enjoys sailing and kayaking. Active in the North Shore Yacht Club, Barney served as both Commodore and Board President.
With a wealth of professional experience, his finger on the pulse of the community, and a focus on fiscal responsibility, Barney is well prepared to represent the residents of Highland Park as they look to the Park District to provide excellent programs, services, and facilities for residents of all ages.
Public meetings are held in person at West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 unless otherwise indicated. Meeting dates are subject to change by action of the Board of Commissioners.
Emergency Meetings may be scheduled in addition to Regular or Committee Meetings. Notice of these meetings will be posted on this website, in the lobby of West Ridge Center, and sent to local news media. If you are interested in meeting agendas and minutes that are not archived on the website please call: 847.831.3810.
The Park Board of Commissioners welcomes public comments during Regular, Workshop, Committee, and Special Meetings. Pursuant to Policy # 2.06.14, of the Park District Policy Manual, the Board has adopted and approved the following ordinance regarding rules for public comment.
|Jan 11, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Jan 17, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Jan 18, 2023 @ 5pm||Policy Committee|
|Jan 18, 2023 @ 5:30pm||Facility & Recreation Committee|
|Jan 25, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular – CANCELED|
|Feb 1, 2023 @ 6pm||Special – REVISED|
|Feb 7, 2023 @ 8:15am||Special|
|Feb 8, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Feb 14, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Feb 22, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Mar 8, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Mar 20, 2023 @ 6pm||Special|
|Mar 21, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Mar 29, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular – CANCELED|
|Apr 3, 2023 @ 5pm||April 3 Regular (March 29 Rescheduled)|
|Apr 12, 2023 @ 5pm||Facility & Recreation Committee|
|Apr 12, 2023||Workshop|
|Apr 18, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Apr 26, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|May 10, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|May 16, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|May 24, 2023 @ 6pm||Annual|
|May 24, 2023||Regular|
|Jun 7, 2023 @ 6pm||Lakefront, Parks, & Natural Areas Committee|
|Jun 7, 2023||Facility & Recreation Committee|
|Jun 14, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Jun 20, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Jun 28, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Jul 12, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Jul 18, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Jul 26, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular (Revised)|
|Aug 2, 2023 @ 6pm||Lakefront, Parks, & Natural Areas Committee|
|Aug 9, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop – CANCELED|
|Aug 15, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Aug 23, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Sep 13, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Sep 19, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Sep 27, 2023 @ 5pm||Decennial Committee|
|Sep 27, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Oct 11, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop – CANCELED|
|Oct 17, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Oct 18, 2023 @ 6pm||Facility and Recreation Committee|
|Oct 25, 2023 @ 5pm||Decennial Committee|
|Oct 25, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Nov 8, 2023 @ 5pm||Decennial Committee|
|Nov 8, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Nov 14, 2023 @ 8am||Finance Committee|
|Nov 15, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Nov 29, 2023 @ 6pm||CANCELED – Lakefront, Parks, & Natural Areas Committee|
|Dec 6, 2023 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Dec 7, 2023 @ 8am||REVISED – Finance Committee|
|Dec 13, 2023 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Jan 17, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Jan 31, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Feb 14, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Feb 28, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Mar 13, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Mar 20, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Apr 10, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Apr 24, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|May 8, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|May 22, 2024 @ 6pm||Annual|
|May 22, 2024||Regular|
|Jun 12, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Jun 26, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Jul 17, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Jul 31, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Aug 14, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Aug 28, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Sep 11, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Sep 25, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Oct 16, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Oct 30, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Nov 13, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Nov 20, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|
|Dec 11, 2024 @ 6pm||Workshop|
|Dec 18, 2024 @ 6pm||Regular|