Lake Forest City Councilman Mark Tettemer announced his decision not to run for reelection in this letter to the residents of Lake Forest.
August 10, 2012
To the Residents and Businesses of the City of Lake Forest –
It is with mixed emotions that I announce that I will not be seeking reelection to the Lake Forest City Council. I have chosen to take this time to pursue a long-time goal of getting my Master of Public Administration. While I was hopeful to be able to serve on City Council and attend school, I realize that to do so would compromise each endeavor and leave little time for my family.
Let me first thank my wife Brenda, daughter Kylie and son Garrett for their unwavering support by allowing me the time and opportunity to serve the City of Lake Forest. As a family we’ve enjoyed so much through our experiences on City Council – memories and experiences that I know will last a lifetime.
I have had the great honor and pleasure of serving the City for the last 10 years, two years as a Planning Commissioner and eight years as a Council member. One of the many highlights for me personally was to serve as Mayor of Lake Forest in 2008 and 2009. I have enjoyed being associated with many wonderful accomplishments in the City including adding six parks, investing $8 million dollars to improve our parks, laying the foundation for many significant community enhancements including traffic improvements and the largest park in the City (and one of the largest in south Orange County), completion of Alton Parkway and the partnership with the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce to name just a few. And through all of these major accomplishments the City has remained financially strong. The City’s financial outlook is solid and I hope it will remain so for years to come as there is more to do and only so much money to do it with.
To the staff at the City, a heart-felt thank you for your partnership with the City Council. I have the utmost respect not only for what you do but how you do it which is as important. A special thank you to the City Manager, Bob Dunek for the excellent service and leadership he continues to provide for the City. As a resident of Lake Forest, my family and I are comforted to know you are at the helm.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the City’s partners in public safety, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) for the excellent service they provide. For many years the City has been recognized as one of the safest in the country. This is very important and a source of pride for our community. For the past six years I’ve had the pleasure of serving as the City’s representative on the OCFA Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the Board for the past 18 months. Both of these agencies are leaders in their fields and we are fortunate to have them as our partners. Thank you individually and collectively for your service to the residents and businesses in Lake Forest.
When I decided to run for City Council, my goal was to make the community better and display what I believe is a very important value - Citizenship. I have never considered higher office – just to be the best council member I could be. I’d like to thank my supporters who helped with the campaigns. I hope you found it fulfilling and that you stay active in the community – it’s important that you do so. I’ve achieved more than I could have imagined and I could not have done it without your help.
My father once commented about one’s legacy. I will leave it to others to decide what my legacy as an elected representative will be. Please know that I have always considered what was best for the residents and businesses of Lake Forest – not just some of them but all of them – and that equity and fairness were integral to the decisions I made. Furthermore, I was sensitive in not wanting to advance divisive issues in our community. That is counter to the purpose of what a council member ought to do and as of late I’ve seen too much of it.
I know there are many running for City Council including a long-time incumbent, two that have run previously and some running for the first time. Having surveyed the field, I will be supporting first time candidates Kathy Zechmeister and Terry Anderson to reinvigorate the Council and get it back on the right track. Both have been active in the community and have been positive contributors to the City. I believe their constructive outlook, fiscal perspectives and proven experience and leadership will serve the residents and businesses well.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on City Council. As to the future, I plan to complete my Master of Public Administration. After that, who knows?
Please check back on my Facebook account periodically – I’ll have more to say as things in the campaign progress.