in Service” highlights the people in our community who devote considerable time
to helping make life better for the rest of us.
Lake Forest Bob Holtzclaw has been a fixture in Lake Forest for 36 years, nearly half his life. You won’t find him at most group meetings, but if you go to the City Council or one of the two Commissions, you’ll probably find him there, with thoughtful comments about how the City can do a better job. Bob’s been doing this for so long he’s on a first name basis with nearly everyone.
We got together for a cup of coffee at Bagels and Brew, and in the middle of our conversation, Mayor Scott Voigts saw him sitting there and came by. Bob kept him engaged for about half an hour before the Mayor left for a meeting.
JG - Why did you move here?
BH - The city was laid out with the idea that there would be a business section and a residential section apart from each other. I liked that.
JG - What do you like best?
BH - I enjoy living in the Lake Forest ll Sun & Sail Club HOA where I have access to pools, gym and other functions.
JG - What do you like least?
BH - Years ago our county supervisors allowed illegal day laborers and vagrants to occupy a section of town near Jeronimo and Orange. Later the city ignored the area and it became an eye sore to this day.
JG - What are the leading challenges ahead for the City?
BH - Some of our leading challenges for this city are having a balance between new construction, traffic, schools and parks. One thing that residents have asked for is a dog park for years.
JG – You spent hundreds of hours every year on a host of issues, from dog parks to e-verify to zoning proposals. What originally inspired you to give up so much your free time?
BH - Years ago when the county controlled this area there was a child day care center near Jeronimo and Orange. One day when I was dropping off my daughter two day laborers jumped on both sides of my van and scared my daughter. That was the last time I have ever done business in that area. And that’s what got me started thinking that what the City or the County does impacts my life, so I need to get involved in what they’re doing.
JG – What has been your biggest satisfaction?
BH - Over the years I gathered a large amount of local e-mails. I use them to inform people about items that might be of interest to them. I can mobilize a large number of people if the topic is important, and these people often act on my e-mails.
Some of the issues we had in the past with the city was no one was allowed to place campaign signs up during elections. This was a big advantage for incumbents and they always won. Later, signs were approved during the election period and we started a program at Lake Forest l & ll called “meet the candidates” which I was a committee member.
JG – And your biggest frustration?
BH – Voter apathy. And the things that citizens want don’t get the kind of attention that the city council gives to things that they want.
JG - Anything Extra to Share?
BH - After living in Lake Forest for 36 years I have noticed some big improvements and some eye sores. I am also the head of our neighborhood watch program in my neighborhood. I have had our local Sheriff’s Dept. come to my home to meet neighbors and inform them how to keep safe and protect their property. As an active member of the community I have never taken a dime from anyone. My goal is to inform people so they can take a stand since apathy is one of our biggest problems and makes bad government.
If you’d like to nominate someone in your community who helps make life better for the rest of us in Lake Forest, please send an e-mail to DrJGardner@gmail.com. Generally speaking we are looking for people who have had an impact in several areas and whose contribution has been over many years.