Fox Lake honors long-time leader/city friend

May 3, 2019

FOX LAKE — The Fox Lake City Council honored its mayor and one of the city’s best friends Wednesday night at its monthly meeting.

Family and friends gathered to watch as a plaque was presented to Tom Bednarek, and his name was added to the list of 12 honorees that hangs inside the council chambers.

Bednarek has a long history with municipal leadership, having served as alderman from 1972-74, and again from 1995-2010. He was elected as mayor in 2010 and has held that post ever since.

Alderman Dan Ault read from his nomination, which was submitted to the city by Randy Ruenger, son of former Mayor Wayne Ruenger.

“During your years of service the city has experienced many improvements, while he did his best not to increase the tax burden on the residents,” Ault read. “Some of the improvements include rebuilding several streets and improving underground infrastructure, as well as saving the city money on sewage treatment costs by substantially reducing the flow of groundwater being pumped out of the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Many of the projects have been done utilizing grants that were searched out and helped offset costs.

“Our mayor has worked hard to bring more businesses to Fox Lake including the Kwik Trip convenience store, LeRoy Meats, Dollar General and the soon-to-come Hip Hop Diner and Subway sub shop. Let’s not forget the reopening of the SAGES school — a huge benefit for Fox Lake and the surrounding area.

“Thank you for your many years of hard work and dedicated service to the city of Fox Lake and congratulations on a job well done.”

Audience members rose to give him a standing ovation and Bednarek was visibly touched by the honor. He cited his wife, Kay, as the chief reason for his successes, and thanked her for supporting him in all aspects of his life.

“It is such a great honor to be recognized in this way,” Bednarek said. “It has been my pleasure working for the city of Fox Lake. It’s not like a job when you see the growth and the good things being done. You get plenty of rewards watching those things happen.

“A former boss of mine told me that you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and between the council and our city workers and the crews in the police and fire departments, they make my job a lot easier.”

Previous honorees on the Wall of Fame include John Solis, Keith Steiner, Dr. H.J. Kreutzman, city EMTs, city firefighters, Melda Posthuma, Gerald “Moose” Mullin, Wayne Ruenger, Norma M. Schultz, Jean Mierow and Judge Richard Quirk.