City Hall was built in 1898 and served as the Office of the City Manager, Mayor and City Council as well as the Fire Station, Police Station and Library. As the population in Lake Forest grew, these departments moved into separate facilities.
Lake Forest government operates under the Council/Manager system. The City Council is the legislative and policy-making body and includes the Mayor and two Aldermen from each of the City's four wards. The Mayor is elected bi-annually for a two-year term. Aldermen are elected to staggered two-year terms, with one Alderman elected from each Ward annually. The City is also fortunate to have more than 125 residents generously contribute their time and expertise each year to serve on the City's various boards, commissions, and committees.
City Manager Jason C. Wicha is a professional administrator who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the City. Appointed by the Mayor and City Council, he carries out the policies set by the elected officials and is responsible for the efficient, economical operation of City services and facilities. Additional information on the Council/Manager form of government is available through the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
The mission of the Office of the City Manager is to implement and administer the policies and programs established by the City Council; facilitate the attainment of operational goals and objectives established by individual departments; and foster an organizational attitude that promotes excellence in the delivery of service.
The City's internal and external communication programs are handled through the Office of the City Manager by the Communications Manager, who is responsible for public relations for the City, disseminating timely, accurate information about City programs and services, upcoming meetings, and issues important to the community. The Dialogue, Lake Forest's quarterly newsletter, is edited by the Communications Manager and mailed to all households and post office boxes in February, May, August and November. The City's web site and social media are overseen by the Communications Manager.