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Late mayor’s son named Beach Park trustee

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Updated: November 30, 2012 6:22AM

The eldest child of the late Mayor Milt Jensen has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Beach Park village board.

The board unanimously approved Donald M. Jensen, a superintendent of water production for the city of Highland Park, to replace former trustee John Hucker. Hucker became mayor when Milt Jensen, 79, died March 31 after a long battle with cancer.

Donald Jensen, 60, a father of three who lives in Beach Park with his wife Sue, joins five other trustees on the village board.

“I value public service very much and it’s something I was raised with,” said Jensen. “I always felt that people should step up (and become active) in their community.” The new trustee added that during the 1980s, the threat of a nearby multi-family housing development got him interested in becoming instrumental in the incorporation of the village.

In a letter he wrote to Mayor Hucker upon acceptance of his appointment, Jensen stated, “While the village services and staff have grown beyond what we envisioned then, I am proud of the fact that our village is just (big) enough to allow our residents to enjoy the ‘rural spirit,’ all without a village property tax.”

Jensen said he is “very conservative,” and believes in “a minimalist government.” While he has many of the same beliefs, he doesn’t want to be known as an imitation of his dad who served several consecutive terms as mayor, going on 16 years. “I’m a different fellow,” said Jensen. “I hope that people don’t expect a carbon copy. He (Hucker’s) got some pretty big shoes to fill, but I feel I can pitch in and hopefully help.”

Mayor Hucker said Jensen was selected after nearly a dozen suggestions from the community and village officials.

“What I’ve given up (as trustee) is my ability to vote,” said Hucker who for six months held the unique dual position of both trustee and mayor. He added that the mayoral position he has only allows him to vote in the instance of a tie, and regarding real estate transactions. “I resigned on Thursday (Oct. 25) night as trustee,” said Hucker.

“Don is a very intelligent man and (because he works for the water department at Highland Park) he has seen government from the other side. He is very thoughtful and I think he’ll fit in well,” said Mayor Hucker.

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