Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Lake Bluff
Office sought: Lake County board District 13
Family: Married to Sue, a learning disabilities teacher in Lake Forest Dist. 67. Two sons, Wicks, 23, a Chicago banker, and Billy, 21, a jr. at Colgate University in NY. The 4th of 5 children of Henry and Alice Barkhausen of Lake Forest.
Occupation: a fee-only (i.e., no product sales) life insurance consultant, heading my own firm of Life Insurance Advisors, Inc., providing long-distance advice to individuals across the country. Licensed attorney.
Education: B.A. Princeton University, high honors, 1972 J.D., Southern Illinois University School of Law, 1976, Dean's List.
Civic involvement: Former Board Member: Illinois Nature Conservancy, Lake Forest Open Lands, Allendale School for Boys, Gorton Community Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff, Chicago Estate Planning Council. Former Deacon: Lake Forest Presbyterian Church and current coordinator and recruiter of ushers. Secretary, Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club.
Elected offices held: IL State Representative, 1981-1983 IL State Senator, 1983-1997 (represented all of this new County Board district for at least 10 years, and much of it for all 16 years). Lake Bluff Village Trustee, 2003-2011 Shields Township Clerk, 2005-present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No, nor ever charged with one.
Key Issue 1
Maintaining the County's strong fiscal position while avoiding tax increases.
Key Issue 2
Improving traffic flow through continuing technological enhancements to the County's "Passage" program and seeing that Route 53 is built as a 4-lane parkway/tollway.
Key Issue 3
Strengthening ties between the Forest Preserve District, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, park districts, and private conservation organizations.
(The FPD's budget and capital plan should be on its website, among other additional needed information).
The county remains in the black, but property taxes across the region are high. Should programs be cut to save taxpayers money? If so, which ones and why?
The first challenge is to make sure that the property tax burden doesn't grow.
I question whether the County should remain in the nursing home business (see below).
Consolidation of the recorder's office with the clerk's, as was done recently in Tazewell County, could offer a modest savings.
Other potential savings (e.g., consolidating assessment offices) require legislative changes.
What should be done with the Fort Sheridan golf course? If no building or management proposals come back from vendors, do you propose abandoning golf? If so, are you concerned about a lawsuit? If you propose building a course, how should it be funded?
I have strongly opposed building a new golf course at Ft. Sheridan and have urged others to make that position known to CB members.
If the deed provision were ultimately enforceable (it doesn't say what kind of golf course), the FPD could build a 9 hole, par 3 course.
They could, if necessary, also seek to modify the deed with the Army.
The Winchester House nursing home recently was turned over to a private company for operation. Should other county or forest district departments be privatized to save taxpayers money? Please explain.
The County should not build a new $40 million Winchester House at all, assuming there is, as I believe, capacity in private nursing homes to care adequately for Medicaid patients.
I believe there are 33 nursing homes in the County that provide this care, which is funded by the Federal and State governments at no expense to the County.
Some of the savings on operations could possibly be used to enhance other Health Department services (e.g., possibly a pharmacy at the Health Department facility in North Chicago).
Is there a specific type of service or amenity that is lacking in your district? If so, how do you propose to provide and fund that?
This district represents a portion of North Chicago (mostly on the Navy base), which is the poorest community in the County on a per capita income basis.
See my comment about a pharmacy above.
Should the county continue to pursue open space policies' Why or why not?
Yes. The Forest Preserve District's properties are a key contributor to the high quality of life in the County.
However, further acquisitions should be sure to focus on special natural areas and should be apportioned fairly within the County.
The website is also not used optimally to provide necessary financial information, current conditions of trails, and links to related organizations and properties in the greater region. I also question the printing cost of their glossy quarterly newsletter in this Internet age.
There is also potential to increase private contributions to the FPD foundation.