Dan Donahue: Candidate Profile
Lake County board District 15
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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.
Office sought: Lake County board District 15
Family: Married to Antonietta "Ant" Simonian, three married adult children, five grandchildren under the age of five, one stepdaughter attending Libertyville High School, six younger brothers and a vibrant 82 year old mother.
Occupation: Project Manager - Engineering Architectural Firm - currently working on the formation of a Joint Action Water Agency in the south suburbs of Cook County.
Education: IBEW/NECA Construction Electrical Apprenticeship 1978 Licensed Chicago Supervising Electrician 1980 Certified Illinois Assessing Officer 1992 Licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker 2008
Civic involvement: Village of Libertyville Plan Commission Village of Libertyville Zoning Board of Appeals
Elected offices held: Moraine Valley Community College Trustee 1982-1985 Worth Township Trustee of Schools 1987-1993
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Amend the master plan agreement, between the county and the Village of Libertyville for the development of the 172 acre county farm property along Winchester Road and Milwaukee Avenue, to require public hearings and allow adjoining property owners input on future county program operation and traffic management.
Key Issue 2
Continue to reduce the present and future cost of operations of Lake County government and the Lake County Forest Preserve District.
Key Issue 3
See Key Issue Number 2.
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?
As a non-incumbent, I do not have access to sufficient information to responsibly single out specific county programs for funding reduction or program elimination. But, regardless of the rise and fall of property values on which the county's property tax revenues are based, county government should continually evaluate the cost/efficiency of its fee based, property tax and grant funded services.
A prime example is the Winchester House.
It took years of operating deficits before the county admitted it could neither manage nor afford a skilled care nursing facility.
If the county board could not see or failed to act to address a problem as obvious and significant as the Winchester House deficits; I think it's time to elect people who can see and will act.
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?
Considering the condition of our economy and the over supply and under demand for area golf, I oppose the construction of a golf course on the Fort Sheridan property with or without management proposals from vendors.
I propose the district either negotiate with the federal government to remove the golf course deed restriction or give the land back to the federal government.
The federal government doesn't want the land back.
And, in the unlikely event the federal government accepts the return, Senator Kirk and Congressman Dold will certainly ensure the property becomes federally protected open space.
As to the Ft. Sheridan property owners, I think they would be hard pressed to prove a golf course adds significantly more value to their property than an adjacent nature preserve.
In the event the property owners do prevail, legal costs and modest settlements would certainly be a fraction of the construction cost and operating deficits of a golf course.
My view point on this issue is an example of how taxpayers can benefit from electing business minded people to the county board.
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.
I firmly believe in the "Yellow Pages test" which is: if a service can be found in the phone book, a government should contract with the private sector to deliver the service instead of delivering the service with government employees.
Even the federal government looks to out source; reference the Fair Act PL105-270.
Excepting core public health, public safety and criminal justice operations, Lake County should critically examine remaining operations and move to privatize the delivery of those services more economically and efficiently performed by the local private sector.
Government by Yellow Pages reduces present costs, eliminates legacy costs, boosts the local economy and reinvests Lake County tax dollars in Lake County.
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?
I am unaware of any county service or amenity lacking in the Libertyville or Mundelein communities.
Should the county continue to pursue open space policies' Why or why not?
Without question, the majority of Lake County residents, as do I, treasure our natural preserves and open space and recognize the value it adds to our home investment and quality of life.
I don't think the question is if we should pursue an open space policy; but, more importantly, how to select and value open space land.
I think all too often political considerations are present in the district's site selection and land value determination which causes some to rightfully question the entire program.
I think if consistent selection and value standards are adopted and strictly followed by the district, the Open Space initiative would attract far fewer detractors and the district would pay less for land.
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