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updated: 2/10/2012 4:35 PM

Carol Calabresa: Candidate Profile

Lake County board District 15 (Republican)

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  • Carol Calabresa, running for Lake County board District 15

      Carol Calabresa, running for 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Libertyville

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Lake County board District 15

Age: 67

Family: Married to husband Bill for 43 years. Three children: Elizabeth, Kathryn, and Vincent Four grandchildren.

Occupation: Lake County Board Member Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner

Education: B.S. Political Science University of Wisconsin-Madison

Civic involvement: Libertyville Civic Center Board Libertyville Junior Women's Club-33 years Liberty Prairie Conservancy and Elawa Farm board member Lake County Domestic Violence Council and Elder Abuse Council A Safe Place Advisory Board member Initiated first drug curriculum in District 70 Republicans for Environmental Protection Board of Directors

Elected offices held: Libertyville Township Trustee Lake County Board Member Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Fiscal Responsibility

Our 2012 budget is almost $20 million less than the 2009 as a direct result of county board budget guidelines. Personnel cost is the biggest expense for government; however, the county has reduced our headcount for the last three years. During 2009-2011, we saved nearly $50 million in salary expenses. Unlike many other government units we have a balanced budget; strong cash reserves, and contribute the full annual fund pension requirement which enables us to maintain a AAA bond rating. We are one of only 38 counties in the entire U.S. having such a high rating. I voted against the 2012 budget as I wanted deeper cuts and funding for only core and mandated business operations, and

I will continue to advocate for the same next year.

Key Issue 2

Transportation Improvements

Lake County businesses and residents rely on our 5 year transportation program for a healthy, local economy. Infrastructure improvements create jobs and provide for efficient movement of goods and people. At the 2006 transportation summit, I worked with mayors, county board members, and state legislators to identify the Route 21 expansion project as the highest priority for congestion relief. Construction at this notorious bottle neck began in the fall of 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2013. The project will include an underpass for trail connections from the west to the Des Plaines River trail. I will continue to support road projects which relieve congestion and enhance our quality of life.

Key Issue 3

Natural Resource Preservation

I have a long voting history of vigilantly protecting land, air, and water

quality for the last 28 years.

As a founding member of the Libertyville Township Open Space District and as a Forest Preserve Commissioner, I have voted for over 17,000 acres of land preservation and created many new forest preserves for our residents to enjoy. I helped plan and develop

award winning projects such as Independence Grove, Middle Fork Savanna, and Rollins Savanna. I was an early advocate and

leader in land preservation, restoration and trail planning and development. I will continue the long standing legacy.

Questions & Answers

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?

Although people write their entire tax bill to the Lake County Tax Collector, Lake County only keeps 7%. The remaining amount is distributed to 231 other taxing districts in the county with the largest sum going to the schools. Our department heads and elected officials have worked together to consolidate programs, cross train our staff, and make certain everyone meets specific performance standards. In all departments, our budget policies state

the grant program ends when the funding is terminated. In this economic downturn, we have already downsized several departments such as Winchester House, planning and zoning, and recorder of deeds to meet lower service demands. We have already consolidated programs and our budget reflects the savings. Another example of responding to the changing and cost effective needs of the community

are the Health Department clinics. Due to a decrease in demand at our satellite locations and an increase demand at our Waukegan clinic site, we are expanding the Waukegan hours and closing monthly satellite locations. Should other opportunities arise, we will take similar actions to ensure tax payers get the maximum benefit for their dollars.

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?

In this economy we can't encumber tax payers for anything unless it is an absolute necessity such as health and safety issues. We must live within our means and we can only spend money within our

strict budget limitations. Our Fort Sheridan golf studies indicated a golf course was not financially feasible. Studies clearly stated that golfing rounds were way down and would not be on the increase due to the economy and golf course saturation. In fact, this was confirmed by a total non-response to our bid request for the construction of a 9 hole course. The Forest Preserve Board did the due diligence to show the Department of the Army that we tried to fulfill our agreement. I would support a request to the Department of the Army to lift the golf course restriction and enable the district to have the only Lake Michigan public access for the resident's enjoyment of ravines, prairies, and woodlands.

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.

First of all, privatizing does not always save money in the short or long term. It definitely depends on the project. I am willing to look at program possibilities now or in the future which make sense and indicate clear cost savings and increased efficiency.

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?

To begin with, District 15 is mostly made up of

municipalities which have functional control of the land and services. Traffic and roads are where the county can have an impact. To that end, we have been instrumental in improving Butterfield Road to four lanes and, our worst bottle neck at Highway 21 and 137 is under construction for additional expansion. I support road projects throughout the county, because our residents drive everywhere to work and to enjoy recreational opportunities.

Should the county continue to pursue open space policies' Why or why not?

We should continue to pursue open space policies. In November 2008, Lake County voters approved a new $185 million bond referendum by a 66% majority; therefore, we are committed to sell the bonds within 10 years. During the economic downturn, land values have dramatically decreased, thus, we are able to purchase more land for less money per acre. This is an opportune time to increase our holdings. The Forest Preserve District, in November 2010, passed a Lake County Vision for Land Preservation which approved a two-fold land acquisition goal of preserving 40 acres for every 1000 residents, and preserving at least 20% of the county as natural areas. This is to be accomplished with other public and private land preservation partners in Lake County.

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