Anthony Soler: Candidate Profile
Lake County board District 13
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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 13
Family: Anthony is married to Jaclyn Soler, they have two young children together James and Grace. They live in Warren Township located in the Pleasant Hill Subdivision at the Southeast corridor of 120 and O'Plaine road.
Occupation: Hired with the Waukegan Fire Department in 1997, and hold the rank of Lieutenant. Also a member of the Dive Rescue team.
Education: Graduated from Deerfield High School 1991. Attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale after high school. Enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Honorable discharge. Was a member of Special Forces as a Deep Sea Navy Diver. State of IL Lic. EMT-B and Paramedic
Civic involvement: Volunteer for the Special Olympics, as well as help raise funds for the MDA. A member of the American Legion Post in Deerfield. Competes in the Firefighter Combat Challenge, as seen on ESPN, and is advertised as "The Toughest 2-minutes in sports". Also is an avid Triathlete, and race locally.(2011 season: Pleasant Prairie, Glenview and Chicago)
Elected offices held: None at this time
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Never
Key Issue 1
Maintain the Balanced Budget The 2012 budget for Lake County is $17 million less than the 2009 budget. Lake County also has a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor's and Moody's. Over the years, Lake County has experienced declines in revenues due to the economic recession, and reductions in state funding. And the Lake County Board made many necessary cuts and adjustments to balance the budget. Lake County is one of only 38 Counties in the United States to have a AAA rating from both Standard & Poor's and Moody's.
"We must continue this practice of sound fiscal policy. If elected I promise to continue with the responsible spending that our board has demonstrated."
Key Issue 2
Responsible Government. What do I mean by Responsible Government? Well the first thing that we needs is leadership in place to make those difficult decisions. We need to eliminate levels of Government that provide the same services as other levels of government. I am speaking specifically to Township Government. Townships were necessary a hundred years ago before villages, towns and cities were developed into what they are today. The most practical way to lower our property taxes would be to do away with Township Government and have the County and the State of Illinois absorb the few services that are not already covered by current governing bodies. Roads in Warren Township cost up to three times as much to maintain as our State and County roads, that is not money well spent in my book.
Key Issue 3
Taxes We are over taxed right now and should not even entertain any new taxes to offset the shortfalls in revenue. I applaud the Lake County Board for being fiscally responsible and keeping a balanced budget. I promise to show the same financial discipline and transparency with County finances. I will support fiscally conservative policies that control spending, balance the budget, and ensure tax rates remain as low as humanly possible.
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?
Yes absolutely we need to lower our property taxes but it does not have to come at the expense of cutting programs.
Township government is obsolete and has gone the way of analog television. I understand that County Government can not abolish Township Government but the board as a whole can take measures to start the process, just as Evanston has done.
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 would not be in favor of doing anything that would bring legal action against the board, nor would I be in favor of going against any previous legal binding agreement. Fort Sheridan is prime land and a beautiful location for a golf course. I know for a fact that like any business you need proper marketing to get customers, and Fort Sheridan Golf Course has done a poor job advertising and bringing in customers.
You can't have a profitable golf course if you don't have golfers. I would need more details on the legal aspect of the agreement for the golf course to give a more comprehensive answer to this question.
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.
This is a broad question and a bit difficult to answer, due to the vagueness of which specific County/Forest District departments. I don't think it is fair to compare Winchester House to other Lake County departments.
With that being said let me try to answer the question to the best of my ability? Normally when you privatize government departments you lay off your employees and a private company comes in and will pay new normally less skilled employees considerably less money. I am not in favor of privatizing any departments.
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 do not feel that District 13 is lacking in any service or amenity at this time.
Should the county continue to pursue open space policies' Why or why not?
I feel that as Lake County grows we should have proportionate open spaces. Right now growth in Lake County has stalled along with our economy. I feel that as Lake County develops open spaces should be secured. Since that is not the case at this time. I do not see a need to expand for the sake of buying land because of the depressed real estate market. Buying excessive land at the tax payers expense is not good business. We need to continue to keep Lake County on an even keel, and spending money we don't have is not the way to go about doing that.
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