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updated: 2/7/2012 3:57 PM

Two seek Round Lake area county board seat in GOP primary

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  • Rene Hernandez

    Rene Hernandez

  • Michael Carbone

    Michael Carbone

  • Terry Wilke

    Terry Wilke


A former library board trustee and a current school board member are running in the Republican primary for a Lake County Board seat serving Round Lake and Round Lake Beach.

Round Lake residents Rene Hernandez Jr. and Michael Carbone will be on the GOP ballot for county board District 16. Both men are in their first Lake County Board election.

Democrat county board member Terry Wilke of Round Lake Beach, who's unopposed in the March 20 primary, will face the Republican winner in the November general election.

Hernandez, an Associated Research Inc. sales representative, is a former trustee on the Round Lake Area Public Library board. Carbone, a real-estate broker and tax-abatement specialist, serves on Grayslake Elementary District 46's board.

Both candidates addressed issues in Daily Herald questionnaires and at a recent editorial board interview.

One issue is the long-proposed golf course at Fort Sheridan. County board members also serve on the Lake County Forest Preserve District board.

Given that it would cost an estimated $10 million with minimal annual return, it's unlikely there will be any private operators willing to build a 9-hole golf course at county-owned Fort Sheridan, a consultant recently informed forest officials.

Hernandez said a heavy investment of taxpayers' money on a Fort Sheridan golf course wouldn't be prudent. He said the forest board could work with nearby homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan development in Highland Park and Highwood to discuss a mixed-use recreation facility with golf and other activities.

"A red flag is the fact the forest preserve board did not receive any bids from any vendors who specialize in making golf courses profitable," he said.

Carbone also expressed concern about the Fort Sheridan situation.

"No, I don't propose abandoning the project," Carbone said, "but we have a responsibility to protect taxpayers' dollars. However, I would like to get perspective from the constituents on the issue further."

Hernandez said, if elected, he'd quit his job at Associated Research and devote all of his time to being a county board member. He also is trying to set himself apart from Carbone among the GOP voters.

"I'd say I'm the more reasonable candidate," Hernandez said. "Let's just say I'm not the candidate that's established himself as the Tea Party firebrand."

Carbone responded that he is not unreasonable and he entered politics primarily out of a concern about whether government must keep growing.

"I do believe in smaller government, less taxes, but I believe government is there to do certain things," he said.

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