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updated: 9/21/2012 4:38 PM

Craig Taylor: Candidate Profile

Lake County board District 19 (Republican)

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  • Craig Taylor, running for Lake County board District 19

      Craig Taylor, running for Lake County board District 19

 

 

 

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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: Lake Zurich

Website: http://craigtaylorlakecounty.com

Office sought: Lake County board District 19

Age: 67

Family: Married to Pam for 36 years. We have three children, each of which graduated from Lake Zurich High School: Matt (?97), Kim (?00), and Laura (?03). We are also proud grandparents with one grandchild (so far!).

Occupation: After serving in the U.S. Air Force, I worked at United Airlines for 40 years. I am now retired.

Education: Attended Colorado State University and the University of Colorado

Civic involvement: Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency (JAWA) ? Member Lake County Public Housing Commission ? Member Lake County Stormwater Management Commission ? Alternate Member Homeowners Association ? President (1976 ? Present) Lake Zurich/Nittenau, Germany, Sister Cities Partnership ? Founding Member (1999 ? Present; Chairman 1999 ? 2007) Lake Zurich Public Works Committee ? Chairman (2001 ? 2005; 2006 ? 2009) Lake Zurich Public Safety Committee ? Member (2001 ? 2005) Lake Zurich Planning & Development Committee ? Member (2005 ? 2009) Lake County Stormwater Management Commission ? Member (2001 ? 2007) Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) ? Member (2001 ? 2007) Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce ? Board of Directors (2003 ? 2007) Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce ? Member (2003 ? Present) Lake Zurich American Legion ? Member (2002 ? Present) Lake Zurich Rotary Club ? Member; Charitable Contributions Committee ? Chairman (2009 ? Present)

Elected offices held: Lake County Board Member (2009 ? present) Lake County Forest Preserve Board (2009 ? present) Village of Lake Zurich ? Village Trustee (2001 ? 2009, 2 terms)

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Improve Transportation in District 19 and Throughout Lake County It is vitally important that we improve transportation in District 19 and Lake County in order to reduce travel times, improve access to businesses, and decrease road congestion. This is one of the best actions we can take to help grow the Lake County economy in order to create jobs for our talented residents, not to mention the improvement it will make to our way of life. To that end I continue to be a strong advocate for transportation investments that have resulted in a number of road projects and infrastructure improvements in our district such as the upcoming widening of Quentin Road from Rue Royale to White Pine Road and the improvement of the Route 12 & Quentin Road intersection. I have supported the expansion of Lake County PASSAGE, our very own intelligent transportation system that gives our residents and businesses free personalized, real-time traffic notifications. Additionally, I continue to be a strong proponent of the extension of Route 53, working with County Board Chairman David Stolman to finally make this necessary project a reality.

Key Issue 2

Use Your Tax Dollars Wisely While Growing Our Economy 1/3 of Lake County?s budget comes from your property taxes, accounting for approximately 7% of your property tax bill. I constantly remind myself that at the county we are spending your tax dollars, and as a result we have to be accountable to you with how responsibly we spend your money. I have worked to reduce the county budget by $15 million over the past two years without reducing necessary services, resulting in a budget this year that spends $19 million less than the budget in 2009. This was achieved through more efficient spending, freezing employee salaries, reducing Board Members? salaries, and cutting where possible. This has allowed Lake County to maintain adequate reserves for future economic uncertainties and to remain one of only about 35 counties in the nation (there are over 3,800) to have a AAA bond rating. We have not, and will not, raise taxes. Instead, we are focused on growing Lake County?s economy by working with Lake County Partners, our Economic Development Agency, to create ?shovel-ready? sites for new business development, retain our current businesses, and improve the overall business climate. We also streamlined our permitting process by opening a new central permit facility with one-stop-shop capabilities.

Key Issue 3

Serve My District Faithfully to the Best of My Ability My focus is on serving the residents in my district and bringing county focus to the southwest corner of the county. I view this as a public service, and as a result I reinvest the salary I receive back into our community by supporting our local clubs, organizations, and causes. I pay for my activities as a County Board Member out of my own pocket, never seeking reimbursement for expenses. I remain as transparent as possible, publishing my personal contact information for members of the community to be able to contact me directly with their comments or concerns. I write and distribute an e-newsletter with local and county news that goes out about twice a month to over 4000 people to keep them informed of important issues. My only goal is to serve you as my neighbor, and I consider it a great honor to be your Lake County Board Representative.

Questions & Answers

Now that golf at Fort Sheridan is a dead issue, what types of amenities should be added to the site?

Our Lake County Forest Preserves are second to none! I want to see the property at Ft. Sheridan returned to its natural condition with native vegetation and landscaping. I also want walking trails and scenic overlooks on the lake front included. Input from the neighboring communities/residents should be taken into consideration in the planning process.

What, if any, new ethics-related rules are needed for the county board and county staff?

As a member of the Ad-hoc Ethics Committee I closely studied our policies and procedures regarding county board and staff ethics. Our committee compared our policies and procedures to those of other counties as well as state guidelines. No deficiencies were found and it was agreed we will continue to meet on an as needed basis while keeping in close contact with our Director of Human Resources and staff to make sure we stay in compliance and also deal with any issues that may arise on an immediate basis. This is something that must be watched with a close, wary eye because we cannot allow complacency to set in and simply assume that our Members and staff are continuing to uphold the Lake County tradition of integrity.

Government transparency has been an important issue in recent years. Name one thing the county government or forest preserve district should do to improve transparency.

Lake County continues to receive high marks for transparency, earning a "Sunny Award" and an A+ transparency grade for our website for the 3rd straight year. We must continue to strive to make records and documents easily accessible on the web so that individuals in the community can review our work and hold us accountable for the way we spend their money and the decisions we make on their behalf. Board members should strive to be as accessible to their constituents as possible, which is something I take to heart: I make sure each of my constituents have my personal phone number and email and know that they can contact me anytime, and many of them do!

Should the forest district use eminent domain to acquire the land needed for the final link in the Des Plaines River Trail? Why or why not? If your answer is no, how should officials go about acquiring that land sooner than later?

I don't feel eminent domain should be used in this instance. While it is indeed unfortunate the property owner is unwilling to cooperate with the Forest Preserve at the moment, I believe staff will prevail and a mutually agreed upon deal will be struck in the very near future. In the meantime, there is a way around this property so folks can follow the trail with a bit of a detour.

What will be the biggest issue facing the county over the next decade, and how do you propose dealing with it?

Fiscal issues will continue to be the biggest challenge we face over the next decade, especially with the State continuing to saddle us with mandates while cutting funding to services. We must grow our economy so that those looking for work can find employment, and this is done by supporting our current businesses while working with Lake County Partners to attract new employers to the county. Going forward we must continue to do all we can to cut expenses to keep pace with the economy and maintain a balanced budget, ensuring we keep our AAA bond rating. If we can continue to spend the public's tax dollars wisely, we will do our part to lower property taxes while hoping that other government bodies within Lake County who are a much larger share of property taxes will follow our lead. We need to do all we can to keep Lake County a prime place to live and work.

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