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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: Father of 3 children: Gabriela, Delfino and Blanca
Occupation: Director Family Resource Center. Diamond Lake School District 76, Mundelein, IL
Education: Master of Science in Horticulture, University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, 1980; Attended ESL Summer Program at Georgetown University. Washington, D.C. 1976; Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering, University of Chapingo, Mexico, 1972.
Civic involvement: Member, Board of Directors, BENNU Legal Services NFP; Board Director, Diamond Lake Education Foundation; Member, Lions Club; Member, Saint Joseph Church, Libertyville; Substitute Teacher for Sunday School, Saint Joseph Church, Libertyville; Referee for AYSO, VIP Program for kids with different abilities; Deputy Voter Registrar for over eight years; Member, Northeast IL Council, Boy Scouts of America, since 2008; Member CRHP Team 13, St Joseph Church Libertyville. Boy Scouts of America. Recipient of the Boys Scouts of America President?s Award; Member of State Representative Carol Sente?s Education and Environment Citizen Advisory Committee.
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
REDUCE SPENDING AND CUT TAXES NOW IN LAKE COUNTY: In the current state of our economy it is imperative to reduce spending and cut taxes. Eliminating waste is in the best interest of taxpayers and government. Just recently, my opponent approved building a new courthouse at a cost of $105 million. I know and understand that overcrowding at the courthouse is a fact and additional space is needed. Buying an existing building to accommodate civil and family cases and then converted it for use at a fraction of the cost with savings for up to $90 or $95 million is a better option. More savings would be accomplished by utilizing staff from the forest preserve more fully. I question why the Forest Preserve Board is using its savings to cover budget deficits, at the same time is awarding some contracts to outside companies. The Board is entrusted with reading contract details not simply granting approval on any contract presented. Closer reviews of all future contracts would help reduce waste and slash taxes.
Key Issue 2
INCREASE EMPLOYMENT NOW IN LAKE COUNTY. We need to create and support businesses in the county. Small businesses in Lake County should be awarded at least 25% of all Lake County government contracts. We must encourage local companies to bid and win contracts. There are legal ways that our government is using now to benefit some companies. I would like to use the same method but for small county companies. Benefits will spread to other area businesses, creating more jobs. With the pending departure of a large nationally known company, right now small, medium and new businesses could act as the engines to drive local development. Offering limited tax incentives to new businesses would also promote growth.
Key Issue 3
PROTECT OUR SENIORS IN LAKE COUNTY. A modern Winchester House would be a top priority for me. The topic has been under discussion for 3 years or more. It is time to take action now and end any further delays. I will have the support of Lake County United on this issue.
Now that golf at Fort Sheridan is a dead issue, what types of amenities should be added to the site?
I believe that public land should be open to the public. I support creating a park on the site that would be similar to Independence Grove. Lake County residents could experience the beauty of the lake front by walking on trails that would include a designated dog park, a pavilion with an art/visitors center and a classroom for instruction highlighting the history of Fort Sheridan. I have always supported the plan for a park at this location as the best option. There seems to have been a confusion in the past regarding the development of a golf course at Fort Sheridan. Home owners bought their homes considering on having one. Forest Preserve Board members and the builder should be more transparent and explain to them that there was not a covenant or a restriction from the Army on this issue. It was an inaccuracy from the forest preserve and the builder.
What, if any, new ethics-related rules are needed for the county board and county staff?
We should hold our elected county officials and staff members to the highest standards. If there are violations, the laws should be upheld and enforced. Sadly, there are too many incidents (Witmore Affair is one of them) in the press regarding ethical violations or lapses of integrity in our elected officials. We need to hold all staff to the highest standards. Terms of these ethical violations were just negotiated.
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.
I feel there is no place for patronage in our Lake County government and I will fight against any discriminatory practice. Good jobs at the Forest Preserve District and other county agencies should be open to any applicant. I believe in objectivity, diversity and fair hiring practices to fill a position. We need to examine our process of hiring new employees, using a system of objectivity, fairness and accountability for all those involved. This would provide a change in the hiring process and will diversify our work force. The public should also be able to see more detail of expenditures within agencies. Since sometimes fair law on company hiring practices are not followed.
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?
As a homeowner I understand this issue very well. There are State laws that allow the Forest Preserve district to get the land needed. The district should pay a fair market value for the land. The price should be agreeable to both sides. Eminent domain must be reserved for very precise and specific circumstances and only where it?s absolutely necessary. Government and elected officials should listen and work with the affected owner of the property. When I had such issues with Lake County over the expansion of a road, my rights as a homeowner were ignored for two years by the county and by my opponent. This is one of the reasons that I am running for Lake County board. I will listen and work with all residents to make sure that our government is fair to them.
What will be the biggest issue facing the county over the next decade, and how do you propose dealing with it?
Our future generations deserve jobs and a clean environment. It is our duty right now to create good jobs and provide a healthy environment for our future generations in Lake County. We have to attract, support, and bring "green companies to our county. I would like to see our Lake County government awarding contracts to these types of enterprises. We have to safeguard our environment and improve it where possible. To this issue, I propose that the Forest Preserve District acquire the land adjacent and located on the East side of Marytown and the Seminary of Mundelein. This beautiful piece of land is for sale. Residents of Libertyville and Mundelein want to preserve this wonderful area from residential builders. I will work to keep this area as a treasured natural beauty for future residents to enjoy as natural and protected land.