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updated: 9/21/2012 4:37 PM

Patricia Ferruzza: Candidate Profile

Lake County board District 5 (Democrat)

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  • Patricia Ferruzza, running for Lake County board District 5

    Patricia Ferruzza, running for Lake County board District 5




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



City: Fox Lake


Office sought: Lake County board District 5

Age: 50

Family: Married. Four children, eight grandchildren.

Occupation: Editor of attorneys' reference materials.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Northern Illinois University, 1985.

Civic involvement: I have volunteered for local and national political campaigns since 2004, and have served as an election judge since 2005. I have been involved with the Grant Township Democrats since the group was formed and help organize the cleanup for our Adopt-A-Highway stretch of road. My other volunteer activities tend to be ad hoc depending on what the needs are at any particular time. One example would be when I joined with some friends in a ?giving circle? where we found a family in crisis and worked with them for a year. We met weekly to help with budgeting, goal-setting, prioritizing and resume writing. We assisted in finding professional help with family counseling and financial planning, and at the end of the year the family had more secure employment and stable living conditions.

Elected offices held: None.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Support smart retail development in northwestern Lake County to capture dollars that are currently going to McHenry County and across the state line to Wisconsin.

Key Issue 2

Encourage the implementation of green power in Lake County, and especially to revisit the issue of wind turbines and the very stringent requirements that have been set for private installations. Natural gas vehicles, wind power, solar power and green roof technology will help keep our air and water clean and provide opportunities for job growth.

Key Issue 3

It what undoubtedly will be a challenging term, I want to make sure that the hardworking families in my district are represented in the inevitable talks about austerity, and to see that those that have the least don?t pay the price in the effort to do more with less at the county level.

Questions & Answers

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

I would advocate limiting development on the golf course grounds to walking paths, observation areas, and education stations for bird, plants and wildlife, and would be very interested in exploring prairie restoration options.

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

Even-handed enforcement of the existing ethics rules is what is truly needed. I would also like to see an Ethics Commission made up of an even number of Democrats and Republicans. All ethics issues could be submitted to that body, and would be part of the public record. To move an investigation forward would require a simple majority and once the issue has been resolved, whether or not any further action was taken, the report of the resolution would be part of the public record as well.

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 would propose holding at least one meeting annually of every committee as well as one full Board meeting at locations throughout Lake County, much as the Forest Preserve Board holds one meeting every year at a different Forest Preserve property. This would encourage people who don?t want to make the trip to Waukegan to attend the committee and full Board meetings. The Committee of the Whole could also vary its meeting location periodically, although the Permit Facility is much more centrally located and has more welcoming parking. I know this would place some hardship on staff, but sufficient advance planning would let those who know they need to attend to arrange their schedules, and advanced telecommunications make it easier to include those whose attendance was not anticipated by phone or instant message.

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 am open to using eminent domain, but I would first look at the feasibility of bridging the river to take the trail into Ryerson Woods. If the owner sees that there is a viable option, his willingness to negotiate a fair asking price sooner rather than later may increase.

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

I would be very careful about planning too specifically too far into the future, as you can end up over-funding some departments and under-funding others. The chief benefit of local government is the ability to respond more quickly than state or federal government to changing conditions. That being said, I believe that the trend is clear that we?ll need to explore renewable energy options, as traditional sources will only get more expensive, and stresses on the grid will make blackouts more common. Encouraging private installation of solar and wind power should be County policy, and working with local utilities to make it practical and affordable should be a top priority.