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 1
Family: Three Daughters, two Stepsons 4 Grant Children and 2 Gorden Setters
Occupation: Retired Truck Driver
Education: Some College
Civic involvement: Village of Antioch Environmental Commission member, Alderman Felters subdivision, duly elected Precinct Committeeman
Elected offices held: Never held elected office other than Precinct Committeeman
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Property Taxes We simply cannot continue down this road of skyrocketing property taxes to pay for everything under the sun. Over the past 4 years, property values have plummeted yet our taxes continue to rise. Homes are being over assessed by as much as 50% in some cases. This has to stop. We are taxing people right out of the County. I am proposing a cap on assessments and the elimination of Township Assessors to save money. Then take steps to force County government to reduce spending and lower the County portion to the homeowners tax levy. If elected, I will take a 50% pay cut to set an example for all of the taxing bodies in Lake County to reduce their levies and give hard working Lake County home owners a break. We have the 17th highest property taxes in the Country. This must stop and it must stop right now!
Key Issue 2
Jobs It is important for leaders to do everything in their power to create good paying jobs that in turn will create demand in our community. In 2008 I ran a strong campaign based on a people approach to solve the problems that we face in northern Lake County. In 2012, I will focus on continuing my message of change by advocating for bringing good paying jobs to northern Lake County that will create demand in our local economy and to bringing business to the area to help create those jobs. There are several ways we can accomplish this goal, the first is to get our transportation infrastructure in place so that people can move around the County freely getting to and from work with a special emphasis on more commuter options including carpooling and more rail service including weekend trains in & out of Antioch. We need to build the RT53 extension so that people in the western part of the County will have the ability to move freely and draw more business to northern Lake County. I will also be a strong advocate for the construction of a full interchange at the Rt173 & I-94 to allow traffic to flow on and off the interstate in both directions thereby attracting more business from Wisconsin into the Chain O Lakes region. I believe that we need a County government that is much friendlier to small businesses that will help create jobs and generate revenues to take the burden of high property taxes off of seniors on a fixed income.
Key Issue 3
Environment Water is becoming more and more important as time goes on, so it is imperative that we make the right choices regarding drinking water and how we care for the recreational bounty God has given us in the form of the Chain O Lakes. The Chain of lakes is the single most valuable asset in Lake County. The Chain is an important part of our economy and our culture in the 1st district. Hundreds of businesses around the Chain depend on Sportsmen and Women and boaters for their livelihood. The lakes are part of our heritage in Antioch, Lake Villa and Fox Lake, we have a responsibility to protect them and keep them clean. We need to monitor the levels of bacteria to safeguard this resource.
Now that golf at Fort Sheridan is a dead issue, what types of amenities should be added to the site?
I would Support a Traditional forest preserve. Since this land is not in my district, I would be interested in hearing ideas from the folks that live in that community as to how they would like to see the land used.
What, if any, new ethics-related rules are needed for the county board and county staff?
I have not seen the County ethics ordinance yet but here are some ideas that I have. If Lake County does not have a whistle-blower policy I think that would be a good place to start. I would like to see an ethics reform task force appointed to look into the policies of Lake County Government and make recommendations to the County Board. In 2010 or there about, it was revealed that business property owned by former Lake County Board member Randy Whitmore had a septic field that was encroaching on Forest Preserve property. It seems that the County looked the other way for some 20 years before finally addressing the issue. I am not sure why they addressed it at that particular time, but this goes to the issue of tax payer funded assets being used by a politically connected County Board member for free. Not paying any property taxes but still getting the use of the land. I am sure that the excuse for this was that it was some sort of innocent oversight, but that is the problem in Lake County, when someone who is politically connected gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar its just blown off and nobody ever follows up on the violation itself. How did this occur for 20 years and nobody ever noticed? That sounds very suspicious to me. Personally, I think that this could be just the tip of the iceberg, so I think that some outside, non-partisan group should be charged with the task of looking closely at Lake County for the purpose of exposing current problems and suggesting policies going forward. I believe that a change in the culture of County Government must take place so that the tax payers can feel confident that they are being treated fairly and that their tax money is being used wisely and in an ethical way.
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.
One thing that Lake County can do is to create a means of open communications with municipalities. It seems that Lake County has its own agenda and doesn't bother communicating with local municipalities when they are going to do something that may completely undermine plans that a village or Town might have. It is important for the County to have a policy of transparency with municipalities so that everybody is on the same page, when it comes to serving the tax payers. I don't see any reason why we would not want everybody working together with the best ideas on the table for the benefit of the residents. The village residents and the County residents are the same folks and our job is to serve them. I would like to see a much more transparent process when purchasing Forest Preserve land and allowing voters to make clear choices on how we spend tax payer?s dollars. For example, I think that tax payer?s should be shown how the purchase of land affects their existing property taxes by taking large swaths of land off of the tax roles. Real estate prices and markets should be considered when purchasing large tracts of land and I would like to take steps to make sure that the prices we are paying for land are the best prices that we can get for the benefit of our residents.
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 would like to consult with CMAP about that subject. Generally I would not favor the use of eminent domain, but this is an issue that needs to be explored further to find the best solution. I just don't know the answer at this time.
What will be the biggest issue facing the county over the next decade, and how do you propose dealing with it?
I think that we need to find ways to attract good businesses that will create good paying jobs in Lake County. I am interested in working with Lake County Partners to do what we can to bring business to Lake County and to keep the good businesses that we have from leaving. I am not a big fan of tax subsidies to attract business, so I would like to explore ways of attracting business to Lake County using the assets that we have and not the taxpayers money. I look forward to meeting with Lake County Partners to discuss ideas.