Lake County voters had the chance Sunday to hear candidates on the local, state and national level talk about issues at a forum sponsored by the Lake County League of Women Voters and the Round Lake Area Public Library at the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center.
The national candidate, Republican Congressman Robert Dold, who is running against Democrat Brad Schneider in the 10th Congressional District, said he is running on a platform of fiscal responsibility in Washington.
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"I believe that we have to tighten our belt. Because what we're doing right now is we're burying
the future generation under a mountain of debt," Dold said.
Dold touted his independence and his ability to work with both sides of the aisle, noting his involvement in successful legislation, including one dealing with sanctions against Iran. On the local level, he spoke about his efforts to clean up Waukegan Harbor and maintain Coast Guard operations out of Waukegan Airport, as well as several jobs bills.
On the state level, Lake County Board member Melinda Willen Bush, who is running in the 31st Senate District as a Democrat, said her main issues are fiscal responsibility and ethics reform, as well as creating jobs and restoring the economy.
Bush, a former Grayslake trustee, said that for the last three years she has voted against the county's budget.
"I voted against our budget because, although the overall budget was down $9 million because of a loss of income, we actually asked you, the property tax payers, for $17.6 million more," she said.
She also said that she has helped strengthen the county's ethics ordinance.
The Republican nominee for the 31st, Joe Neal, was unable to appear because he is on duty as an officer in the Naval reserve. But someone from his campaign read a statement that said he wants to bring jobs back to Illinois and reverse the 67 percent tax hike on individuals and the 46 percent income tax hike on corporations.
Sam Yingling, the Democrat candidate for the state House in District 62, touted his record as Avon Township supervisor.
To date, he said, the township has reduced its tax levy more than 22 percent, while maintaining jobs at the township and expanding services.
He said this has been done through collaboration with nonprofit organizations and other governmental entities.
He said he has returned the salary increase that was put in place by the previous administration, about $25,000, funds which now help out the food pantry and low income seniors and veterans through the property tax assistance program.
"In Avon Township, we have successfully built a model of government that shows how you can, in fact, do a lot more with less. And that is something that we need to take to the state level," said Yingling, who is running against Republican incumbent Sandy Cole.
Several county board candidates spoke, including Democrat Dale Kehr, who is running in the District 3, said, Kehr, who works as a program coordinator for the University of Illinois extension, said she creates partnerships with businesses, government offices and school districts throughout the county. She said for 11 years, she has managed a $300,000 budget without deficits.
Tom Weber, the Republican candidate for District 3, criticized what he called senseless regulations, like the transfer stamp, "so you have the privilege to sell your home."
Patricia Ferruzza Democrat candidate for in District 5, said, "I may be a big 'D' Democrat in party affiliation but I'm truly dedicated to small 'D' democracy."
She talked about the importance of public-private partnerships, noting that she has helped mentor a struggling family with better access to stable housing, computer access and jobs.
She said she wants to find ways to work with the private sector to use empty storefronts before breaking ground for new development, as well as promote such green initiatives as wind and solar power.
Ferruzza is running against Republican incumbent Bonnie Thomson Carter.
Lake County Board member Pat Carey, Democrat candidate in District 6, said in her four years on the county board, she has built relationships.
She said she has been entrusted with such positions as the county representative to the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County as well as the Central Lake County Water Agency.
She said the board needs to control spending, as well as work on economic development.
"To do that, we need to look at transportation. So we need to get, eventually, a decision on the big gorilla in the room, which is (Route 53), which will enable us to fix 120," said Carey, who is running against Republican Jeff Werfel.
In the meantime, she said, the county needs to look at increasing the flow of traffic at Hainesville Road and Route 120.