The four trustee and two mayoral candidates running in the village of Lake in the Hills discussed a variety of topics, including economic development and intersection improvements at Randall and Algonquin roads, during a forum Wednesday night.
The Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce hosted the candidates night, which featured mayoral hopefuls Bill Dustin and Paul Mulcahy, as well as incumbent board members Denise Barreto, Stephen Harlfinger and Robert Huckins, along with challenger Kenneth Tentler.
Several candidates highlighted their plans to focus on economic development if elected or re-elected.
Harlfinger, who grew up in Lake in the Hills and has been the youngest trustee on the board since his election 12 years ago, supported greater efforts to bring businesses to town.
"I would like to try to continue to work with our neighbors, develop the relationships that we have and continue to grow in more of an economic fashion rather than be a bunch of rooftops," Harlfinger said.
Huckins said the village has done a great job in the last few years but should continue to take down hurdles that stand in the way of businesses that want to come to town.
"Lake in the Hills doesn't build businesses, it doesn't build buildings, but what we can do is put some incentives in place to attract those businesses into the village," Huckins said.
In the role of village president, Dustin advocates taking a more proactive role in economic development. He said the village has moved too slowly in addressing vacant storefronts.
"You don't wait for companies to come to the village, you really go get them," Dustin said. "It's like opening a business and hanging out a sign. People don't just show up."
On the topic of transportation, candidates took up the question of intersection improvements to Algonquin and Randall roads where a continuous flow intersection was unanimously opposed by board members.
Harlfinger, Huckins, Dustin, Barreto and Mulcahy all agreed the CFI, as it's called, is a bad idea for businesses in that area as well as residents, though Barreto did say if McHenry County and Algonquin move forward with that plan using federal dollars, Lake in the Hills has to sit back down to the negotiating table rather than being left out.
Tentler was not so adamant in his disapproval of the plan.
"It is possible that the CFI is the best solution," Tentler said. "However, the better part of me leans against it."
Mulcahy said he was pretty confident the proposal won't go anywhere if the village maintains its solid opposition, but he said he would want to make sure the village has a voice in planning.
"With the CFI, they walked in and dropped it on our desk," Mulcahy said. "I want to make sure that won't happen again."
Barreto's key campaign issue would address all of the points discussed Wednesday -- she thinks the village needs a strategic plan to guide its actions.
"We need a vision for how we want the village of Lake in the Hills to look in the future," Barreto said.