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updated: 4/9/2013 5:37 AM

Mayors aren't the only races for voters to decide on in Lake County

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  • Races abound at all levels of government that actually may affect our lives the most.

      Races abound at all levels of government that actually may affect our lives the most.

 
 

While much of the campaign attention in the last several months has been on candidates running for mayor, there are plenty of other important issues Lake County voters will weigh in on Tuesday.

Some voters will decide referendums seeking more of their tax dollars for a village police pension fund and for a school district.

Voters also will select candidates in a host of local races, including on village, township, school, park and library boards. All voters will have to pick from five candidates seeking two seats on the College of Lake County board.

Among the referendums on the ballot, Millburn Elementary District 24 wants voter permission to go beyond a state-imposed cap on annual property tax levy increases only on bills issued in 2014. School officials in the district covering an area that includes Lindenhurst, Wadsworth and unincorporated Lake County say they need the ability to make up for recent reductions in state and federal education funding.

District 24 seeks to push the property tax levy increase limit from 5 percent to 12 percent next year, generating $900,000 and setting a higher financial base for the future. It would cost the owner of a single-family house with a $200,000 market value an extra $228 in the first year.

Superintendent Jason Lind said officials have coped with a combined $1.3 million in reductions in state and federal funding during the past four years, while trimming $3.3 million from the budget in that time. If voters reject the request, Lind said, "special classes" such as art and music could be eliminated.

In Round Lake Park, voters will be asked to pay higher taxes to boost money in the police pension fund. Officials say it is about 20 percent funded.

Property tax collections have an existing limit of 5 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is less. If voters approve the requested increase of more than 37 percent, it would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 an additional $90.58 in property taxes in the first year.

Regionally, five candidates are vying for two 6-year board seats at Grayslake-based CLC. In the race are incumbents Barbara Oilschlager and John Lumber, and recently retired CLC administrator Darl Drummond, grass-roots organizer Jeanne Marie Dauray and former board member Philip Carrigan.

CLC candidates addressed issues such as student tuition and fee hikes. Lumber went as far to say instead of pursuing more tuition hikes, officials may need to consider seeking a property tax increase through a referendum.

Meanwhile, some highly contested village board trustee races will be decided Tuesday.

Political newcomers Helmut Gerlach, Todd Minden and Ildiko Schultz are on the ballot for three 4-year seats as members of the United Lake Zurich slate. They have competition from incumbent Jeffrey Halen and newcomers Daniel Stanovich, Jim Beaudoin and Geoffrey Petzel.

First-time candidates Debra Vander Weit of United Lake Zurich and Mark Loewes are running for an unexpired 2-year term. Major issues addressed by the trustee hopefuls included the future of Lake Zurich's stalled downtown redevelopment.

In Island Lake, six candidates are competing for three village board seats. None are incumbents.

Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone of the For the People slate are up against United for Progress' Ed McGinty, Ken Nitz and Josh Rohde. One issue in the campaign was the annual fireworks show, which Sciarrone said should end until the village's finances are in order.

Seven candidates are seeking three 4-year trustee seats in Fox Lake. The three incumbents -- Kevin Burt, Valerie Griseta and Jon Mumford -- are running together on the Focused on Fox Lake slate. Three challengers on the Common Sense Party are Bernice Konwent, Jeff Jensen and Ron Stochl. Bob Hoffman is running as an independent.

Building a new hotel, creating more youth amenities and additional community involvement by residents are among the ideas the candidates said they would pursue if elected.

Township elections involve candidates for supervisor, trustee, clerk, assessor and highway commissioner.

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