I read with sadness the statement from longtime Lake County Clerk Willard Helander regarding her plans not to seek re-election next year. She cited state efforts to change election laws as one of the reasons for her decision.
As a longtime county elections judge, I speak for myself but hope that my thoughts are echoed by the many who have served under her. Willard Helander is an example of an extraordinary public servant. She has been expedient, efficient, approachable and a pleasure to work for.
She always came to each training session with high spirits, humor, and simply sets the bar for her position. Her smile and helpfulness were a trademark of her long and tireless efforts to make our county's voting as effortless and smooth as it could be.
Now it seems that a ruling may come next week turning oversight of the Lake County elections to a bipartisan elections commission and a lawsuit against it claims the legislation could cost the county an estimated $500,000 to $700,000 to implement, according to news sources.
I am appalled that this is happening. And I thank Willard Helander for her outstanding public service and all I can say is that it is a travesty that this is happening without our approval without referendum.
The state of Illinois is in bad enough shape without adding this unnecessary expense, and I just want to say thank you, Willard Helander for being a bright light in an otherwise dismal political state. Judge Akemann, are you listening?