The two Republicans squaring off for the Lake County Board District 6 seat in the March 18 primary election each hold public office and aspire to move up a notch on the political ladder.
Jeff Werfel, a longtime Grayslake village trustee, and Timothy S. Powell, a former Avon Township trustee who serves on the Grayslake Area Public Library District and Grayslake Park District boards, are challenging to face Democrat John Wylie in the general election. Both said they would resign their elected posts if they advance and were to defeat Wylie.
The candidates agree fiscal responsibility is a priority and said as county board members they would collaborate with local municipalities on transportation issues.
The District 6 seat, which covers Grayslake and Hainesville and portions of Round Lake Park and Round Lake Beach, will be available because incumbent Democrat Pat Carey chose not to seek re-election. County board members double as forest preserve district commissioners.
Responses are from questionnaires and interviews with the Daily Herald.
Werfel, 51, a marketing/management consultant, was elected to the Grayslake village board in 2003 and lost to Carey in November 2012. He said the village has been fiscally responsible and that county government needs to be "as innovative and cost effective as possible" in delivering services. That would include sharing services with other entities, he said.
"I want to take what we've done at the village level in Grayslake to the next level," he said.
Werfel said economic viability and competitiveness is the most important issue facing Lake County in the next decade.
County government can support that by adhering to sound financial policies, maximizing public-private opportunities, improving infrastructure and services and maintaining a "business friendly" economic environment, he added.
Powell, 65, a Hainesville resident, retired in 2000 after 30 years in a variety of positions, including command posts, with the Lake County Sheriff's office.
He said he wanted to take on more public duties and responsibilities utilizing his leadership, experience and professionalism and other skills.
He listed his priorities as: transparency in government; fiscal responsibility; holding the line on spending; and, economic development. Movement on the Route 53 extension and the Route 120 bypass, as well as road improvements also were important, he added.
Powell said establishing a multi-government equipment and supply purchasing cooperative could reduce costs to communities in the district.