Two Grayslake residents who live in the same subdivision and have a history of community involvement are competing against each other for a regional political office.
Republican Jeff Werfel and Democrat John Wylie, who reside less than a half-mile from each other in the Prairie Crossing conservation community, are vying for the same Lake County Board seat in the Nov. 4 election. The District 6 seat is being vacated by retiring Democrat Pat Carey of Grayslake.
The district includes Grayslake and Hainesville, along with portions of Round Lake Park and Round Lake Beach.
"We both live in Prairie Crossing, which Jeff can attest is a highly political area," Wylie said during a recent Daily Herald editorial board endorsement interview. "Lots of voters there."
Elected as a Grayslake village board trustee in 2003, Werfel also has been involved with Conserve Lake County, an organization that initiates land stewardship projects in an effort to revive prairies, wetlands and woodlands.
Wylie served on the Prairie Crossing Charter School board and also has been a member of Conserve Lake County.
Werfel said his village government experience is one reason voters should pick him over Wylie.
"Being a village trustee for Grayslake, which makes up most of the district, I've got a lot of experience with a lot of the issues and concerns that drive the area," said Werfel, a marketing and management consultant. "I do think I am uniquely qualified just having this experience at the municipal level."
Wylie said skills he's honed over 30 years as an attorney would be transferrable to a seat on the county board. As a plaintiff's lawyer in civil litigation, he said he's drafted settlement agreements more complicated than any local ordinances.
"I've been able to work cooperatively with opposing counsel to get to the nut of issues and developed a great facility for doing that," Wylie said.
Werfel said his top issues include responsibly managing Lake County's budget and overall finances while continuing to provide high-quality service.
High taxes are a top concern for Wylie, who said relief should be pursued by promoting smart economic development by focusing on county strengths such as transportation.
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