Endorsement: Drew in North Shore Water Reclamation District Ward 2

The contest in North Shore Water Reclamation District's Ward 2, serving parts of Waukegan and Gurnee, pits incumbent Democrat Stephen Drew against Republican Ken Arnold. Arnold, 59, of Gurnee, is an entrepreneur and employee benefits professional. He's a conservative tax watchdog and two-time congressional candidate who has never held public office.

Arnold has criticized Drew and the board over failed technology at the district's Zion plant and questioned the level of security at facilities. He is passionate about protecting taxpayers, but admits he's never attended a district meeting.

Drew, 67, of Waukegan, brings broad experience to the board, where he's served for 14 years and is now vice president. He's a retired Waukegan Public Works director whose background also includes two terms on the Waukegan school board and owning a business. He's knowledgeable about the water district, its operation and vision.

Drew says district facilities are adequately protected, and the current board inherited and addressed the Zion plant problems. As reasons for running, Arnold cited Drew's long tenure and his own ability to use his business acumen to protect taxpayers. However, the district is debt free, has cut rates 20 percent since 1988 without layoffs and reduced energy costs. Drew is an experienced leader on a well-run board. He is endorsed.

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