Dawn Abernathy: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 15


Party: Republican

Office sought: Lake County Board District 15

City: Mundelein

Age: 57

Occupation: Homemaker

Previous offices held: Trustee, village of Mundelein


Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

A: I am running for the Lake County Board to put the residents of Lake County, more specifically the residents of District 15 first. There are a few issues that have motivated me to run for county board: 1.) The Gas Tax: I am perplexed why the county board would think it was a good idea to raise taxes during a pandemic. Originally, they were looking at .08, at least there was enough pushback on that! 2.) Economic Growth: Lake County should be bustling with new businesses and the county board should be providing incentives for business to relocate to Lake County. 3.) Safety: The county board needs to have a strong commitment to law enforcement here in Lake County. From the Sheriff's Department, to state's attorney, and down to each municipality, we need to let our residents know their safety is our priority. With the sheriff and state's attorney being two of four people in law enforcement to support the Safety Act, our residents don't feel safe on the streets, or in their own homes.

Q: If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?

A: First, I would bring myself as a full-time board member. I will be in the district, available to the residents to ask questions, and to listen to their needs. I will make sure that every voice is heard. With economic growth as one of my concerns, I would introduce a business incentive grant program, just like the one instituted while I was a trustee in the village of Mundelein. I would also bring integrity and transparency to the board. Many times there are FOIA requests that are being denied. I want to make sure that we are open and transparent to the residents.

Q: Given the recent history of flat tax levies, do you think the county/forest preserve have done good jobs of budgeting or do you see specific area that can be improved?

A: I think that the forest preserves do a good job with the funds they are allocated. One area that can be improved is communication about the Dunn Museum. Many people don't know that there is a museum that depicts the history of Lake County. There are hidden gems and some really great programs run inside the museum, and it needs to get out to the public. From fossils to industry, the Dunn Museum has it all.

Q: Would you support putting a referendum on the ballot for voters to decide if they wish to issue new bonds to preserve open spaces, restore habitats, create more trails and upgrade forest preserves?

A: No, I would not support a referendum for more open land. I support open space, but there isn't enough funds in the budget to maintain additional properties.

Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?

A: Right now the county board needs to listen to the people of all the districts and they are struggling to keep up with rising gas prices, food prices and utilities. Another important issue is the mental health crisis that is prevalent among our youth, elderly and veterans. We need to have better facilities and programs. We need more people on call so when a resident is in crisis, they can have a place to go or even a facility to call to get professional help. Many times people are given a three-six month wait before they can even be seen. When someone is in crisis, that is too long to wait for help.

Q: Lake County officials want public feedback on how to spend portions of some $135 million in leftover federal pandemic funding. What are your thoughts on how the money ought to be spent?

A: Some of the money should go to support the mental health crisis here in Lake County. With the use of "Zoom" type meetings, a 24-hour call center for people to not only talk with a counselor, but are able to get into see someone. Many times, people need to wait three-six months to get an appointment to see someone professionally. Another area that needs the funding is for economic incentives. We did this in Mundelein, we are able to give grants to businesses wanting to come to Mundelein. This has been very successful, and can be done in the county. The last area that needs additional funding is road and infrastructure repairs and improvements. Many municipalities are unable to keep up with the roads in their towns. The county could help each of the villages with specific grants to update roads, bury overhead wires, and replace storm/sewer drainage. This could also include municipalities that need help with flooding issues.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.