Ken Nitz: Candidate Profile
Island Lake Village Board (4-year Terms)
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Island Lake
Office sought: Island Lake Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Candidate did not respond.
Education: Juris Doctor, DePaul College of Law, 2012 Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: I violated two local town ordinances in Champaign and one in Chicago. I have two speeding violations, one from Ohio and one from Michigan. I also have two traffic violations in Champaign for not stopping at a red light and not wearing a seat belt.
Key Issue 1
Progress. I want to continue to see the village of Island Lake improve and progress into the future. I want to continue to attract more viable businesses to the village as well as new residents. More businesses allows the village to generate more revenue that can be used for the benefit of all Island Lake residents. We need to look at what is best for the next 40 years, not just the next 4 years.
Key Issue 2
Improved infrastructure. I think that this is an issue that can be easily overlooked, but it is one of the most important in any town. Everything needs a solid foundation to be built upon. One of the areas we need to focus on in Island Lake is road repair.
Key Issue 3
Transparency. I do not believe that there is currently a problem with this in the village, but transparency would be one of my top issues regardless of where I was running for office. I think the public trust in all levels of government has decreased, and it is our duty to maintain that trust. We need to keep the public informed on all issues and allow them to voice their opinions. This is especially important in a smaller community. Everyone should have the opportunity to have their voice heard.
The current administration has been investigating building a new village hall in Water Tower Park. A funding mechanism has not been determined, nor has the board decided if the proposal should become a reality. Should that investigation continue?
Yes, I believe it should continue. Before any progress is made, however, we need to first have a concrete funding mechanism in place. I understand concerns over the funding, and I do believe that we need to have a solid mechanism in place to alleviate any concerns over rising taxes. The current village hall is only getting older, though. It needs immediate repairs and faces rising maintenance costs. Our police station is old and located in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The new proposal would provide a beautiful, new facility in a more visible and open location. Most importantly, it would provide a safer, more secure police station for the residents. It should also be noted that the new village hall is not in Water Tower Park. It is a separate lot and is not part of the park.
Do you support Police Chief McCorkle and the work he has done or do you believe a new chief is needed?
I do not have a fully formed opinion on this issue yet as I have not dealt with Police Chief McCorkle in a professional nor personal capacity. This would be an issue that I would be happy to readdress if I were to be elected.
Political bickering, legal battles and other political issues have hurt the morale of village employees and the town's image. What steps would you take to improve Island Lake's image?
Transparency and communication are the keys in my view. More transparency in government is always a positive. We need to ensure that we are communicating our ideas with the residents of Island Lake and that we are accessible and open to discussing any issues. There will always be issues that people disagree on, but we need to be able to have civil and respectful discussions about these issues.
Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest public safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed?
Most people I have talked to do not have public safety concerns in Island Lake, but the one I have heard most is drugs. The problem is not localized in Island Lake. It is more of a county and state issue, but we can still address it in the village. I believe by focusing on educating our youth and creating systems that encourage awareness, we can discourage involvement in drugs before the children face that risk.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
One area I would look at to improve the village is energy efficiency. I think there are a number of ideas that will help save the town more money. Whether they are smaller solutions, such as LED street lights, or bigger solutions, such as green power for our town buildings, I think that these ideas would greatly benefit the town in the short and long term.