Mark Beeson: Candidate Profile
Island Lake Village Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)
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: I have been married to my wife Christine for 20 years. And we have lived in Island lake for 22 years. We have 3 fuzzy kids named Angus, Ginger and Bear. They are German Shepherds.
Occupation: Glass Artisan. My wife and I own Attention To Detail Inc. in Prairie Grove. We're an artglass studio making Stained and Leaded glass, decorative sandblast etched glass and depthcarved glass for homes, business's, schools, churches and restuarants.
Education: High school
Civic involvement: I've been a regularly outspoken resident and activist regarding transparency of village issues and preservation of publc parks and open space. I was the petition organizer for the Nov 6th referendum regarding the new village hall project in Watertower Park and the relocation activist and organizer for the new Victory Gardens.
Elected offices held: None political. I've been a Building Association President and Club President.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: None
Key Issue 1
Cutting cost. Using the existing village hall with needed repairs and get our town step by step back in the black. Hiring a new legal firm that doesn't cost plus or minus 300 thousand a year and get back to the appropriate amount of 50 to 75.
Key Issue 2
Spending money in ways that helps all residents. Fix our crumbling roads, improve our police department, save and evolve our parks and lake and recreation department. Continue events that promote public gathering and outside resident revenue.
Key Issue 3
Bring back Transparancy to the residents. Remove the ordinance that prohibits questions and dialog during public comment at VOIL meetings. Video tape all meetings to make available on VOIL website. Make more known to residents through vastly more open dialog of present and future issues at regular VOIL meeting. Not in daytime special commitees or in executive session when many times it shouldn't be. The people have a right to know what effects their taxes and their public saftey.
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?
No. The Hall we have can be repaired for a fraction of the cost of new and buy our village some time to get through this economic down period. Also the new Hall should not be taking over a valuable park that belongs to the residents. There are other options yet to be mentioned by the present board. Also the board has suggested selling the old Hall site to a senior living developer. Their project would cause the loss of Watertower Park, The village hall park consisting of Multiple baseball diamonds, Basketball court, large playground, our gymnasium and a future costly relocation of public works and its facilities that has room to expand where they are now.
Do you support Police Chief McCorkle and the work he has done or do you believe a new chief is needed?
No. I do not support the new chief and feel he was never qualified to be the replacement to the existing chief. I feel it was highly politically motivated. The existing chief could have been demoted back to his previous rank by the Mayor while new applicants were being interviewed.
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?
Hire a new attorney firm immediately. Ensure all Village hall office workers that they are not going to lose their job due to a new Mayor. Promote proper dialog (when to speak) at public meetings. If we video tape the meetings for viewing on the VOIL website, boardmembers will have to watch how and what they say. That would be a powerful tool to better communicaion through accountability.
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?
The loss of our in-house police dispatch. The board never talked about disbanding this department in open meetings and chose to talk about every facet of its possible outsourcing in executive session. They revealed it to the public in an emergency meeting with no time for the residents to be knowledgable enough to even comment about the choice they then took, which was disband dispatch and next vote right away to outsource to Lake Zurich. What we then had to say in public comment was of no use. We would suggest the board have waited until the election was over and then the public could be educated on this issue through multiple public meetings held by the new board and open them to questions and dialog by the residents of course.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
The lake is our towns namesake. The last 8 years I have seen a decline in the health of our lake. We need to make every effort to improve the water quality and control the overgrowth of weeds. The smaller of the two islands needs to be shored up and the beaches cleaned. We also need to prepare for a future dredging project to remove the silt that is covering the sandy bottom of the entire lake. There are also some natural springs that used to feed the lake and have since been clogged by silt. We need to make our lake something to be proud of for all residents to enjoy.