Debbie Herrmann: Candidate Profile
Island Lake Mayor (4-year Term) (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 Mayor (4-year Term)
Family: Married, two grown children
Occupation: Owns and Operates an Insurance & Financial Services Agency
Education: Securities licensed as well as licensed in all lines of insurance.
Civic involvement: Historically, I have sat on numerous boards throughout our community. They include: LYAA, Wauconda Chiefs Soccer Association, Wauconda Township Soccer Association, District 118 PTO, Cub Scout Pack #76 and past president of the Rolling Oaks Homeowners Association. I am currently a member of the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce and the Women in Business Council.
Elected offices held: Village Clerk 4 Years Village Trustee 8 Years Mayor
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
I believe that we need to develop a long term, comprehensive infrastructure upgrade plan. Our roads have fallen into disrepair, and while it is easy to look at the failure of prior administrations to address these issues, my goal over the next four years is to have a concrete plan to ensure all of our roads, sidewalks and curbs are repaired in a timely and cost effective manner.
Key Issue 2
Continue to make viable Economic Development a priority. As we bring viable business into the village such as the new Thornton's our sales tax revenue Will continue to increase. We are currently working with developers who agree with our vision for commercial development on the west end of the village. This vision includes a restaurant on the water, out-lots of boutique retail shops and stand alone business establishments. This concept will curb the pervasiveness of strip malls.
Key Issue 3
Cost Savings for our residents will continue to key - We have worked to establish Electric Aggregation for approximately 97% of our residents will an average savings of 42% per household. Our future plan is to assist our residents by conducting a Property Tax Appeal forum, investigate a Property Tax abatement and continue to realign the responsibilities of our employees in their positions to more effectively serve our residents needs.
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?
The Village is not planning, nor were ever, planning to build any facility on the Water Tower Park parcel. There have been discussions about the piece of property that is adjacent to Water Tower Park. That parcel is currently zoned B-1. Currently, our Village Hall is on its last leg. Engineers have estimated that to simply keep the building up and running will cost $1,000,000 - this does not count the increased costs of ongoing maintenance, HVAC repairs, unforeseen capital expenditures, and the energy inefficiency of the current building. At this point, the Village board must examine all options as it pertains to the current state of our Village Hall - and while some will criticize the expenditure of tax dollars to perform our due diligence, we can not simply stick our heads in the sand and hope this problem goes away.
Do you support Police Chief McCorkle and the work he has done or do you believe a new chief is needed?
Yes, I support Chief McCorkle. He has brought the necessary guidance for advanced training in the police department, something that was lacking prior to his appointment. Failure to provide training in these areas can reflect a deliberate indifference on an agency's part leading the Village directly into potential as well as expensive litigation.
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?
Unfortunately, when people with a personal agenda are elected, the real issues of the village suffers. The so called bickering ceased when the current village board was established last spring. Since then, we have achieved a multitude of accomplishments that I feel have improved our image.
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?
I am in agreement with the concerns surrounding our Police Department. One being that the infrastructure is severely deteriorated; and secondly that it is located in the center of a residential neighborhood with officers responding to calls at a high rate of speed on Greenleaf Avenue. These issues are being addressed in discussions of relocating the police department.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
As noted above as one of my primary campaign issues, we need to develop a long term, comprehensive infrastructure upgrade plan. Now that we have adopted a complex amendment to our comprehensive plan, detailing our commercial district, we can effectively bring in viable retail business that will increase our tax revenue to achieve the upgrade plan.