County candidates say jobs, spending are priorities

Updated 9/18/2014 8:44 PM
  • Chuck Bartels

    Chuck Bartels

  • Mike Jennings

    Mike Jennings

Both candidates running for the Lake County Board's 10th District seat say economic concerns will be among their top priorities if elected in November.

The details of their plans for office differ, however.

Republican Chuck Bartels will face Democrat Mike Jennings on Election Day.

Bartels, a consultant, is focused on improving the job market and monitoring county spending, among other issues.

Jennings, a retired firefighter, also wants to attract jobs to Lake County. He's particularly concerned about the county's building projects.

The 10th District includes parts of Mundelein, Round Lake Park, Wauconda, Hawthorn Woods and Long Grove, as well as nearby unincorporated areas.

Veteran incumbent Diana O'Kelly, a Mundelein Republican, isn't seeking re-election, so residents will have a new representative for the first time in more than 20 years. O'Kelly was elected Fremont Township supervisor in 2013.

Bartels, of Mundelein, won a three-way primary for the GOP nomination earlier this year.

Jennings, of the Lake Zurich area, was appointed to run after the primary by Democratic Party leaders.

Bartels and Jennings talked about their priorities and other issues in questionnaires for the Daily Herald.

Bartels said he has four priorities for office.

He said he wants to increase the number of jobs available in Lake County by developing "an attractive business environment."

He also is concerned about county spending and wants to reduce the cost of government through collaboration. He gave no examples.

Bartels also wants to ease traffic congestion by improving roads and other transportation efforts. He supports the long-proposed extension of Route 53 into the county.

Finally, Bartels said he wants to "preserve our county's natural resources and beauty." He voiced support for environmental sustainability but didn't elaborate.

Jennings also is focused on the county's economy.

"I would bring a strong awareness of how difficult it is for most people to afford the property taxes in Lake County," he said.

He's concerned about the building projects that have been approved recently by the county board, especially the $94 million expansion of the Waukegan courthouse.

Construction of a new, adjoining courts building is set to begin this fall. It will cost $10.5 million more than initially estimated.

Jennings called the project "an example of unnecessary overspending."

Instead of spending that sum on new courtrooms, Jennings suggested using the cash on tax incentives and other efforts that would attract businesses and jobs to Lake County.

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