Endorsements: Park, Garner, Ross for Gurnee trustee
Strengthening and expanding economic development is the key issue facing five candidates vying for three, 4-year terms on the Gurnee village board.
Gurnee has no property tax, and relies on revenue generated from its vast retail, commercial and entertainment base. That makes retaining existing successful businesses and finding new attractions critical to provide a fresh mix that will keep shoppers and others coming back to spend money.
Incumbents Greg Garner, Cheryl Ross and Steve Park, and newcomers Terry Waddell-Moenter and Eric Sindermann offer many similar views on this issue: They oppose imposing a property tax and favor improving the village tax base and support the village's new economic development director. Some differences emerge on the issue of offering financial incentives to lure businesses. Opinions range from Park's support for incentives that are properly created, defined and analyzed to general opposition from Sindermann and Waddell-Moenter.
Other candidates qualify support with caution and conditions. We endorse Garner, Ross and Park. Park, who works in private industry as a city planner, has valuable economic development experience, including 12 years on the zoning board and plan commission.
Garner, an executive sales specialist who has spent 10 years on the village board, is the second-longest-serving member. He brings experience and is not afraid to challenge ideas.
Ross, a retired teacher who also spent eight years on the village plan commission, has deep roots and a history of community involvement. She stresses the importance of the village's relationship with the county's convention and tourism bureau and serves on that board.
Waddell-Moenter and Sindermann, both of whom are self-employed, have a history of community involvement and volunteerism. Each favors trimming government costs. They are solid candidates, but don't present a convincing argument to unseat the incumbents.