Endorsement: Burke, Hartogh, Morris for Island Lake Village Board
We're glad to see the Island Lake Village Board operating with less rancor than in years past. Yet, with so many trustees and candidates allied with Mayor Charles Amrich, the board's new decorum might have come at the expense of thorough consideration of diverse points of view. With that in mind, we strongly endorse incumbent Thea Morris, a business owner and community volunteer who has demonstrated a reasoned and knowledgeable approach to village government while remaining independent. Along with Morris, we endorse challenger Sandy Hartogh and incumbent John Burke. Hartogh is endorsed by Amrich and Burke was nominated by the mayor to fill a vacancy on the village board last summer, a negative only in that they would join a board already full of Amrich allies. Despite that, Hartogh and Burke both have something to offer. Hartogh, an administrative assistant at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals and former executive director of the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, pledges transparency and points out that she has "no history" in the bad blood between two government factions that marred local government in recent years. Hartogh worked as a correspondent for the Daily Herald about 15 years ago, which is not a factor in this endorsement. Burke, an operating engineer, has served on the zoning board and made a point of attending meetings of various groups around town, such as the historical society, to learn more about the village where he's lived for decades. A fourth candidate, Debra Jenkins, was a frequent figure in the village board's highly divisive past. Jenkins, also endorsed by Amrich, once got in a shouting match at a village meeting and her husband settled a libel suit against the village for $20,000 in 2013. That's too much baggage for a village trustee, and so we are most comfortable supporting Burke, Hartogh and Morris.