Michael Danforth: Candidate Profile

Lake County board District 17 (Republican)

  • Michael Danforth, running for Lake County board District 17

    Michael Danforth, running for Lake County board District 17

Updated 2/13/2018 12:20 PM

Back to Lake County board District 17



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.

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City: Fox River Grove

Website: www.mikeforlakecounty.org

Twitter: Candidate did not respond.

Facebook: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought:

Lake County board District 17

Age: 55

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Family: Married for 22 years to Dr. Christine Gunn-Danforth, Two Children, Grace (16) and Michael John (11)

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: Barrington High School (Graduated 1981)

Northern Illinois University, BA in Political Science (1986)

Regent University School of Law, Juris Doctor (1994)

Civic involvement: Danforth Law Group Ð Founder & Senior Counsel

Special Counsel To The Virginia Attorney General 1995-1996

Lake County Teen Court Judge (Diversion Program)

Lake County Board Member (Appointed 2017)

Lake County Forest Preserves Commissioner Ð 2017

Dekalb County Board Member (Elected

1984-1986) DeKalb County Forest Preserves Commissioner (Elected



World Gospel Outreach Volunteer Missionary

Jonahre Foundation Volunteer

Republican Precinct Committeeman Ð Cuba Township

Lake County Republican Central Committee Ð 1st V.P.

Northern Illinois University Student Association President, Elected


Trinity Oaks Christian Academy, Board of Trustees

Appointed 2009 - 2012

Willow Creek Community Church Member

Elected offices held: Lake County Board Member (Appointed 2/14/2017)

Lake County Forest Preserves Commissioner Ð (Appointed 2/14/2017

Dekalb County Board Member (Elected

1984-1986) DeKalb County Forest Preserves Commissioner (Elected


Republican Precinct Committeeman Cuba Township Ð Elected

2012 to present

Lake County Republican Central Committee, Appointed 2016 to present Ð 1st Vice President

Northern Illinois University Student Association President, Elected


Questions & Answers

If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?

I recently voted against an increase in the property tax levy and I originated and have been working on the implementation of a Tax Accountability Reference Service (TARS) which will be included in residence tax bills outlining the names, phone numbers and e-mail of the heads of each taxing district so residence can have easy direct contact with the taxing district to express their concerns, and opinions regarding their property taxes.

Regardless of whether this is a current problem, what can the board do to reduce harassment, especially sexual harassment against women, in the county or forest district offices? If there have been complaints of harassment, have they been investigated properly? Are new policies needed?

The Lake County Board has initiated a training and education seminar for all employees and elected officials to assist in a better understanding of what constitute sexual harassment in general and sexual harassment in the work place specifically. We have all observed how the the rampant sexual exploits in Hollywood and Washington DC have degraded individual victims dignity. We must take a leadership role in ensuring that this type of harassment never has an opportunity to become an institutionalize mindset in Lake County government.

The county board sets salaries for its members, as well as the countywide elected officials. Do you believe these various salaries are at the right level now? Are raises or pay cuts needed?

While it is important that county elected officials are fairly compensated for their time - elected service should be viewed as "service" to one's community and not entered into for unjustifiable remuneration. Compensation for elected officials should not be in excess of what the private sector market place would warrant for the same types of duties and responsibilities.

The forest district still has a lot of undeveloped preserves. Name one such preserve you'd like to see get amenities, and tell me what you'd like to see built there.

In Lake County we a fortunate to have many excellent Forest Preserves. However, with the desire to return the land in Forest Preserves back to their original state - we should focus on not building facilities but rather spending the resources to return the Forest Preserves the open and indigenous state they were once in.

What is your position on government consolidation? Are there areas of government in Lake County that strike you as prime candidates for such consideration?

Government consolidation can an should be implemented where practical and feasible. There are fire protection districts within Lake county the protect less than one square mile the squander local resources that consolidation would save hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, consolidation of 911 emergency services and para- transportation services would save local government potentially millions of dollars.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Taxes, Transportation and Transparency are three major areas that need to be addressed. As property tax levies continue to rise every year and state cuts continue to strain the available resources of county and local government, I want to lead the county forward in addressing fairer taxation across all taxing bodies. Residents need to be educated on how the independent taxing bodies levy taxes and must be informed of how they can hold accountable these taxing bodies. Lake County also needs to fully explore developing alternative transportation and transportation routes. The route 53 issue needs to be fully explored and vetted by having the impact study initiated by the tollway authority. The impact study will not cost taxpayers additional money and the viability of the project can not be determined without the impact study. Additionally, we need further transparency in government. All County Board committee meeting should be televised so that the public can participate and see first hand what and how their elected officials are conducting the peoples business.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Elon Musk as a leader in shaping transportation and energy use for the future.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

"Always tell the truth, That way, you don't have to remember what you said" - Mark Twain

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Just realizing that all we are guaranteed is the here and now and learning to enjoy each and every moment.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

History. It made me realize that you can't know where your going until you realize where you have been.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Always try to put others before yourself. I wear a bracelet that simply states "I Am Second"