Linda Starkey: Candidate Profile
Lake County board District 17 (Republican)
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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Family: SPOUSE- Glenn Starkey (age 54) President of Progressive Components.
Christina Paruch (age 29)- daughter and graduate of Marquette University, Vice President at JP Morgan in NYC, married to Peter, one grandchild
Jack Starkey (age 26)- son and graduate of DePaul University, employed by Morgan Stanley in personal wealth, married to Rachel
David Starkey (age 22)-son and graduate of Butler University, employed at BMO bank
Occupation: Small Business Owner / Village Trustee
Education: BA Chemistry Biochemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston 1986
Entrepreneur/Small Business Management Certificate from College of Lake County, Grayslake 2016
Civic involvement: Wauconda Area Chamber
Star Charities Director
FBLA Professional Member & Mentor
Main Street Business Group
Lions Club Member
Women of the Moose Member
Elected offices held: North Barrington Village Trustee 1997
North Barrington Mayor, 1999, 2003
BACOG Member 1999-2004
Wauconda Village Trustee 2011, 2015
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?
Our region deserves better representation in the county. We are far from Waukegan, and there is clearly a disconnect as many people in our area don't even know what their County Board Member does and what the county provides.
This should be no surprise, since our County Board Member was a political appointee, not chosen by voters, and lacks experience in our local governments and communities. He's not seen at local government and community meetings and has not reached out enough to other local elected officials to work together.
It's time we had a representative on the Lake County Board who is involved in our local communities, who will represent us and our needs. As that local leader, I know the issues that face our communities, including the opioid crisis and the need for transportation improvements.
In my local service, I have prioritized community involvement, transparency, fiscal responsibility, and economic development. I earned a reputation as someone who avoids the political games and simply focuses on getting the job done.
If honored to be elected, I will be present, visible, and responsive, just as I have always been as a local community leader. I will communicate directly with residents via email, social media, and in person at local meetings and events. I will meet regularly with the mayors and local elected officials. And I will actively look for the public's feedback, because I know it will be my job to serve them and represent their wishes on the County Board.
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?
Sexual harassment cannot be allowed in the workplace. I feel prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. In January 2018, Lake County passed the newly adopted state regulations regarding sexual harassment and will hopefully follow-up with enhanced employee training.
There have been no complaints that I am aware of at Lake County, but I am not on the board currently so I may not have the most accurate information. I have spoken with several female board members and county employees, and from what I have been told the policies in place are sufficient and the culture is one that respects all employees, regardless of gender. When on the board, if I see any instances where this is not the case, I would take immediate action to correct the problem.
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?
The county board increased their own salaries in 2016, a move I strongly opposed. I was proud to see that State Representative Nick Sauer, who was our County Board Member at the time, also opposed the raises.
At a time when residents are struggling under back-breaking property taxes, our elected officials shouldn't be increasing their own taxpayer-funded salaries. Especially when we are reducing the budget elsewhere. It's bad policy and even worse optics.
It's time government respected our hard-earned tax dollars. On the Lake County Board, I will lead on reducing spending wherever possible. We must seek out ways to further reduce our budget by prioritizing spending on core services and focusing on needs over wants. I have proven it is possible to do more with less in my local government service, where we performed key services, decreased costs, kept a balanced budget, and kept taxes low.
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.
The 17th District has limited forest land, and even more limited facilities on that land. The only two locations in district are Grassy Lake and Fox River. While both are passive recreation areas, they could use more amenities, but Grassy Lake is most in need as right now it has the bare minimum. This is likely due to the sprawling nature of the preserve, but there are still opportunities to add amenities, even if it's just shelters and picnic tables.
Lakewood Forest preserve is just to the east of District 17, and I was saddened to see Lakewood Museum removed from the facility without public input and discussion. Our representation at that time did not serve its surrounding residents well in keeping them informed.
As a whole, the amenity I hear requested most often is the need for more dog parks, or Ã’dog exercise areas.Ã“ Our district is lucky that we are one of the few communities close to a dog park (in Lakewood), but many communities are not within easy driving distance of a dog exercise area.
What is your position on government consolidation? Are there areas of government in Lake County that strike you as prime candidates for such consideration?
It's time we had a serious conversation about government consolidation, especially since Illinois has by far more units of government than any other state.
Currently we have limited authority at the county level to consolidate units of government, but we should pursue what we can as an example for other governments. I support the county's 2018 Consolidation Action Plan, which focuses on three specific county board-appointed units of government to begin the process of consolidation.
We should also work to identify additional opportunities to share services with other units of government and even the private sector, cooperating in order to streamline operations and reduce costs.
We must take these steps and more to lower property taxes, because families in our community are struggling to pay among the highest property taxes in the country. In fact, since 1990, our property taxes have grown 3.3 times faster than our household incomes. This is not sustainable, and it is forcing families out of their homes and pushing businesses to relocate to other states.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
We need to bring additional good-paying jobs to our community.
As our economy begins to recover, we must ramp up our economic development efforts to ensure we are supporting our current businesses and bringing additional good-paying jobs to the community for our residents.
Lake County is home to over 30,000 businesses, from locally-owned manufacturers to Fortune 500 companies. As a manufacturing family, I know firsthand that one of employers' top concerns is that our schools are not providing what is necessary for their current and future workforce. My involvement with my local Chamber of Commerce, as well as with Lake County Partners, has made me aware that many of these employers are struggling with finding the talent they need to continue to thrive.
I will work with Lake County Partners, the College of Lake County, and our local high schools to develop technical programs that will build a pipeline of future skilled workers that can fill these advanced technology and manufacturing positions. I will work to make our county more attractive to employers by streamlining the permitting process, like I have in Wauconda, and not raising permit fees as the county just recently did.
I've proven I know how to support businesses and grow jobs. Here in Wauconda, I've worked hand-in-hand with our business community to revitalize our downtown and lakefront and grow them into destinations. We have returned prosperity to our community, and I want to take those local successes and put them into practice at the county level.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Chelsie Laliberte, Co-Founder of Live 4 Lali, is a local leader in the fight against the Opioid Crisis and has brought it to the forefront.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
You are responsible for yourself: your words and your actions.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I have no regrets and no substantive do-overs that come to mind. When needed I have made improvements and adjustments along the way.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Mathematics was my favorite subject in school, and I was a Ã”Mathlete' in high school. This taught me logic, order, problem-solving and discipline.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
We tell our children frequently: Hard work pays off. The only way to succeed is to put in time and effort, there are no shortcuts.