Linda Pedersen: Candidate profile, Lake County Board District 1
Republican incumbent Linda Pedersen faces Democratic challenger Chase A. Thomas for the Lake County Board District 1 seat.
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
A: I want to continue keeping Lake County on a fiscally responsible path and work at keeping our AAA bond rating. I also want to make sure that Lake County continues to offer quality services for our residents in all departments and elected offices.
It's also important to continue our path of protecting our environment and preservation of our forest preserves. Continuing my positions representing the county on the Lake County Opioid Initiative Board and on the policy committee for the 911 consolidation is also very important.
Q: 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?
A: I feel I am a very hands-on board member. Helping with constituent concerns is so important to me, and I feel I have done well at responding to my constituents with what ever issue they may have. I lead the way for 100 percent of our profits from video gaming to be spent on social services in Lake County. This is administered through a grant program and has been very successful.
I was also successful in stopping a proposed large wind farm in my district and a large wind ordinance from being implemented at the county. We did approve a small wind ordinance.
I also serve on the Lake County Opioid Initiative Board, which is a very serious issue that is facing us here in Lake County, as well as all over the U.S., and I feel we are making great strides on this issue.
Q: Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them.
A: As a member of the Finance Committee, I am extremely proud of our AAA bond rating. We continue to have a balanced budget with reserves and carefully look at revenues and expenses. When cuts need to be made we make them. COVID-19 has, and will remain to be, a problem for us for a while. It has been very costly to the county and this next budget year will be very difficult. Budget cuts will have to be made in all departments as well as other areas.
Q: How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If you consider it adequate, please explain why. If you think improvements are needed, please describe them and why they are important.
A: Our data hub on our county website is a great example of our transparency to access information from all of our county services, budgets, board meetings, committee meetings, permitting etc. That being said, I am sure there is always room for improvement.
Q: What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
A: Our departments are always looking for ways to improve customer service and they have made great strides in this area. With automation and technology, we continuously work at upgrading and looking for ways to save time and money and we are making great strides in this area.