Susan Perkins: 2021 candidate for Lake Barrington village board
Five candidates for three seats
City: Lake Barrington
Occupation: Stay at Home Parent\Domestic Engineer, PTO Member, Girl Scout Leader
Civic involvement: Village Trustee -- Lake Barrington
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: Being an incumbent, we immediately created a COVID Task Force to swiftly aid our residents and businesses, ensuring communications of safety protocols and support when needed. We also placed supportive and awareness signage throughout the community for First Responders and Healthcare workers.
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: In order to support social distancing and quarantine efforts during the pandemic we moved all Village services, ie.: permits, licenses, etc. to online availability. Any Village meetings were held as audio or zoom, still available to the public, and will remain this way until CDC recommendations are lifted. With the help of maintenance from the Lake Barrington Countryside Park District we also made our outdoor facilities, such as the splash pad, playground, tennis courts, ball fields and trails more usable. Working with the Lake County Forest Preserve District, we have revised our intergovernmental agreement to allow bicycles on portions of the Grassy Lakes Forest Preserve Trail.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: I believe we should continue our online option for Village Services to ensure social distancing. We should keep the already open lines of communication to assist the businesses in our community to remain lucrative and aid our local restaurants to be able to serve the public in a COVID responsible manner. In light of vaccinations becoming available and numbers going down, we need to encourage the public to continue wearing masks, wash hands frequently, keep the hand sanitizer close, keep social gatherings to a minimum, and be responsible when they do have to go out.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: We believe in the premise that it is not the Village's money, but it is the taxpayers money. Therefore we will continue to outsource to keep Village expenses low for the key expenditures such as police, fire, snow removal, road maintenance, and trash & recycling collection. In addition the Village Board/COVID Task Force eliminated a lot of business taxes and fees at the beginning of the pandemic to help with lost revenue. The majority of our residents tax bills are to fund District 220, the Village share of the tax bill is quite small.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: I believe we need to continue to address flood control in our Village, with the overwhelming amounts of snow and spring precipitation we need to remain ahead in planning. In the past we have maintained our roads, if it be resealing, patching or resurfacing. There is a long term plan in place and the Village is in a financially good place. I do not foresee the need for any essential projects to be put on hold.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: All of our businesses have ben informed of the requirements of the law and have been respectfully complacent. We have had no resident complaints regarding these issues.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board/council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: Yes, I agree. I do not believe that marijuana sales in our community fits our "brand."
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: I would like to see our community develop a family friendly outdoor facility such as a small park with activities to be enjoyed by all ages.