Endorsements: Dustin, Huckins, Harlfinger for Lake in the Hills board
The four candidates running for three, 4-year terms on the Lake in the Hills village board are all experienced.
Three -- Bill Dustin, Bob Huckins and Stephen Harlfinger -- are incumbents, and one, Paul Mulcahy, is a former village trustee and president.
The incumbents believe the village did a good job adjusting to the pandemic through various actions, including relaxing some laws permitting outside dining and serving of alcohol to help local businesses stay afloat, reducing late fees on water and sewer bills and helping residents facing water service shut-off, and taking advantage of federally funded PPP grants.
Dustin, who works in sales, says an important challenge facing the village is attracting more retail businesses. He points out the village has not raised its tax base in several years.
Harlfinger, a project manager for a property restoration company, stresses how the village switched to online services during the pandemic and spent some time at village hall himself during the pandemic, in order to provide a presence for residents. He favors adapting building codes to residents' and business owners' changing needs and supports the responsible use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, pointing out that a dispensary will soon be opening in the village.
Huckins, an account executive, would like to see a new police department facility in the village and believes the current one is too small and is outdated. He voted in favor of allowing recreational marijuana sales as a revenue stream for the village.
Mulcahy, who is retired, stated in his candidate questionnaire that the village's leadership during the pandemic has been lacking, but did not provide specific examples of poor leadership. He believes a new president and board should develop a plan to provide infrastructure to annexed but undeveloped parts of the village. Mulcahy favors dredging the west end of Woods Creek Lake where it is fed by the creek due to silt buildup.
We see no reason to make changes in the makeup of a village board that has helped its residents and businesses weather the pandemic and is seeking ways to bring revenue into the village through such means as cannabis dispensaries and efforts to attract retail businesses. Dustin, Harlfinger and Huckins are endorsed.