Holly Kim: Candidate profile
Name: Holly Kim
Office sought: Lake County Treasurer
Occupation: Director of Constituent affairs at Vernon Township
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Latin American studies Continuing education with Illinois Municipal League Continuing education with Township Officials of Illinois Edgar Fellows Graduate
Civic involvement: Vice President Hanul Family Alliance Senior Care Services Board member of WINGS (Women Interested in Government Service) Past Vice President of Lake County Represent.Us Anti-Corruption Nonprofit President of V501c3 Village Homesteading Mundelein Member of the Lake County Jaycees Treasurer D75 STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) Foundation Board member of the Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee Chair of the Vernon Township Highway District Consolidation Committee
Elected offices held: Jaycees Local Director Trustee, Village of Mundelein
Questions & Answers
Question 1: 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? Lake County has problems that career politicians haven't solved. I come to the table as someone passionate about cleaning up corruption in Lake County and lowering our property taxes. Protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring that not a single cent is wasted will be my absolute top priority. I'll increase transparency, as I've already done by releasing procurement card documents for all Lake County elected officials since 2014. I'll make sure that taxpayers know where their money is going and that we cut out the abuse of government funds. I bring a hardworking attitude, passion for doing what's right, and years of civic service to the office. I've been a leader on reforming transparency in Mundelein, I helped lower property taxes by 5% in Vernon Township, and I'll deliver the same results to the Lake County Treasurer's office.
Question 2: Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
Rooting out corruption and delivering for the taxpayer. Lake County politicians are raising taxes on our homes, our services, and everything in between. Every year it seems that taxes go up and up. Yet, the government never seems to stop spending or spend more wisely. Despite my opponents' best efforts, news reports uncovered thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds being spent on steakhouse dinners, luxury hotel stays, countless taxi rides, and other inappropriate expenses. As the watchdog of county funds, the Treasurer should have been sounding an alarm about this misuse, but he's sadly been silent and has failed to advocate for the taxpayers. I'm motivated to fight for policy changes that ensure our tax dollars aren't being misused.
Question 3: The treasurer's office has a relatively low-profile. How would you improve the visibility and/or make residents more aware of what you do? As the current Director of Constituent Affairs for Vernon Township and as a Mundelein Trustee, I've always prioritized constituent engagement. In fact, It's what I'm known for. In this campaign, no voter is being taken for granted. I've been everywhere from Lindenhurst to Libertyville and Vernon Hills to Volo. As Treasurer, I'll continue being visible in the community. It's just who I am. Nobody likes career politicians who show up to events for 5 minutes, take a picture and leave or when establishment politicians only come out of their shell in an election year. I've been out there every day, every week, and every year because that's what the people of Lake County deserve from their leaders. I'll increase transparency for Lake County residents by working to restore videos to the finance committee meetings and posting documents on our website, so taxpayers can see where every cent of their dollars are going. I'll start a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) initiative for students, and a Student Advisory group for those who are interested in Finance and Math related jobs in the. I'll make sure that residents, taxpayers, and students have a voice in my office. Instead of being the office where politicians go to retire, the Treasurer's office can be a force for good, ensuring economic development, and jobs for our future. I'm willing to put in the hard work to do so.
Question 4: How do you assess the success of the treasurer's office?
The primary responsibility of the Treasurer's office is the responsible management of taxpayer funds. Those funds should be invested in a responsible manner that provides a sufficient return on our investments without exposing taxpayers to an elevated level of risk. Funds should also be collected and disbursed in a timely manner in accordance with all relevant laws and county policies. As Treasurer, I also want to make sure there's open communication between my office and the people I serve. I'll routinely offer feedback forums where anyone can share their thoughts with my office. I'll continue using the successes I've had in the private sector to provide for our constituents and make sure Lake County residents are being served well by the Treasurer's office. I will never lose sight that the Treasurer is elected by the people of Lake County, and ultimately my success should be judged by the people that I serve.
Question 5: What do you say to residents who say their taxes are too high?
You're right. Taxes are too high and crippling Lake County taxpayers because of politicians like my opponent who have been in power for decades and have done nothing while our taxes skyrocket. I'm a political newcomer. I worked with Vernon Township to help cut property taxes by 5% while maintaining services. I am chair of a government consolidation effort and will bring this same philosophy to the Treasurer's office. We need to cut unnecessary expenses, consolidate departments and services, and reevaluate all contracts and expenditures.
I've managed budgets, worked in public service, and I know it's possible to cut taxes and keep services the same, especially with the amount of revenue currently being collected in Lake County. For example, the current Treasurer's salary is ridiculous. It's over $120,000 a year, and for all that money the County Chairman says he rarely spends time in the office. I'm pledging to donate $40,000 of the salary to Lake County Civic organizations, so I'm making the same as the working families I serve. It's time leaders set the example. I'm not some establishment politician, I'm an educated Lake County mom who wants to serve the community. I pay my property taxes, send my kids to public schools, visit the local grocery store (where my friends know I'm always looking out for sales on butter) and because of my life experiences, I'll be alongside you, every day, fighting for lower taxes, better jobs, and making it easier for your family to get by.