Terry Wilke: Candidate profile, Lake County Board District 16
The race for Lake County Board's District 16, which covers portions of Round Lake and Round Lake Beach, pits Democratic incumbent Terry Wilke against challenger John Frazier, a Republican. Wilke lives in Round Lake Beach and Frazier lives in Round Lake.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates a series of questions.
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 feel this is where I can be most effective for my constituents. Property taxes are the real drain on this area and local government is where those taxes are spent. Also these are extraordinary times, regressive taxes, income inequality, an economy on the brink, race issues and the coronavirus pandemic put us in a unique time in history. If you are of good mind and sound heart, it's hard not to want to help.
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: Net Zero 2040 and the Energy and Environment committee were both projects of mine. I'm proud that Net Zero 2040 passed unanimously through both committees.
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: Right now the board is leaning toward a freeze again this year, and I support this. Obviously the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are going to be our primary focus in the near future.
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: I think it's pretty good, especially since we started videotaping the meetings. It's an expensive way to go, but it offers almost real-time access.
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: I think the restructure of the Planning and Building Dept. is a perfect example of how this could be done. It's both more efficient and more effect now. So what we always say is "the same or better service for cheaper."