Sylvia Valadez: 2021 candidate for Round Lake Beach trustee
6 candidates running for 3, 4-year terms
Town: Round Lake Beach
Occupation: Field Office Supervisor, Illinois Department of Employment Security
Civic involvement: Round Lake Beach trustee, 2009-present; Round Lake Beach village clerk, 2001-09; Illinois Municipal League; state of Illinois Hispanic Association; former president, Mano a Mano; former vice chair, Lake County Housing Authority; former vice president, Municipal Clerks Association
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: The pandemic is nationwide. My role is to listen to the experts, understand the science, and proceed with the guidelines that are established by State and Federal authorities and health agencies.
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: The Village of Round Lake Beach was able to successfully adjust public services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Village employees are cross trained to service multiple departments, therefore, we were able to shift employees to departments they were needed most in order to accommodate our residents.
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: Continue to collaborate and work with our local communities, State and Federal authorities, and health agencies.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: Making cuts to services at a time like this will not serve the public, in my opinion. Round Lake Beach paused new spending in April until we could get a grasp on the economic impact. Our fiscally responsible budgeting allowed us to weather the storm.
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: I agree with my board's view on permitting legal recreational and medical marijuana sales in the community. This is a state enacted legislation. I would make no changes.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: Establish and promote a united community brand that focuses on the natural resources and unique cultural characteristics of our residents and businesses.
Q: What is the primary reason you're running for office? What is the most important issue?
A: The primary reason I am running for office is to serve for the betterment of Round Lake Beach in the following areas: community engagement, economic development, business retention and growth, and housing sustainability for families. The most important issue:
While I seek to serve in the areas listed above, I feel the most pressing issue at this time is business retention and growth. This helps to provide tax dollars, employment opportunities for residents, and access to goods and services within the community.
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: Maintenance of our water system. The wells serve the entire infrastructure of our Village and provide clean and safe water to our residents. It is important that the water infrastructure is continuously monitored, maintained, and repaired. The cost should be funded by grants, the County, the Village and the State. If revenues get tight, the easiest project to put on the back burner would be road maintenance. However, since as a village we have posed ourselves with excellent revenue generating businesses, especially the bigger stores that the community relies on, that does not appear it will be necessary to put anything on the back burner.