Jeffrey Lynam: 2021 candidate for East Dundee village president
City: East Dundee
Occupation: Financial Analyst, Retired, at All-State Insurance Co.
Civic involvement: Four-term village trustee
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. I like the position of providing a voice to constituents. I will do all I can to communicate that voice and play the role of liaison between those constituents and other levels of government.
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. No. While East Dundee rightly deferred to state guidelines early on in the pandemic, the village adopted an overly cautious approach in its support of opening both, the village hall, and the local businesses.
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. Unfortunately, the only real safeguards the village has the ability to implement is communication. While this was a new experience for everyone, I can only hope that municipalities throughout the state learned from the left-footed effort put forth from the Pritzker administration.
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. Since our mission is to run on a strict budget, room for cuts due to the pandemic were few. We canceled all of our community events and removed late fees for water and refuse, but beyond that, there was very limited room to cut.
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. Every village must provide the essential services of water, sewer, roads, police, and fire protection. East Dundee is in good shape with regards to providing these services. We do have a 2nd phase flood abatement project in the terrace neighborhood that needs attention. Cost is high, so we need to seek Federal and State grant monies wherever possible. Beyond that, I would like to see more attention paid to bolstering the reserve accounts for services.
Q. Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A. No. While I will make every effort to communicate with our businesses any directives issued by other offices of government, I will do nothing to impede the ongoing operation of businesses in our town. Because while the state may have a list of certain businesses it deems as essential, I view every business in East Dundee as essential. I have never made light of the existence nor the effects of this pandemic. However, I also have never viewed shutting down the entire economy as a measured response to it.
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 disagree with the stance our board has adopted with regard to recreational marijuana sales. We discussed the issue and agreed to restrict any operations from the downtown area while allowing it to be sold in all other business districts. To date, there has been no real interest shown for this type of business in East Dundee. So, while it may be a moot point to argue, we are prepared for it through ordinance.
Q. Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
A. I like to think that I take into account all points of view when discussing an issue that is before the board. I do however, know that I must remain as objective as possible. But I also know that I will hold to those positions that I believe will best serve the residents of our town.
Q. What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A. My experience, my education, my love for the community, and my intention to remain a good steward of the public purse.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. East Dundee is in desperate need of more parking in the downtown area. While this notion is understood by most, not enough attention has been paid to this need. I believe I will be able to bring about a 2-level parking deck that will provide at least 165 new parking spaces for the village. My goal will be to make this project a reality.