Therese M. Van Ryne: 2021 candidate for Lake Barrington village board
Five candidates for three seats
City: Lake Barrington
Occupation: Global Public Relations Director at Zebra Technologies
Civic involvement: Volunteer at St. Anne's Catholic Church and local schools; wrote a new children's book titled "Zippy's Special Gift" with profits from sales being donated to Bernie's Book Bank
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: If elected as a trustee for the Village of Lake Barrington, I view my role as being a strong, honest leader who will convey the latest information to our residents and give them a voice when decisions are made locally.
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 Lake Barrington has done an excellent job serving our residents during the pandemic. For example, any local and state pandemic updates, including safety protocols, have been made available through the Village website along with consistent communications on Village actions to support local businesses. At the start of the pandemic, the Village also moved its services online to make them more accessible to our residents. This followed a pre-pandemic move of Village IT to the cloud. Village leadership also worked to make our outdoor facilities, including the splash lot at Village Hall, even more user friendly during warm weather. I also applaud the Village for posting messages to thank first responders and health care workers for their ongoing efforts in serving our residents during the pandemic.
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: We have all learned many things through this experience, and these learnings are applicable to future public health crises. Some examples include the necessity to move and maintain online access to Village services and information. I also appreciate that the Village has continued to support our local restaurants in their ability to serve during the pandemic with the appropriate safety protocols in place.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: The Village of Lake Barrington has consistently looked for ways to limit costs for taxpayers. For example, at the start of the pandemic, the Village eliminated many taxes and fees to reduce the pandemic's burden on local businesses. In addition, the Village has continued to outsource services such as police, fire, snowplowing and road maintenance along with trash and recycling collection to keep expenses low.
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: The most important infrastructure project that should be addressed is flood control because it affects many local homeowners throughout the year. If elected, I would listen to the ideas of the voters along with my fellow Village Board members to determine how it should be paid for based on location within the Village. Given the recent work done on key roads in the Village, my view is that further work in this area can be held for now, but we should ensure a long-term plan is established for ongoing maintenance.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: The Village has communicated the requirements of the law to the local business community and to-date, there have been no resident complaints about such issues.
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 the stance the Village Board has taken to not permit the sales of recreational marijuana in our community.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: As an oasis of gracious countryside living, I would make this community an even more family friendly place by supporting more frequent activities in our parks and green spaces to bring our residents together. These include events such as holiday gatherings and the "Taste of Lake Barrington" to connect our residents, promote local businesses, and build an even stronger sense of community in Lake Barrington.