Charles Nozicka: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 3
Office sought: Lake County Board District 3
City: Green Oaks
Occupation: Pediatric Emergency Physician
Previous offices held: Lake County Housing Authority Commissioner
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
As a physician, I've seen the impact that a lack of housing has on a person's well-being. Without housing, people cannot maintain optimal physical and mental health. Often our seniors and veterans are priced out of local affordable housing.
I've seen the harm caused by a lack of comprehensive mental health services. Families can wait days in an ER to get needed care for their loved ones. We need efficient safe crisis stabilization centers (CSUs) in our county to improve countywide mental healthcare.
Preserving our incredible collection of green spaces! My favorites: Old School & Independence Grove, I love biking our beautiful trails! Green open spaces keep us mentally and physically healthy; they are a nature learning lab for our kids!
As a medical school professor, I live a personal ethical code with a commitment to integrity. I teach these values to my students. We've seen too many elected officials ignoring these tenets - I'll be accountable, ethical & transparent.
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?
As a pediatrician and experienced Community Leader, I will bring my advocacy background and passion to the county board. My experience as a physician would bring a medical and patient advocacy perspective to the board.
I have worked for years with several community groups to improve countywide mental health and expand attainable housing. Often our seniors and veterans are priced out of local affordable housing. My priorities would be improving countywide mental healthcare, and promoting green attainable housing for our seniors and veterans.
Preservation of our Forest Preserve district with improving trail interconnections is another of my priorities. Green open spaces keep us mentally and physically healthy: our county green spaces are a treasure that must be protected.
Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.
One potential "threat", I see looming could relate to our current high inflation rate and how it may impact the county budget going forward. Inflation may cause a need to pay more for salaries, contracts and purchases. As a former Medical Director (department head), I have experience with budget planning and forecasting - forecasting the effect of inflation on the budget will be important.. As a consumer, I know every dollar matters and every financial decision must bring value. I will be value driven, accountable, ethical and transparent.
How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.
One positive result of the pandemic has been recording all meetings and offering all meetings live on Zoom for public comment and attendance. This has provided a significant increase in governmental transparency. Retaining the zoom platform and continued recording of all meetings, as we come out of the pandemic, will be essential for continued transparency. Listing the zoom link for all meetings in the county newsletter could generate further citizen engagement. Adding captions to the live zoom platform would benefit the hearing impaired and those for whom English is a second language. Government can never be too transparent!
What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
The county maintains an excellent website to access various offices, tax and meeting information. The section "Public Meetings and Public Information" is listed under "Maps, Records and Transparency" under a separate Data & Records Hub. Placing the "Public Meetings and Public Information" separately on the initial main menu would make finding this information easier and more transparent.