School board member, newcomer face off in Lake County Board Dist. 2 primary
A political newcomer and a school board member are squaring off in the Democratic primary for the Lake County Board District 2 seat.
Shawn Killackey, a Mundelein-area resident serving his second term on the Fremont Elementary School District 79 board, faces Linda Troester, a retired research biologist and environmental health and safety manager from Round Lake, for the party's nomination.
District 2 includes all or parts of Hawthorn Woods, Mundelein, Round Lake, Round Lake Park and Wauconda. It's one of two newly drawn districts that do not have an incumbent, but it encompasses much of the current District 10 represented by Democrat Jessica Vealitzek.
Both candidates say the collaborative skills gained through their respective experiences would translate well to the county board.
"I've learned how to work with a group of fellow board members in a professional way to get things done," said Killackey, a visual artist and stay-at-home dad.
Killackey is a member of the Mundelein Historical Commission and also served on the village's Centennial and Old Village Hall committees. He says he is organized and makes decisions based on facts, with input from both sides of an issue.
Lake County is a great place to raise a family, and it's "my turn" to help keep it that way, said Killackey, adding that protecting the natural environment is important.
Troester is making her first run of elected office but said her background in environmental and health sciences has given her a fact-based decision-making perspective and experience working on collaborative teams to deliver short- and long-term goals.
"My motivation is my grandchildren," said Troester, a grandmother of 10. "I love Lake County and I would like Lake County to be even better in the future for my grandchildren."
Troester also is a volunteer court-appointed special advocate, working to support and protect children who have been victims of abuse and neglect.
Lake County represents about 7% of property tax bills but accounts for many critical services, she said. She said her primary interests are cost-effective government, managing stormwater, preserving wetlands to mitigate flooding and maintaining ecosystems.
The effects of climate change, an increasing population and transportation concerns will require creative solutions, she added.
Killackey said rapid population growth that strains roads also is a concern.
"You have to either slow down the building of houses or expand the size of the roads," he said. "Either way, that will definitely affect the budget and how it is spent."
County board members also serve as commissioners for the Lake County Forest Preserve District.