Paul Frank: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 11


Party: Democratic

Office sought: Lake County Board District 11

City: Highland Park

Age: 51

Occupation: Consultant at Sellers Dorsey

Previous offices held: Lake County Forest Preserve District/County board member 2016 to present and Highland Park city councilman 2011-2016.


Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

A: I am proud of my record as a voice for my community and of the leadership contributions I have made to the forest preserve district and the county board. I hope to continue to help lead Lake County to be greener, safer and a healthier better place to live, invest and work.

Q: 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?

A: As chairman of the Finance committee I'm proud of our bipartisan work to pass three consecutive budgets with no increase to our county's property tax levy. That is a historical achievement, even holding the line on a levy for one year is challenging and I am really proud of our board for accomplishing that three times. I have also served as chairman of the Special Committee on American Rescue Plan Act Funding (ARPA) and chairman of the Special Committee on Coronavirus Relief Act Funding (CARES). In these roles I have helped guide our work to ensure public and local government input into how Lake County has invested these funds in our people, our services and our communities. Outside of my committee leadership I'm proud of my role in helping get our board to take a stand in favor of a national ban on assault weapons, banning single use plastics in our facilities, and investing and planning to grow our forest preserves.

Q: Given the recent history of flat tax levies, do you think the county/forest preserve have done good jobs of budgeting or do you see specific area that can be improved?

A: We have done a great job of holding our tax levy flat and maximizing other revenue sources. The bipartisan efforts to pass three straight budgets with no tax increases is pretty remarkable and yes, I'm proud of it.

Q: Would you support putting a referendum on the ballot for voters to decide if they wish to issue new bonds to preserve open spaces, restore habitats, create more trails and upgrade forest preserves?

A: Yes. Our forest preserves are some of the most popular and widely used public amenities. Especially since 2020 we have seen a significant increase in the use of our preserves, trails and forests. People are really seeing the value in the Lake County Forest Preserves, we should talk about ways to increase habitat restoration, improve and enhance access for all and look to use our restoration activity as a way to fight climate change.

Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?

A: Flooding and the risk of flooding remains an issue across Lake County, we have worked very successfully with our state legislators, our mayors, municipalities, and the Lake County Stormwater Management Agency to use key state funding to invest in stormwater projects. Future efforts should also include enhanced mitigation for future development. But also, our freedom is at risk due to unrestricted access to weapons of war. On July 4, a person with an assault rifle took away the freedom of my friends, family and so many thousands of neighbors who gathered to celebrate. Even before the mass murder of children in Uvalde Texas, our board had on a bipartisan and unanimous vote invested more than $1M in the Lake County State's Attorney's Office of Gun Violence Prevention, this was an important step to address root causes and impacts of everyday gun violence. Our board has taken a stand in favor of banning assault weapons, we need to continue to speak up and push for changes.

Q: Lake County officials want public feedback on how to spend portions of some $135 million in leftover federal pandemic funding. What are your thoughts on how the money ought to be spent?

A: The investments we have made to date address some of the most severe societal impacts of COVID and the economic impacts, we invested in permanent supportive housing, rental assistance, food assistance and of course public health strategies to reduce deaths and the spread of disease. The remainder of our ARPA funds will be allocated with community input and consideration of community goals, it is my goal to see substantial lasting investments made with the remainder of these funds.

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