Brian M. Hayden: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 1
Office sought: Lake County Board District 1
Occupation: Handy man
Previous offices held:
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 was asked to run for this position because my life experiences make me the most qualified person to address issues in our district. The current incumbent is out of touch with the needs of her constituents. Residents of District 1 tell me that she is not accessible. The current incumbent has been in office a long time and it's time for new ideas. Issues that particularly motivate me are combating the opioid epidemic as well as holding the line on spending issues.
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 a county board member, I will be in-tune with needs of my constituents. It's important to be the voice of the people in the district, which Is why I will regularly invite residents to meet with me in order to hear their concerns.
It's important to prioritize the opioid epidemic in District 1. Recent data indicates that two cities in my district have the highest overdose rates in the County, and many victims are high school students, which is unacceptable. Combating the opioid epidemic will not only save lives, it will save tax payers money and reduce crime.
It's also a fact that property taxes in the district are some of the highest in the county. Not only will I create good working relationships with legislators in Springfield to hold the line on property taxes, I will also refuse to increase the county tax levy.
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: The county has won budgeting awards, including one from the Government Finance officers Association. The county also has leveraged non-tax funding opportunities, like grants and relief dollars. Over the last three years, the board has held the property tax levy flat for homeowners, all while maintaining our AAA bond rating.
The Forest Preserves also hold a AAA bond rating and has won the distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the GFOA.
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: The forest preserves and open land in Lake County is what makes this county so special and its important to preserve it. However, at the same time, I would only support this measure if absolutely all other funding options are exhausted.
Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?
A: The opioid crisis is not only destroying the lives of people suffering from substance abuse disorder, but its also destroying the lives of friends and families. Recent data show that for every dollar invested in substance abuse services, $4-7 will be saved on criminal justice and Healthcare costs.
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: First and foremost, we need to listen to public feedback about take that into consideration before making any decisions.
I would like to see some of the money spent on expanding access to Healthcare in our community. I also believe funding our police and first responders are not only important to me, but its important to the entire county. Also, funding gun violence prevention programs.