J. Kevin Hunter: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 5


Party: Republican

Office sought: Lake County Board District 5

City: Unincorporated Lake County, Ingleside

Age: 62

Occupation: Regional sales manger, American Response Vehicles, Columbia, Missouri. I design and manufacture ambulances

Previous offices held: Grant Township precinct committeeman/1996-2001; village of Fox Lake trustee/1997-2001; Grant Community High School School board member/ 2015-18; Lakes Region Sanitary District president/ 2017-21; Lake County Board-District #5 board member/ 2021-22.


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 appointed in July of 2021, as the result of the retirement of former Lake County Board member Judy Martini. The opportunity to be a Lake County Board member has been stimulating to say the least. My extensive background in governing bodies in my career really gives me a leg up on the business to be accomplished by this board.

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: My main contributions have been in the public safety sector as a retired firefighter/EMT of 24 years. Having those real-life experiences allows me the opportunity to advance the public concerns for great quality public safety. I have also been in sales and marketing for 40 years in the automotive aftermarket and manufacturing industry. This experience allows me to bring real world solutions that work in small & large business into the people services industry called your local government.

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: I think the county and the forest preserve district holding the levy for the number of services rendered and performed was a great accomplishment. I am looking forward to the implementation of HB 5184, the Military Veterans Assistance Act, which will have its own levy to further help our vets set to take place Jan 1, 2023.

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: I believe in listening to the constituents as it should be the number one priority of any elected official. I also believe using surveys to receive public feedback to develop plans for our beautiful forest preserves would be wonderful. Not only would I support asking the voters for their opinion, but I would be an advocate of this very important county asset.

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

A: There are so many issues that face Western Lake County, so where do I start. For a large part, we are an outdoor/recreational/seasonally oriented living and work community. Our natural resources allow for recreation for so many around the Chicago area, so we must stay vigilant in protecting them. We are also a community that has many, many trees. The county ban on leaf burning which passed last January will adversely affect the ability for residents to burn leaves and result in residents having to pay more for leaf removal. On this issue alone, over 3,200 people spoke out against or asked for a compromise regarding this ordinance. I voted no to ban leaf burning, but the current make up of the county board didn't listen and passed the resolution anyway. I believe we need county board members to listen to the people that put them there instead of serving on the board to complete their personal agendas and doesn't allow them to listen to other points of view.

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 county was allocated $135 million, but I wouldn't define as leftover federal pandemic funds. When we surveyed constituents, the priorities were as follows: public health, community & household assistance, infrastructure, and economic business investments. If this is what residents feel we should do with the allocations, we should focus on these priorities provided by the people we serve.

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