Linda Pedersen: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 1
City: Unincorporated Antioch
Occupation: Lake County Board Member
Previous offices held: Antioch Township Trustee
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 running for reelection and I have currently served as County Board Member for District One for the last 14 years. My time on the County Board ha been very rewarding and serving my constituents with various issues, has been one of the highlights of my years on the board. I serve the largest unincorporated area in the County and keeping my constituents informed on County issues is very important to me.
Having 14 years of experience working in government for three State Representatives gave me a great understanding of government services and I have had the opportunity to put that to good use.
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: When Video Gaming was approved, I approached the Finance Committee during our Budget process to consider taking the County proceeds from gaming and place it in a grant program for social services in the County. Each year the Counties portion of the video gaming dollars is in the neighborhood of $750,000 and the Social Services can apply for grants for various projects or programs. The grants are applied for and awarded on a yearly basis.
I also just completed 4 years on the Policy Committee for the Counties 911 consolidation.
Lake County and several public safety partners from across the County have been working together to improve quality, efficiency, and provide cost savings. The County will be building the new 911 Center.
As a County Board Representative, I serve on the Lake County Opioid Initiative Board. Our mission is to reduce the use of opioids and other substances. Our prescription drug disposal program has collected over 86,000 pounds of opioids.
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: Property taxes always seems to be the number one concern to our Lake County residents, and serving on the Finance Committee I can tell you that it's a concern of ours also. I am very proud that we have not raised the levy for the last three years and continue to maintain our AAA bond rating. We continue to look for ways to reduce spending
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: For us to open up new preserves and to protect more open spaces, a referendum will be needed. I believe this is not a good time for us to be considering a referendum.
Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?
A: Having the largest unincorporated area in Lake County, a county sewer project is greatly needed. Also the burn ban and waste hauling franchise that was just recently implemented in the unincorporated area has many resident very upset! A survey was done asking the residents for their input, but the results were ignored. I do believe the ban on burning should be lifted with restrictions put in place.
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: We held two public forums on this issue as well as a zoom forum for the public to give us their thoughts and opinions. I was not surprised by the responses, Public Health, Household Assistance, Infrastructure, and business & Development were the top four concerns. These are very important issues facing our County and I hope we take the time to address them.