Lake County Board candidates cite smart development, limited government as key issues
Engaging in smart development and repealing a 4-cent per gallon gasoline tax are key issues for candidates running to represent District 17 on the Lake County Board.
Republican incumbent Michael Danforth, an attorney from Fox River Grove, is being challenged by Democrat Alicia Timm, a Lake Zurich resident and volunteer chair of a nonprofit conservation organization.
Danforth says he is running for reelection as one of the few voices on the county board who understands the purpose of limited government.
Danforth said his top issues are showing the public "bad and repressive taxes," like the gasoline tax which took effect July 1, 2021, can be repealed and lobbying state legislators to repeal or modify the "ill conceived" Safe-T Act, which becomes effective Jan. 1.
"We really need to refocus on core issues of what government is supposed to do," said Danforth, who was appointed in 2017 and elected in 2018.
"I have no doubt, depending how the elections results come back in November, they'll (Democratic majority) come back for 8 cents" per gallon, he added. "These gas taxes really add up."
Public safety and community policing also are key issues, he said. Danforth said residents need to know political leaders are working to address an increase in crime and keep their communities safe.
Timm said sustainable development is the top issue in a district which has considerable unincorporated area and open space, particularly with increased traffic from new homes straining country roads. Open and preserved spaces are important to the overall health of residents and their value can't be overstated, Timm added.
She advocates measures such as new culverts and storm sewers and the use of native plants to slow and clean stormwater. Improving dangerous intersections, adding bike trails and mass transit will help reduce traffic and fossil fuel use, Timm added.
"I want to take part in the holistic development of our part of the county, keep people moving safely and efficiently, and ensure clean air and water as we welcome new residents to our area," she said.
Poor planning can lead to future problems that can be expensive to solve and hurt taxpayers in the future, Timm said.
Danforth is a member of the board's financial and administrative committee. In light of predicted drops in the tax base and unfunded mandates created by the Safe-T Act, for example, Danforth said 5% to 10% cuts in some departments may be necessary to maintain a flat tax levy.
Timm said she doesn't envision an increase in the gas tax and doesn't think the county has a lot of influence on the SAFE-T Act.
"They're not going to let violent criminals out on the streets on Jan. 1," she said.
District 17 includes all or parts of Barrington, Barrington Hills, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake Barrington, Lake Zurich, Lakemoor, North Barrington, Port Barrington, Tower Lakes and Volo.