Anne Richmond: 2023 candidate for Hainesville Village Board


Town: Hainesville

Age on Election Day: 49

Occupation: Management Analyst

Employer: The Housing Authority of Cook County

Previous offices held: Round Lake Area Library District trustee


Q: What is the most serious issue your community will face in the coming years and how should the city council or village board respond to it?

A: Working on the comprehensive plan to create a road map for the future of Hainesville is one of the most important issues the village faces. Without a plan to guide the current and future board members in developing the community, Hainesville risks making piecemeal decisions that lead to a fractured business district that the residents cannot easily use. The comprehensive plan will ensure that the wants of the community are considered in the future of the village and will allow the board to plan for a business district that is accessible by walking and create safe passages to the current attractions in the village.

Q: How would you describe the state of your community's finances?

A: Overall, Hainesville has healthy finances, with 9 months of reserves for contingencies, but doesn't tax the residents at the maximum levy.

Q: What should be the three top priorities for spending in your community during the next four years?

A: The top 3 spending priorities include replacement of trees in the village lost to the 2015 tornado, disease

and age, the maintenance of the wells that provide water to the residents and an improved business district. With nearly half of Hainesville's land being non-agricultural open spaces, the replanting of trees is important to mitigate climate change and maintain the habitats for wildlife to ensure a balanced ecosystem. Since Hainesville relies on well water to serve the community, the continued maintenance of the wells is essential to life in the village. To attract more businesses to Hainesville, the village must create a business district that balances parking lots and sidewalks to ensure that residents can use the businesses.

Q: Are there areas of spending that need to be curtailed? If so, what are they?

A: The biggest area of spending that should be reevaluated is the contract for police services. Around 2010, when Hainesville decided to dissolve its own police department, the board reviewed bids from several agencies. The current police contract is nearly $900,000, a substantial portion of the village budget. It's time to go back to the bidding process to ensure that we are not overpaying for police services and that we are getting all the services that the village needs. The landscaping costs for the beautification of the subdivision entrances should be reevaluated. Hainesville should continue to use native plants that are perennials and that require minimal work to survive our climate. The village should also consider the impact of community events and how the events can advance the goals for the village when deciding to spend money.

Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project the community must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what project(s) can be put on the back burner?

A: The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning reported a low walkability score for Hainesville in the 2022 Community Data Snapshot and residents cited walkability as a major concern at the first meeting for Hainesville's comprehensive plan. Hainesville should ensure that sidewalks or mixed-use paths that are accessible to persons with limited mobility or disabilities are a part of each developed/modified area. For example, if a road is widened, the plan should include the creation of a mixed-use path, linking to other paths, to improve the walkability of the area. Funding sources could include the motor fuel tax, Federal, state or county funds for roads and fees paid by developers who are building businesses. The current

Hainesville board does a good job of ensuring that overall infrastructure is maintained, with a well-developed plan for repairs and improvements to sidewalks and streets each year.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage local government? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your village board or city council.

A: I have served on the Round Lake Area Library District board since 2011 and on the Avon Community Food

Pantry board for several years. I've discovered that being an effective board member requires a willingness to do the homework, to work with others and an open mind. I prefer to come to a board meeting with background research on the topics, a review of best practices implemented by similar boards/entities but with an open mind to consider how a decision will impact all persons in the community. My professional life in subsidized housing programs has exposed me to a variety of municipalities in the Chicagoland area with different practices in the building departments and variations on Crime Free Housing Ordinances. I recognize that there are many ways to implement policies and procedures and I am willing to negotiate with fellow board members to find the best ways to Hainesville to operate.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: While I have been attending Hainesville board meetings over the 20 years I have lived here, I am confident that I will bring a fresh voice to the meeting with the perspective of a commuter who works full time. I venture outside of Hainesville frequently and can bring new ideas from other communities back to our village. My experiences in subsidized housing have taught me to be empathic to others and make serving others an important part of my life. I speak English, French and some Spanish, and being multi-lingual is a growing need in our immigrant community.

Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

A: Hainesville has a unique population of immigrants from all parts of the world. My street is made up of families from Jamaica, India, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, China, Korea, Sri Lanka, Poland, Lithuania, Jordan, Israel, American Indians, and probably other countries that I have yet to discover. I would love to see Hainesville officially embrace the different cultures and heritages by highlighting them in newsletters or at village festivities. Hainesville is divided physically by the traffic of busy Hainesville Road and socially by the different taxing bodies - the East side being part of Grayslake school, library and park districts and the West side being part of the Round Lake school, library and park districts. Celebrating our different backgrounds could go a long way to unite our village.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.