Making Lake County Work for Us
FAIRNESS IN TAXATION
Why do Illinois and Lake County residents pay some of the highest real estate tax rates in the country? I’ve been asking that question, demanding answers and taking action for more than a decade through my non-partisan group Citizens Action Project. I pledge to do my utmost to find a sustainable path for all taxpayers on this issue. I will fight for fair, transparent assessments and appeals. I strongly support a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” that will explain in clear language every aspect of your property tax bill — including every spending item in the county budget.
Lake County has some of the most congested roads in the state. Sitting in traffic not only wastes our time and energy, it aggravates already dangerous levels of air and water pollutants. I will work for sensible and sustainable transportation improvements that are logical and affordable. I will fight to improve traffic flow on Routes 120 and 83, including a railroad viaduct at Rt. 120 at 83. We need to jump start road projects with money we have now to reduce pollution and wasted time. But my vision goes beyond that. I will work with our legislators to vastly improve public transportation by expanding Metra and Pace service, bike trails and pedestrian paths.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JOB CREATION
While Lake County has a diversified economy and is adding jobs, far too much business is heading north of the border. I’ll support ways to create jobs in all sizes of businesses while building our commercial/industrial tax base, to help lower our property tax burden. We can create well-paying, green jobs just by lowering the carbon footprint of county facilities and vehicles. It’s my vision, and that of many of the residents I’ve spoken with, that our district and Lake County become a national example for how to do this on a large scale. It will also reduce operating costs and the burden on taxpayers. We already have solar panels on our two high schools and the College of Lake County. Every county facility needs an environmental upgrade and I’ll advocate to get this work done.
Lake County has more than 200 public agencies out of the more than 7,000 units of government in Illinois. I will work to identify areas were consolidation makes sense in order to improve service and efficiency. The present county administration has paid out millions of dollars in lawsuits due to abusive jail management and spent $100 million on a courthouse expansion. I will be a vigilant watchdog to bring best practices to all county operations and identify and curb wasteful spending.
I believe in comprehensive conservation of our natural resources. My goal is for the county to commit to using 100% renewable energy by 2035. That means “greening” county buildings, vehicles and energy use while creating local jobs installing solar panels, windmills and alternative energy systems. This will reduce operating costs without adding to spending. I will also fight for detailed environmental pre-k through senior citizen educational programming at Rollins Savanna and expansion of Forest Preserve trails and lands.
My COMMITMENT TO MOVE FORWARD
I will work hard for the people in my district because together we can have a greener, and more-affordable county government.