County-Wide Candidates Respond to Your Questions

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By Katia Colin

Democrat Robin O’Connor vs Republican Carla Wyckoff
Why are you running for Lake County Clerk?
O’Connor: My experiences and education have centered on leadership, management and problem solving which are key attributes needed to be an excellent Lake County Clerk. I have a strong background in technology, as well as many experiences working with legal counsel. I believe Lake County Government needs leadership with new perspectives on operations and guidance that reflect current times and prepares for the future for all Lake County residents.
Wyckoff: In these last four years we have met the challenge of new legislative mandates to provide voter registration in all 121 Election Day polling sites and to provide universal voting in all (now) 16 Early Voting sites. Worked closely with the LC Treasurer and Assessor to begin process of implementing a new, integrated and streamlined tax management system. I hope to continue these efforts on behalf of the residents of Lake County if I am re-elected.

What are the biggest issues facing Lake County at the moment?
O’Connor: Currently, Lake County needs to seek additional methods to increase voter registration and opportunities for voting. Polling places need to be located geographically aligned with voter accessibility, diversity and opportunity for all economic levels. Cyber protection of the election process also is an issue we must confront. Finally, confidence in our leaders, as well as integrity is a continuing issue we see within today’s government leaders.
Wyckoff: One important issue is to maintain the public’s confidence in the election process and to increase voter turnout. The LCCO is working with the LC IT Department (which is sophisticated in its expertise and approach) to bolster all protections against cyber intrusion into the LCCO election systems. We must be vigilante to maintain the integrity of elections so that public confidence is not eroded.

What changes would you bring if elected?
O’Connor: It is important to preserve the integrity of the election process. Promoting latest technology with attention to cyber security is an essential and ongoing process. It is crucial that the Clerk not only acquire proper resources, but also align action plans… Another change would be a regularly evaluation of the County Clerk Office system of maintaining, as well as retrieval of records.
Wyckoff: If elected I want to continue to maintain election integrity and try to increase voter turnout; to complete the implementation of the new tax management system; to further refine the transmission of vital records to the Illinois Department of Public Health and finish preserving historic records; and further improve direct communications with the residents of Lake County on elections, voter registration and other services of the LCCO.

Republican Mark Curran vs Democrat John Idleburg
Why are you running for Lake County Sheriff?
Curran: Lake County voters first elected me in November, 2006. Below are several initiatives given top priority under my administration: Implementing policies and procedures for training, discipline and hiring. Ensuring the office is under budget for 11 years. Development of a School Safety Team…to offer guidance to schools, houses of worship and businesses. Implementing a county-wide gang task force with federal, state and local partners…
Idleburg: I want to be Sheriff because we need a real change in the department and because I want to continue to serve my community. As a Marine, law enforcement officer, and President of the Illinois Police Association I know what it takes to secure our communities. I have dedicated my entire career to public service, and in protecting our public safety. I know what it takes to work across agencies, and communities to secure our county.

What are the biggest issues facing Lake County at the moment?
Curran: Heroin/Opioid Epidemic – not only is this epidemic killing more people, but it is breaking apart families, and increasing the number of car and home burglaries as substance users commit crimes of opportunity to pay for drugs Texting and Driving – increase in fatalities and in accidents with injuries Increase in Cybercrimes – both financial crimes and luring children over phones/computers
Idleburg: Within the Lake County Sheriff’s Office we have an embattled administration who has cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. We need someone who will bring change, a fresh perspective and a strong extensive background in law enforcement that will reduce liabilities, lawsuits, and settlements. We must also work with our immigrant community to ensure everyone’s rights and due process are protected.

What changes would you bring if elected?
Curran: I would continue the community policing initiatives we established throughout the county increasing trust between the public and law enforcement. I would also continue to work collaboratively with Lake County’s justice partners, service providers and residents to address public safety concerns and ensure community solutions. I am committed to work with all members of the community to ensure they receive quality public safety service with transparency and professionalism.
Idleburg: I will lead by example…and putting the right and qualified people as part of my command…Through community policing, education, and partnering…we will strengthen our relationships with our communities…Our deputies and correctional officers must have recurring training to be current on the latest law enforcement techniques…Reducing recidivism is a key target for my administration when elected that will be accomplished with education and job training.

Democrat Holly Kim vs Republican David Stolman
Why are you running for Lake County Treasurer?
Kim: I’m running for Treasurer because Lake County has the highest property taxes in all of Illinois and very recently it has been in the news about the corruption in Lake County government. Not only that, last week the current Treasurer took a big donation from the same bank the county uses. That’s so blatantly wrong! We need a Treasurer who is going to be fiscally responsible and represent the people – taxpayers like you and me.

Stolman: As a proven fiscal conservative and transparency champion, I am fighting every day to help lower the property taxes for the citizens of Lake County. Recognizing the burden high property taxes place on our hard-working families, I am working to equip and support the people of Lake County in their fight for lower property taxes. If honored to serve one final term, I promise to continue to be efficient with your tax dollars and fight for lower taxes.

What are the biggest issues facing Lake County at the moment?
Kim: 18 million dollars in contracts were given to the family of staff, the elected official’s credit card usage was being abused, and honestly, it is good people like you and me who have to pay for this! It ultimately does affect our property taxes. That is not right. There are unprecedented amounts of corruption going on, and the current Treasurer who should have been a watchdog has completely fallen asleep.
Stolman: The biggest issue facing Lake County is high property taxes, and I will continue to fight for lower property taxes. Lake County’s property taxes are among the highest in the entire country. In my capacity as Treasurer, I can help taxpayers by continuing to increase transparency to support them in their fight for lower property taxes. I also lead by example, reducing my office’s spending and increasing returns on the county’s investments.

What changes would you bring if elected?
Kim: We need to start by broadcasting the finance committee meetings again. We need to make sure all the books, processes, and contracts are online for transparency. One of my other plans is to expand personalized customer service and outreach so everyone has access to the Treasurer’s office. I plan to start a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) initiative for students I plan to donate a $40,000 of my salary to local civic groups.
Stolman: If honored to serve Lake County for what would be my final term, I will focus on the following five priorities. First, I will continue to fight for lower property taxes. Second, I will seek out ways to further increase transparency. Third, I will continue my efforts to modernize the Treasurer’s office… Fourth, I will maintain my example as a fiscally-responsible leader. Fifth, I will improve services even more for Lake County taxpayers.