April 2nd Ballot Information for District 3 Residents – Plenty of Reasons to Vote

April 2nd Ballot Information for District 3 Residents – Plenty of Reasons to Vote

Lots of reasons to come out and vote on April 2nd in District 3, for Lindenhurst, Lake Villa, Round Lake Beach , and Round Lake Heights, including several Bond Referendums.

Here are the issues on your ballots: Listed with contested races closer to the top.

Bond Questions

Lake Villa School District #41: 2 Questions, totaling $50,000,000.

Question 1: Proposition To Issue $34,200,000 School Building Bonds. (Yes or No)
Shall the Board of Education of Lake Villa Community Consolidated School District Number 41, Lake County, Illinois, improve the sites of, build and equip additions to and alter, repair and equip existing buildings, including, without limitation, constructing security and health/life safety improvements, increasing accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act, maintaining infrastructure and renovating learning areas, and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $34,200,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?
Question 2: Proposition To Increase Debt Service Extension Base (Yes or No)
Shall the debt service extension base under the Property Tax Extension Law for Lake Villa Community Consolidated School District Number 41, Lake County, Illinois, for payment of principal and interest on limited bonds be increased from $442,810 to $1,225,000 for the 2019 levy year and all subsequent levy years?
$ Summary: Per the District 41 Fact Sheet, based on a $250,000 home value:
  1.  If ‘Yes’ to both bond questions, Residents will pay approximately $601/year for the bond debt starting in 2021, down from $813.
  2. If ‘No’ to both bond questions, Residents will pay $0/year for the bond debt starting in 2021, down from $813.

Village of Round Lake Heights: 1 Question, totaling $2,700,000

Question: Proposition For Public Water System Improvements (Yes or No)
Shall the Village of Round Lake Heights, Lake County, Illinois, for the purpose of paying the costs of improvements and extensions to the existing water and water supply system of said Village, including such improvements and extensions as are sufficient to provide for the storage and distribution thereof, and for expenses incident thereto, issue its bonds to the amount of $2,700,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

$ Summary: Per the Daily Herald, based on a $200,000 home value:
  1. If ‘Yes’, Residents will pay $388/year for the bond debt.
  2. If ‘No’, Residents will pay $0/year for the bond debt.

Municipal/Board Elections

Lindenhurst Village President: (Vote for 1)

  • Ryan Brandes – Lindenhurst United For Change
  • Dominic Marturano – Lindenhurst Best Choice

Lindenhurst Clerk (Vote for 1)

  • Jody Stoughtenger – Lindenhurst Best Choice

Lindenhurst Trustee (Vote for 3)

  • Stacey Kramer – Lindenhurst United For Change
  • Trak Patel – Lindenhurst United For Change
  • Cassandra Slade – Lindenhurst United For Change
  • Dawn Czarny – Lindenhurst Best Choice
  • Patrick John Dunham – Lindenhurst Best Choice
  • Heath Rosten – Lindenhurst Best Choice

Grayslake Community High School District 127 (Vote for 4)

  • Edwin Brown
  • Hal Sloan
  • Jonathan Reinoso
  • Kathleen Conlon Wasik
  • Erin Westphal

Trustees of the College of Lake County (Vote for 2)

  • Julia Byrne Shroka
  • Timothy Powell
  • Vaseem Iftekhar

Grant High School Board (Vote for 3)

  • Robert Yanik
  • John Lee Jared
  • Kathy Kusiak
  • Ivy Jo Fleming

Millburn Consolidated School District #24 Board (Vote for 4)

  • Carissa Casbon
  • Stephen Gray
  • Sean Coleman
  • Irshad Khan
  • Jeffrey Flary
  • Ardre Orie

Regional Board of Schools Trustee – 6 Yr Term (Vote for 3)

  • Julie Gonka
  • Alison Baker Frank Packer
  • Chase Thomas
  • Phillip DeRuntz

Regional Board of Schools Trustee – Unexpired 2 Yr Term (Vote for 1)

  • Joye Williams

Lake Villa Trustee (Vote for 3)

  • Karen Harms
  • Jake Cramond
  • Jeff Nielsen (Write in)

Lake Villa Public Library Trustee (Vote for 4)

  • Barbara Venturi
  • Kathleen Rettinger
  • Fergal Gallagher
  • Douglas Nieman

Lake Villa District 41 School Board (Vote for 4)

  • Joanne Osmond
  • Joe Dunne
  • Michael Conway
  • Debbie Walsh

Fox Waterway Agency (Vote for 1)

  • James Meyer

Round Lake Beach Trustee (Vote for 3)

  • Kevin Wallace
  • Margie Cleveland
  • Paul Stout

Round Lake Beach Clerk (Vote for 1)

  • Dana Hillesheim

Commissioner – Round Lake Area Park District (Vote for 1)

  • Patrick Duby

Antioch Community High School District 117 School Board (Vote for 3)

  • Ellen Ipsen
  • Geoff Guttschow
  • Sandy Jacobs
Lake County Board’s Dick Barr participates in NACo’s DC Legislative Conference

Lake County Board’s Dick Barr participates in NACo’s DC Legislative Conference

 Administration and congressional leaders highlight county role in serving residents

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lake County Board Member, Dick Barr, joined nearly 2,000 other county leaders in Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference March 2-6.  Participants met with members of the Trump administration and Congress on key issues like disaster recovery, the opioid and substance abuse epidemic, Veteran issues and revitalizing American infrastructure.

“As a new County Board Member, I wanted to see the value that a nationwide conference of County officials could provide. I was blown away at the quality and quantity of information available, the A-List of speakers, and the personal contacts, not just U.S. Congressmen, Senators and their aids, but Federal agency, and other county official contacts from all over the country to share experiences with,” said Barr. “I must have walked away with 50-60 business cards of leaders throughout the country whom I can call on for valuable information, to bounce ideas off, and to see how they solved issues that are currently affecting Lake County.”

“Decisions made by the White House, Congress and federal courts have major impacts on our ability to lead our communities and pursue a better future,” said NACo President Greg Cox. “This conference is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our federal partners as we help residents forge pathways to live well and thrive.”

In meetings with lawmakers and administration officials, county leaders outlined several key federal policy priorities including:

  • Promoting county infrastructure priorities in a comprehensive infrastructure package
  • Supporting the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) programs, which honor federal commitments to public lands and timber counties
  • Promoting mental health, substance use disorders treatment and criminal justice reform, and
  • Boosting broadband deployment and accessibility while preserving local zoning authority.

As part of its policy advocacy, NACo launched an updated “Counties Matter” campaign to illustrate counties’ vast role in advancing America’s policy priorities at the local level. NACo also launched a new and improved County Explorer. The tool, which allows users to map data at the county level, now works on mobile devices and is more user-friendly.

“When I first was introduced to the “County Explorer” tool, I was amazed at how much data is available to us through our association with NACo. At the click of a mouse we can compare our county, based on size, demographic, population, rural/urban landscape on metrics such as economy growth, opioid deaths, number of hospitals, veteran population, homeless, affordable housing, number of exports and imports, along with hundreds of other metrics,” said Barr. “Being able to access this data instantly, and printing a beautifully formatted and easy to read report is an invaluable tool for advocacy when speaking with our local, state and federal leaders.”

Conference participants heard from congressional and administration leaders, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst, Amy Klobuchar and Marco Rubio, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Co-Founder of America Online Steve Case.

Counties officials were very active on Capitol Hill, meeting with senators and representatives on key County issues.  The conference featured three briefings on Capitol Hill: one on strengthening human services; one on fixing the FAST Act, focusing on transportation infrastructure; and another on how counties are reimaging health care in county jails. NACo also announced a joint task force with the National Sheriffs’ Association to examine the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy, which strips federal health and veterans’ benefits from individuals upon admission to jail – not upon conviction – leading to increased recidivism.

Dozens of county officials also rallied at a press conference with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to underscore support for key public lands programs, Secure Rural Schools and Payments in Lieu of Taxes. Watch the press conference here.

There were more than two dozen policy workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. They focused on topics like the opioid crisis; early childhood investments; workforce and economic development; transportation and infrastructure; public health and safety; mental health and jails; and cybersecurity and technology.

“The NACo Conference was just the beginning. Now I need to take advantage of the information I learned and work with my colleagues on the Board to evaluate how Lake County can benefit from these best practices,” said Barr. “Cultivating the relationships obtained in Washington over the coming months will be instrumental in building on the concepts gathered at the conference and solidifying ideas to benefit all residents of Lake County.”

Lake County Needs to Reevaluate it’s P-Card use for Board Members

Lake County Needs to Reevaluate it’s P-Card use for Board Members

In light of recent allegations of abuse with the County’s P-Card system, I would like to propose a replacement system for the County Board Members to contemplate for Members.

While some have suggested a simple reimbursement plan to eliminate P-Cards, unfortunately that does not solve the problem, as well has the unintended consequence of utilizing additional staff time, which I believe would cost more than any savings to the tax payer.

The problem lies in the gap between use of public funds and how it is approved for use. A simple reimbursement plan would not solve the question of appropriate use of tax payer money. It would be unfair to any employee of the county to be in a position of having to challenge elected officials they report to, especially when those officials have the ability to fire them.

To bridge that gap, I suggest a reimbursement (or prior approved requisition in the case of large expenses) system that goes through the finance committee to be voted on by all the Committee members.

This would allow expenses to be approved or rejected in a public forum on a non partisan basis, would not take up additional staff time, and add a TRANSPARENT layer of ACCOUNTABILITY to the process.

I also believe the Board needs to evaluate its existing rules (which they are in the process of doing now) and focus on creating a very clear cut and common sense list of purposes and rules that govern elected officials’ use of tax payer funds.

If elected, I will push for the discontinued use of Board Member P-Cards, and further vow to not accept one for my own use.

Lake County Sheriff’s Department Saves Suicidal Gunman

Lake County Sheriff’s Department Saves Suicidal Gunman

With so many tragedies being reported in the news, it was a nice relief to read the headline from the Lake and McHenry County Scanner Facebook page about the three Lake County officers who peacefully resolved a very dangerous situation this morning in Antioch.

Here is the link to the full story: https://www.lakemchenryscanner.com/2018/02/21/sheriffs-deputies-save-suicidal-19-year-old-with-gun/

Republican Assembly of Lake County Endorses Dick Barr

Republican Assembly of Lake County Endorses Dick Barr

The Republican Assembly of Lake County (RALC) has endorsed Dick Barr in the March 20th, 2018 Republican Primary over former RALC member, Jim Mitchell.

Candidates addressed the Assembly on January 18th. They were given three minutes for an opening statement, which was followed by a question and answer period. It has been a tradition for the RALC to endorse Republican candidates that best exemplify and represent the Principles and Beliefs of the Republican Party.

Mr. Barr spoke about his belief that property taxes in Lake County are strangling home owners, who are fleeing the county in droves in favor of the less taxed southern Wisconsin towns. He pointed to his intimate knowledge of property taxes, as a longtime Real Estate Broker and owner of his own Real Estate firm, as crucial background for understanding the pain of property tax payers throughout Lake County. He believes by helping to educate the public and increase transparency, the residents of Lake County can stand in unison in a targeted effort against the powers that work to drive up Property Taxes.

Mr. Barr also spoke to the issue of Forest Preserve acquisitions over the past 10 years, which has taken almost $200 Million dollars of land off of the tax rolls, spreading the burden of the lost income among the remaining inhabitants. He indicated that he would not support another referendum to acquire more lands by the Forest Preserve until a time when Property Taxes have become affordable for all residents, especially for seniors.

(For a more detailed explanation of Dick’s property tax strategy, click here)

Candidates must receive at least 60% of the Assembly’s vote to earn an endorsement. If no candidate achieves the 60% threshold, no endorsement is given. Mr. Barr beat out Mr. Mitchell for the endorsement, despite the fact that Mr. Mitchell was a long time member of the Assembly.

Other endorsements issued by the Assembly include:

  • Jeanne Ives for Governor
  • Doug Bennett for 10th Congressional District US Congress
  • Marko Sukovic  for 59th District State Representative
  • Adam Solano for 62nd District State Representative
  • Bob Bednar for 6th District County Board
  • Jeri Atelson for 10th District County Board
  • Grant Noble for 201st Precinct Committeeman

No endorsement was made in the following races due to not meeting the 60% vote threshold:

  • Attorney General
  • 17th District County Board

Here is the link to the RALC Press Release: http://ralc.biz/press-releases