Guest Commentary: County issues make her runI am a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
By: Judy Olson, Lake County News Chronicle
I am a candidate for the District Four seat on the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
My family has lived in Lake County for six generations. I proudly continue in a long family tradition of business development and commitment to community service.
I am retired from a career with Lake County as a social worker with a statewide caseload. You may know me as a former partner in a successful business and as a ragtime performer. You see me in the community with longtime friends who are local artists, educators and respected professionals.
You may know me as someone who speaks up. The 600 words provided here aren’t enough, but here’s a quick look at what I know to be important issues.
The county budget shows a large portion of your dollar spent on Human Services. The county is mandated to provide when stressful life happens to us: mother falls and may need care, a child has special needs or a vulnerable person needs protection; there is great cost to meeting such need. I know the mandates and I know the funding streams. Regional consolidation needs to be considered as a cost-effective way to deliver these services.
In District 4 the people of Larsmont need to have a solution to their wastewater issue. A county-backed initiative needs to happen, including making low-interest loans available to these county residents who have been held hostage by political posturing and inaction.
County board meetings should be scheduled in the evening. All county board meetings should be broadcast or streamed. Lake County has the ability to do this easily, thanks to the expensive and expansive technological setup in its overly ambitious service center, where there is also plenty of room for public attendance. Since we are fortunate to have several highspeed broadband and fiber optic providers in Lake County, the citizen can easily keep up with the governmental process.
And I do urge you to keep up with the process. Take a look at the county website, which touts the ‘initiative’ project. Aside from being poorly written, there is a FAQ pageful of euphemistic description instead of clear bottom-line information about where your money is going. LOTS of your money is being spent. More on this later. They only give me 600 words here.
We need to know that we are safe in our communities. Our enormous geographical area and the huge increase in police calls requires that our agencies of aid be independent in administration and cooperative in function. An extraordinary example of the efficiency and dedication of the people who serve you was the day 911 communication failed due to fiber optic breakdown. Lake County employees patched calls through a neighboring township and positioned people strategically so that emergency services had no interruption. As a longtime member of the police commission and as a social worker, I know firsthand what issues are facing us in our communities.
Lake County has some unfortunate history as an employer. Contracts have taken years to resolve, a health care administrative plan was badly bungled and employees are currently
offered an inadequate health plan. Employees, currently in six unions, should unite in common purpose. The board’s longtime legal representative should be replaced, as he has an adversarial posture with county employees and an extraordinary amount of your money has been spent on his services.
I know mandates. I know funding streams. I know business. I know law enforcement. I know community issues.
I speak up.
Just like Judge Judy.
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