Monday, April 29, 2013

Together, we can do a better job

Over the last few months I have met with Elected Officials and Staff in Highland Park, Highwood, and Deerfield to discuss how Lake County government can help network, reduce costs, and create efficiencies for local government. Additional meetings are planned and the conversation will continue.

I have been joined by the County Chairman Aaron Lawlor, my colleagues Member Ann Maine, Member Mike Rummel, and County staff to take notes and find points of commonality to build a better future Lake County government model.

Over the past few weeks the County Board has discussed this goal and is on the way to further incorporating it in our strategic plan, exploring opportunities, and promoting operations based on a shared premise.

While we are currently working with local governments on future transportation projects, joint building inspections, and other matters, I am hopeful that during the summer months you will see the County step up this collaboration initiative to increase progress on additional governance models that will reduce overall costs to taxpayers.

Budget Time in Lake County

Well, we are looking at budget policies for Lake County and getting our first glimpse at the proposed budget from the staff at the Lake County Forest Preserve District. We will be receiving the Lake County budget from staff around the end of the summer.

For the several of us that our new we have many questions about ways to reduce costs and save money for our citizens. One thing I have always stated to anyone that will listen is that I work for the citizens of Lake County, not the governments. Lake County and the Lake County Forest Preserve District are managerial style governments for whom we hire management and then are put in trust of directing policies that the management needs to incorporate in their programs.

During this process I will be asking many questions, making suggestions, and requesting performance data for analysis and future recommendations to my fellow board members.  A lot to learn so..... Stay Tuned!!

Highland Park Theater needs to Open its doors . . . .

Hey, enough is enough. We need to put the money into the HP Theater that will make it safe and get those doors open. Myself and many others are available to help this happen if the Council and Mayor wish to get moving. Enough with the past slamming of what we could have done or should have done. Enough with the past rhetoric of if we should have bought it or should not of bought it. Enough of demonizing those of us that put the deal together leaving the citizens holding the bag.

We need leadership from folks that love theater, love this community, that are willing to make something happen today and come up with a short and long term strategy. Past City Councils negotiated the Ravinia Festival Fee that is now producing over 3/4 of a million a year as the nexus to this theater redevelopment before we even negotiated to purchase. I am so sick and tired of hearing how we had wasted taxpayers money when in fact we imported a large amount of out-of-towners money to initiate this progressive program to reinvigorate our downtown and cultural arts.

Stand up and stand proud and get these doors open soon. Fix the safety issues within the legal codes so people are safe, put in new seats, digital projectors, and lets start having fun at the Highland Park Theater again. The Ravinia revenue source is growing every year and this funding can create jobs, support our restaurants, and bring increase vitality to our downtown. Let's get on with it!!!

New Council Folks can hit ground running....

Congratulations to my endorsements that DID get elected to the Highland Park City Council - Kim Stone, Dan Kaufman, and Alyssa Knobel.. Actually, while I might want to think I had some impact on this election, these fine candidates won on their own hard work, dedication to matters important to our community, and their tools and capacity to create constructive change. While they don't have the years of institutional knowledge some of us have, they know where us old fogy's are and surely will reach out for our historical prospective.

New governance models to reduce costs, business revival and retention, sustainability, and community networking needs to be front and center with this new group as they head off from the starting line. After Nancy got elected Mayor I do regret we never had that retreat to work out our Council Vision for the community. I would encourage this City Council to hold a retreat with a facilitator to help create the group vision and goals as a first step A.S.A.P. My number is 847.831.0373 if you wish to talk folks...... Go Get Em!