Paul Frank: Candidate Profile
Lake County Board District 11 (Democrat)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: HIGHLAND PARK
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Family: My wife Mandi and I have lived in Highland Park for fourteen years where we are raising our two children Jane (14) and Jonah (12).
Occupation: Public policy professional, healthcare policy and previously worked in higher education policy.
Education: BA Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
MS Public Service Management, DePaul University
Civic involvement: Councilman, City of Highland Park 2011 to present
Liquor Control Commissioner City of Highland Park 2013 to present
Intra-City Parking Commission Vice Chair & Chair 2012-2013
City Council Liaison to Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Alliance and business organizations (various) 2011 - 2013, 2015 - Present
NS School District 112 2010 Strategic Planning Participant
Elected offices held: Councilman, City of Highland Park 2011 - Present
Why are you running for this office? If you are running for re-election, is there an important project you want to implement? If you are a challenger, is there a particular issue that motivates you? Please explain.
I'm running for Lake County Board to continue my efforts to make our local governments more efficient, collaborative and accountable to all taxpayers while protecting and delivering human services and infrastructure improvements that our communities depend on.
I believe my experience on the Highland Park City Council would serve me well in a collaborative body like the County Board. I will use my experience to improve efficiency and transparency at the county board and FPDLC.
I am most proud of my leadership on Highland Park's economic development policies and leading the fight for the passage of the assault weapons ban.
What are your ideas to ensure the Lake County Discovery Museum remains relevant with county residents during the year it is closed while it moves from Wauconda to Libertyville and its new space is prepared?
When a public amenity is closed temporarily it is important to keep the renovation on schedule, communicate regular updates and begin to increase marketing efforts about the new and improved facility. The County should build excitement in the museum.
When the Park District of Highland Park renovated Rosewood Beach, residents were understanding of the the temporary closures associated with major renovations, and the excitement for the new facility was enhanced by communications on the progress as well as highlighting the new features throughout the process.
The community responds positively when local governments are transparent and share information about progress.
Do you believe all of the county board's and forest board's committee meetings should be televised live and webcast? Why or why not?
Yes. I fully support the full broadcast transmission of all County Board and Forest Preserve District committee meetings. Archiving as well.
The cost of the technology is not prohibitive and the public benefits of greater transparency are immeasurable.
In Highland Park our City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are televised and archived. In our professional and personal lives we conduct so much of our business remotely, via telephone, Facetime or Skype. It is so important to me - we need to allow the public that same convenient option to view public body meetings electronically.
Some municipalities are turning to Lake County government for contracted services in areas such as building inspections. For example, Lake Zurich signed a two-year contract with the county in late 2015 and expects to save $100,000 by paying $67 an hour for the inspections. Do you see this as a good thing for the county because of the revenue or are there concerns that should be addressed if these arrangements continue to grow? Please explain.
It's a good thing - but not entirely because of revenue. If we are only helping local governments because of increased revenue - we are missing a major opportunity to share those efficiencies with those local governments as well as the taxpayers.
I see this shared responsibility as a good thing for taxpayers if able to convert those savings into improved services as well as direct savings on a property tax bill, or demonstrated efficiency. It must be shown.
Most will only feel the benefits of "efficiency" efforts if we ensure that those savings show up on our tax bills.
Please list any elected office you've ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?
I ran for Highland Park City Council in 2011. I received the highest vote total of all 5 candidates running for 3 spots in that election. In 2011 there were no incumbent council members seeking re-election to the council.
In 2015 I was re-elected to the Highland Park City Council without opposition. Three of us who were on the Council (Blumberg and I were re-elected, Hollemen's won election for the first time after a Mayoral appointment to a vacancy).
This County Board race is my third campaign, I am confident and hopeful it will be my third consecutive win.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Protection of our natural spaces and appropriate access to those facilities. Our County Board members are also the board of LCFPD.
These public lands and recreational spaces are a major asset to our County and we have a responsibility to manage the public access to them correctly.
As a Councilman for The City of Highland Park I have always asked challenging questions, sought public input on difficult topics and tried to find practical solutions to development questions we face. I will bring that experience and same approach if I am lucky enough to be elected to the Lake County Board.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a principled fierce fighter for changing gun laws. He can also be bi-partisan and collaborative. I admire both traits in him.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
My father always did (still does) read news and talk to us about events. I learned to take an active role in community and government.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would take greater steps to save our natural world, speak up, try to prevent climate change. I fear for the future of our planet.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
My favorite subject in school was always science. I was inspired by great science teachers, curiosity, awe for amazing both natural and man made.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Continue to challenge yourselves, learn something new, adapt to new situations and to keep evolving. Also, don't touch your eyes after touching a hot pepper.