Soojae Lee: Candidate profile, Lake County Board District 20

  • Soojae Lee is a Republican candidate for Lake County Board District 20.

    Soojae Lee is a Republican candidate for Lake County Board District 20.

Updated 9/29/2020 9:18 AM

Republican Soojae Lee and Democratic incumbent Marah Altenberg, both of Buffalo Grove, are running for the Lake County Board District 20 seat.

Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?


A: I am running to bring transparency, integrity, and efficiency to the Lake County Board. Our Illinois politics have been riddled with corruption and unethical behavior, and Lake County is no exception. We need checks and balances in our government at all levels. The political office is not something that should be passed on or given to your friends and families as favors or paybacks. Lake County residents deserve a good and honest government that works for them, and I plan to help restore lost faith.

Q: If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?

A: I will bring independent voice and fresh perspective to the Lake County Board. With my legal and business background, I will bring expertise and credibility to the Lake County Board. I will steer Lake County Board to operate efficiently like a well-managed business and ensure Lake County Board is responsible with your tax dollars.

Q: Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them.

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A: Lake County residents are already highly taxed. As such, Lake County should always look for ways to reduce costs and operate efficiently rather than increase revenue by raising taxes. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the revenues are down in 2020 even though the expenses are same or higher. Given current circumstances, 2021 will likely present revenue challenges and shortfall, and the county should look at its entire budget for cost reduction before any tax increase proposal. A proposed merger of the county recorder's office with the county clerk's office is a good start.

Q: How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If you consider it adequate, please explain why. If you think improvements are needed, please describe them and why they are important.

A: While the board meetings are taped and public can access them, we need more transparency in what goes on behind the scenes. Lake County residents have entrusted the board to represent them and operate Lake County in an efficient and ethical manner. A questionable or unethical behavior should be brought to light and properly dealt by the board. An elected official should be under higher scrutiny because he/she has been entrusted with public property.

Q: What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?

A: Lake County must explore and take advantage of any opportunities for automating laborious and repetitive manual services provided in the county offices. By actively searching, learning and adopting best practices from other business entities and counties, we can improve automation and customer service to all Lake County residents.

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