Adam Schlick: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 2

  • Adam Schlick is a Republican running for Lake County Board District 2.

    Adam Schlick is a Republican running for Lake County Board District 2.

 
Posted5/28/2022 1:00 AM

Bio

Party: Republican

 

Office sought: Lake County Board District 2

City: Wauconda

Age: 39

Occupation: Battalion Chief, Wauconda Fire District

Previous offices held: Village of Wauconda Trustee

Q&A

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

I'm running for Lake County Board because I'm passionate about public service and believe strongly that elected officials should be experienced community leaders who are committed to solving problems and offer residents a transparent, pragmatic, and results-oriented approach.

If elected, my focus will be on several priority areas. The first will be to maintain solid fiscal policies and balanced budgets. The second focus area will be to ensure that we do everything we can to grow and revive the economy coming out of the global pandemic. Next, I will make sure that the county board supports the Lake County Sherriff's Department in a way that promotes public safety. Fourth, we must continue to enhance the Lake County Forest Preserves through improvements of current properties, while always being mindful of land preservation. Last, you'll often hear me say I'm focused on people over politics. What this means is advocating for their best interests -- versus certain agendas or affiliations.

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?

If elected, I will prioritize working closely with the various department heads (e.g., Head of Finance, Head of Transportation) to learn more about their operations and work together to find opportunities for improvements and advancements. An elected official should be committed to learning about every facet of government operations. We don't need someone making millions of dollars' worth of decisions who isn't willing to get in the trenches and truly understand what drives the county forward.

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While I have yet to serve on the County Board. Currently I serve as a trustee on the Wauconda Village Board, a position I've held since 2017. During my service, the Wauconda Village Board has completed many major initiatives, including the successful shift to Lake Michigan water; the approval of a five-year strategic plan; and the distribution of funds to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

No unit of local government should ever spend more than anticipated revenue. This means government entities should save and budget accordingly for large capital purchases that may be three to five years in the future.

Too often elected officials resort to raising taxes or imposing new taxes because they failed to plan or save for the future.

My greatest area of concern for Lake County currently is the effective utilization of a large influx of federal money that was received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the (CARES) Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). My concern is, this money will be used to create programs that are unsustainable without future tax increases. The money should be used to help businesses that are still recovering from the global pandemic, and it can also be spent on key infrastructure investments that would benefit all residents, such as roadway improvements.

How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.

Public access to records is making great strides, and the public can find all public records on the county website in just a few clicks. Still, the process of requesting and receiving documents from the county, or from most local government entities for that matter, has room for improvement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As for transparency, the county government could do a lot better. While all the meetings are recorded and even broadcast on television, it is quite clear that the "backroom" deals most often associated with the halls of Washington, D.C., can also take place in Waukegan.

To cite a recent example, the county board made drastic changes to the burning ordinance, with those changes instituted being in direct contrast to the input and sentiments of residents. To make matters worse, there was an obvious disconnect and departure from what was agreed on in open session to what eventually made its way into the ordinance, without any reasonable justification or transparency as to why.

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

I think the county should implement an online Special Request System (SRS) for all nonemergency requests. Right now, if someone has a question or a complaint, they must make a phone call and rely on a person answering their call and properly forwarding their request. Having an online system that can log the request, funnel the request to the proper department, and then give the person requesting the service a way to track the status of their request could greatly improve customer service and resident satisfaction. We have implemented a similar system in the Village of Wauconda, and the results thus far have been extremely positive.

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