Mary Ross Cunningham: 2022 candidate for Lake County Board District 9

  • Mary Ross Cunningham is a Democrat running for Lake County Board District 9.

    Mary Ross Cunningham is a Democrat running for Lake County Board District 9.

 
Posted5/28/2022 1:00 AM

Bio

Party: Democrat

 

Office sought: Lake County Board District 9

City: Waukegan

Age: 76

Occupation: Vice Chair Lake County Board Commissioner

Previous offices held: I am incoming Lake County Board Commissioner representing District 9

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 am running for re-election because we still have so much work to get done for Waukegan and North Chicago and I do what I love and I love what I do as a Lake County Board Commissioner, Representing Dist. 9. I also believe my leadership is needed to make sure that our County Government continues to be transparent and open with our diversity and inclusion policies, which will ultimately make our county an amazing county for families to live, work and play for today and into the future.

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?

I developed and implemented the "Road to Reinstatement Program "which provided 182 Lake County residents with a means to reconnecting to the workforce by being able to with reinstated driving privileges. i also lead the charge to making to making Dr. MLK a fixed holiday for all Lake County Staff. Partnered with other officials to open up the Living Room "mental health emergency assistance center.

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.

As Vice Chair of the Lake County Board, i am very proud of the work we have done to ensure there is a balance between spending and revenue while maintaining essential services and making needed improvement spending controls have been put in places so that there has been no tax increase related to County expenses {no increase in levy}, a freeze on County Board Salaries, change made to policies for expenses as well as other cutbacks \tighteningbelt without impacting constituent services. Each Department \Office has a budget base on their needs and continuing oversite. the major needs upcoming are related to infrastructure. we worked with federal legislatures and Lake County is the recipient of enough money to fund these projects.

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.

I am very proud of the transparency we have achieved. the Lake County Board home page includes, a listing of all the members of the Board, their contact information and members of standing Committees. Board meeting, Committee if the whole and Standimg Committee meeting are open to the public and are recorded.the recording are available to public on Lake County Board Website. in addition, Calendars, agendas and meeting minutes are available on the Website.

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

Many improvements have been made over the past several years to automate service in the county offices such as access to court records, filing for exemptions online and improved ways to pay for real estate taxes. ongoing ways to automate and improve customer service is on the forefront when we review revenue and spending needs of all departments. other ways to improve are continually under review.

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