Lake County News July 2016

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Sandy Hart, District 13

July 1, 2016

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Dear Friends,

I am very happy to announce that after two years of requesting the Financial & Administrative (F&A) Committee record their meetings, this week F&A finally voted in favor of televising these meetings, providing more opportunity for citizen involvement.  As you may know, one of my priorities as your County Board representative is to improve government transparency.  You should be able to access information, in the most open manner possible, so you know how your taxpayer dollars are spent. 

The County has a $350 MILLION Operating Budget, and most of these expenditures are authorized by F&A.  While anyone can access the monthly County Board meetings, the real conversation and analysis occurs at the committee level.  You deserve the opportunity to see that discussion without taking a day off work to travel to Waukegan to attend the committee in person.  I want to thank County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor (District 18), Steve Mandel (District 11), Mike Rummel (District 12), Nick Sauer (District 17), and Craig Taylor (District 19) for their support of this important change.

The next Financial and Administrative Committee meeting is scheduled for August 3rd at 1:00pm.  On October 18 and 19 you can watch as we go over the proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year.  You can always stream LCTV Live from your computer at http://lakecounty.tv/ or you can select a program on our website.  If you have AT&T, you can watch LCTV on Channel 99.  The Local Access channel for Comcast customers varies by location. 

In a continuing effort to improve accessibility and transparency, I have held open office hours, community meetings  on Lake County Government and Forest Preserve budgets and programs, and sessions on how to appeal your property assessments.  If there is something that you would like to learn more about, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas. 

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your Lake County and Forest Preserve representative.

Sandy Hart Signature

WH workshop

WHITE HOUSE DATA DRIVEN WORKSHOP

On June 13th I was honored to represent the Lake County Board at the White House Data Driven Justice Workshop in Washington, DC.  55 counties were selected to participate and hear best practices and initiatives that divert move persons with mental illness out of the criminal justice system and into treatment programs.  Certainly we know that jails are not designed to house the mentally ill, but that is what is happening across the country.  By analyzing the data (much of which we have already), we can better determine who should be diverted from our jails and what treatment and supports can be provided to these individuals.  Why does this matter?  

  • Nationally, 64% of jail inmates have a mental health problem.
  • Persons with mental illness stay in our jails longer than the general population and return to jail more often.
  • In the Lake County Jail, the top 10 "super utilizers" (1.8% of the 567 inmates) make up 48% of the projected $3 million in medical costs in our jail
  • Our country spends $11 BILLION per year on incarceration.  Most of these costs are borne by counties.
  • Treatment WORKS.  Counties that have implemented successful diversion strategies see lower recidivism rates, improved safety for law enforcement, greater resources for persons in crisis, and a shift in dollars from incarceration to treatment.

Many families struggle with the issue of mental illness and they don't know where to turn for help, especially when they become involved in the criminal justice system.  Lake County is committed to moving persons with mental illness away from incarceration and toward a supportive system where individuals can get the help they need to turn their life around.  

To learn more about this imperative initiative, please read our Press Release or contact me.  You can expect to hear more from me and my colleagues about the short- and long-term changes we are implementing over the coming months.


mosquito

WEST NILE VIRUS FOUND IN HIGHLAND PARK

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found in Highland Park.  Prevent mosquito breeding on your property and minimize the risk to you and your family to get infected by the West Nile virus. Here are steps you can follow:

  • Discard old tires, buckets, drums or any water holding containers; poke holes in tires used as bumpers on docks
  • Keep roof gutters and downspouts clear of debris
  • Keep trash containers covered
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use

Learn more including where you can call if you find stagnant water as well as ways you can prevent mosquito bites.


foreclosure mediation

FREE MEDIATION PROGRAM HELPS HOMEOWNERS FACING FORECLOSURE 

If you’ve been served with a foreclosure notice on your home, are unable to communicate with your lender and are concerned about fighting for your home in court, the County’s mortgage foreclosure mediation program may help. Watch this video as Judge Mitchell L. Hoffman of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit explains this free program to help homeowners learn options available to them as well as get assistance to fill out necessary paperwork. 


MAKE SURE YOU ARE AWARE OF EMERGENCY SITUATIONS 

Each year people are seriously injured, or even killed because they ignore or do not hear severe weather warnings. Prepare yourself and your family for emergencies by knowing where to get immediate and reliable information when seconds count. Watch this video and learn the many ways to get emergency information in Lake County. 

emergency alerts

Summer Horizons

SUMMER HORIZONS MAGAZINE AVAILABLE ONLINE

Horizons is a free quarterly publication that features stories on Lake County wildlife, nature and history, Forest Preserve news, and a calendar of programs and events. Check out the summer issue where you can learn about our partnership with other conservation organizations to protect the endangered Blanding’s turtle.  We are committed to restoring populations of this and other endangered native species and to re-establishing the ecological balance to their habitats.  If you would like to help you can join the Adopt-a-Turtle campaign. Read Horizons online, or subscribe to receive it for free in print form.


JOIN 25TH ANNUAL CIVIL WAR DAYS 

History will come to life at one of the largest Civil War reenactments July 9 and 10 at Lakewood Forest Preserve.  Wander encampments, speak with the soldiers, check out battles, period demonstrations, kids’ activities and Civil War-era shopping. More information 

Civil War


passage

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