Correction: Happy Thanksgiving, Holiday festivities across the county, and More

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November 21, 2017

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Note to readers: There is a clarification regarding the headline on the County Board's action to approve the 2018 budget. See more information below. 

Lake County Board Approves 2018 Budget and Levy Increase and Why I Voted Against It!

On Nov. 14, the Lake County Board voted to increase your property taxes for fiscal year 2018.  While the increase is 2%, in my opinion it was still unwarranted.  In light of the fact that we were anticipating the need to cut $4 million from our proposed 2018 budget had Springfield voted to freeze property tax increases, this 2% increase of your taxes would not have to happen. Instead, we would have had to cut our proposed 2018 budget by State mandate.

While cuts sometimes hurt, we have all had to do the same in our personal lives when there was not enough income to meet our planned for expenditures.  The Lake County Board could have chosen to make cuts instead of increasing your taxes, but it did not. My belief is it is usually perceived by those who govern us that it easier to tolerate the pain of a tax increase than the pain of having to cut programs and employees.  However, as public servants, we must never forget that the money we spend is your money, not government's. We could have made the cuts necessary to have a balanced 2018 budget without a tax increase, but 14 of 21 Lake County Board Members chose to increase your taxes instead.  

I fought against this tax increase because I did not think it was necessary at this time, and I will continue to fight for you in the future on these fiscal matters.  Please call me and your other Lake County Board Members and let us know how you feel. 

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Delivering Exceptional, Financially Sustainable Services 
Lake County works to improve the quality of life in Lake County and provide services that benefit more than 700,000 Lake County residents. Our mission is to deliver exceptional, financially-sustainable services that promote a safe and healthy community while enhancing economic vitality. Our core values of fiscal responsibility, exceptional service, operational excellence, leadership and environmental stewardship influence everything we do. Watch this video to see how we are delivering on our mission and values every day! 

Bounty of Lake County

This Thanksgiving, you can get everything you need by shopping local! Lake County has more than 30,000 businesses and you may be interested to learn how some have a surprising connection to Thanksgiving and preparing a fabulous dinner!  Watch video 

Bounty of Lake County

Eat Healthy This Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is time to think about all that we’re thankful for and enjoying a home-cooked meal with family and friends. But sometimes the meal can contain unhealthy amounts of calories and fat. You can enjoy the holiday season and be healthy too! Here’s some tips from Elizabeth, a dietitian from the Lake County Health Department.


  • Find recipes which are carbohydrate controlled, low sugar, low sodium, and low fat.
  • Eat a light snack, such as raw vegetables or a piece of fruit, and consume adequate water to help prevent overindulging at parties and family gatherings.
  • Find fun ways to incorporate physical activity with the family both indoors and out. Go on a walk together, try lunges and chair exercises, or play charades with the family.
  • Go to the health department’s Healthy Eating Active Living page to find more tips to eat healthy and stay active all year long.


Here’s some healthy holiday recipes that you can make for your Thanksgiving table.



Enjoy the Holiday Season Across Lake County

As the holidays approach, a great way to relax and unwind is to go to one of Lake County’s tree lightings and other special holiday events. Check out Visit Lake County’s listing of tree lightings and special holiday events to enjoy time with family and friends.

holiday guide

Lake County Road Safety

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Making sure that Lake County roads, bridges and bike paths are safe for the traveling public is the top priority of the Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT), local government agencies and police departments. Together, we have formed a multi-jurisdictional Safety Task Force to look for opportunities to enhance safety for Lake County residents. 

We can study the crash data and look for engineering improvements or enforcement strategies to make roads safer, but we need your help. As a road user, there are decisions you make and actions you take that have an impact on the safety of everyone around you. Many serious injury or fatal crashes are the result of driver behavior and can be prevented. Watch this video to learn ways you can help make our roads safer.

The Lake County Division of Transportation wants your input too! Take this survey to share your concerns about road safety. 

SBA Offers Disaster Loan Assistance and Opens Outreach Center


Homeowners and business owners impacted by the July 2017 flooding in Lake County may be eligible for loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Find out more by viewing this SBA news release 

Tax Credit Bill to Help Property Owners Affected by July Floods
Lake County property owners, along with those in 17 other Illinois counties who were affected by the July 2017 floods, may be eligible for a $750 tax credit under a new law recently approved by the Illinois Legislature and signed by the governor. If eligible, the natural disaster credit may be applied to the resident’s 2017 Illinois income taxes. More information about how property owners can apply for this credit will be forthcoming. Read news release.

FEMA Denies Governor’s Request for Federal Disaster Declaration
In September, Governor Bruce Rauner sent a request to the president of the United States asking that he approve federal assistance to help people in the northern Illinois region, including Lake County, recover from record flooding and severe storms in July. Lake County has been notified that FEMA has denied this request. For information on the July 2017 flood, including a breakdown of the Disaster Declaration Process, visit the county’s flood information page.

flood insurance

Unincorporated Residents Eligible for Flood Insurance Premium Discounts
Property owners residing in unincorporated Lake County may be eligible to save an average of $271 a year on their flood insurance policies. Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Community Rating System program, residents who meet certain requirements are eligible for up to 20 percent savings on flood insurance premiums. Property owners should contact their flood insurance agent to obtain individual savings information. Visit the FEMA Flood Smart website as well as the county’s flood information website to find more resources.

News from the Sheriff's Office


Telephone Scam
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is receiving reports of Lake County residents getting fraudulent telephone calls from individuals representing themselves to be from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Learn more


Join Town Hall Meeting
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will discuss issues such as the opioid crisis, “A Way Out” program and other programs offered by the Sheriff’s Office at a town hall meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Woodland Elementary School West cafeteria, 17371 W Gages Lake Road, Grayslake. The event is free and open to the public. For information, send an email to or call 847-231-6262.

Sheriff’s Office Initiates Veteran Ambassador Program

Veteran Ambassador Program

To better address veteran homelessness and veterans in need and in crisis, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Veterans Assistance Commission and other county resources to ensure nobody is left behind.   

To address the challenge and ensure crisis services are available after hours, select Sheriff’s Office employees received training on issues of veteran homelessness and veterans “in crisis” as well as transport, shelter, and referral options for immediate assistance. Watch this video to learn more about the Veteran Ambassador Program.

Lake County Offers Services to Veterans


In Lake County, we appreciate the dedication and commitment of the men and women who have served in the United States Military. To honor their service, we offer resources to help veterans and their families. To learn more, visit the Veterans Assistance Commission website, and sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Recorder of Deeds Office Offers Information to Our Veterans
The Lake County Recorder of Deeds Office offers various services to our veterans and their families. This includes being the official keeper of veteran’s military records, or DD214. The Recorder’s Office is happy to provide veterans a free copy of this form upon the completion of a request for discharge record.

New Medicare Cards to Be Sent Next Year. Protect Your Identity

New Medicare card

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service will be sending out new Medicare cards to individuals with Medicare benefits beginning in April 2018 without Social Security numbers. But scammers are taking advantage of this change, especially at the start of Medicare open enrollment. Medicare will never email or call asking for your personal information, and the new cards will be free. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website to learn more.

Lake County Circuit Clerk Now Accepts Online Payments

Circuit Clerk accepts online payments

To increase efficiency and make the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office more accessible to the public, the office will now accept payments online for certain criminal and traffic cases. Individuals who owe outstanding fines and court costs may pay online by visiting the Circuit Clerk’s website. The website offers instructions in over 50 languages, and the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more

Give Back! Become an Election Judge

There’s no better way to support the election process than by being an election judge. Election judges are responsible for administering the proper and lawful conduct of all elections by serving in local voting sites. Watch this video as election judges share why they love the job, and learn how you can join them.

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Forest Preserve News

2017 Hike Lake County Challenge
Get active outdoors for your good health by taking our Hike Lake County Challenge. Complete seven of the hikes through Nov. 30 to earn a commemorative shield. View the 2017 hike location on our interactive trail map, or visit our website for more information. 

Hike Lake County
Van Patten Woods

Our Favorite Fall Preserves
There’s still time to view fall color in Lake County. While all of our forest preserves are beautiful and unique, we asked staff to share their favorites.

Nan Buckardt, Director of Education
Favorite Preserve: Van Patten Woods, Wadsworth
Great Plant: “The colors on oak leaves are so saturated and rich.”
Fun Fall Fact: “Colors are brightest when the fall frost strikes early.”

Allison Frederick, Assistant Public Affairs Manager
Favorite Preserve: Rollins Savanna, Grayslake
Great Plant: “Virginia Creeper! This vine slowly morphs from green to deep burgundy–and every color in between.”

April Vaos, Environmental Educator
Favorite Preserve: McDonald Woods, Lindenhurst
Great Plants: “Maple trees, Virginia creeper, and little bluestem.”

Ken Klick, Restoration Ecologist
Favorite Preserve: Captain Daniel Wright Woods, Mettawa
Great Plant: “Sugar maple.”

summer camp 2018

2018 Summer Camps
Registration for our 2018 camp season opens Dec. 1. Early bird discounts are available through February 15, 2018. 

Programs fill quickly so enroll early. Register online or call 847-968-3321. 


2018 Annual Permits
Annual permits for dog parks, horse trails and more go on sale at 8 a.m. on Dec. 4. Find information and purchase permits online or call 847–367–6640. 

LCFPD golf

Give the Gift of Golf
Golf gift cards are the perfect gift for the golfer on your list: good for green fees, carts, and pro shop items at any of our three courses. Buy online or call 847-968-3102, anytime; or at our General Offices in Libertyville between Nov. 27 and Feb. 28. 

Holiday Bonus: Receive a $10 bonus voucher for every $100 in gift cards purchased between Nov. 24 and Dec. 31. 

Documenting Species in Lake County
To document the diversity and richness of species present in the Lake County Forest Preserves, our wildlife biologists began a formal wildlife monitoring program. Since the late 2000s, the biologists with the help of trained wildlife technicians have monitored the presence of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. They have already collected more than 200,000 wildlife records. Visit the Forest Preserves’ blog to learn more!

Documenting species
Forest Preserve volunteers

Engaging Volunteers for Nature
Walking through Greenbelt Forest Preserve in North Chicago this fall, you can’t miss the changes. Where there was once a dense wall of buckthorn, you can now look out across a rare combination of prairie, interspersed with native shrubs and small trees. This unique scrubland habitat draws migrating birds such as eastern kingbird, northern flicker, and brown thrasher.

People are flocking to enjoy Greenbelt and to help with restoration efforts. In 2016, a $100,000 grant from the Illinois Coastal Management Program supported this restoration work and funded project partner, Audubon Great Lakes, to engage the community. From April 2016 to April 2017, nearly 400 volunteers logged more than 1,000 hours cutting and burning brush, weeding, shrub and seed planting, and seed collecting. On one workday, 30 students from Abbott Middle School donned work gloves loppers, and saws to cut buckthorn. Become a volunteer


Annual Fund Spotlight
Engaging Volunteers at Greenbelt is exactly the kind of project the Preservation Foundation Annual Fund was created to support. With limited staff, the District cannot reach into every Lake County community to engage volunteers we need to help care for our preserves. With a grant in 2016, Audubon Great Lakes got off to a great start in North Chicago. To build on that success, the Foundation Board awarded a $20,000 grant so the District can continue working with Audubon Great Lakes. The goal is to build a self-sustaining volunteer corps to support our ongoing work at Greenbelt.

Stormwater Management Commission Awards

Since 2006, the Stormwater Awards Program has recognized outstanding efforts by organizations, communities, groups, and individuals for projects and other proactive and innovative efforts to improve water quality, reduce flooding, and help restore the natural drainage system. If you know of something or someone who fits this description, please nominate them for one of the award categories. The deadline to submit nominations is Dec. 1Learn more

SMC award


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