Pedestrian bridge to be named in Audrey Nixon's memory, Vote by mail, and More

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Wyatt updated banner 2017

January 25, 2018

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Lake County is a Leader in Addressing Government Reform

gov reform commission wrap-up 2017

I am excited to serve as vice-chairman on the newly formed Lake County Government Reform Implementation Committee that is charged with evaluating the recommendations outlined in the final report from the Lake County Commission on Government Reform and Accountability. 

The County Board recently accepted the report from the special bi-partisan Commission, which was created in 2017 to explore reform measures, including redistricting, the method of electing the chair, and the size of the county board. The Commission concluded that Lake County functions well, and Lake County has the opportunity to be a leader in pursuing independent redistricting. Lake County would be the first county in Illinois to undertake independent redistricting reform and would join only a handful of other counties in the U.S. that have addressed this.

The Committee will meet monthly to evaluate the recommendations in the report and submit its findings to the County Board for consideration and action. To learn more about the work of the Lake County Commission on Government Reform and Accountability, watch this video, and read the final report and other resources.

Pedestrian Bridge To Be Named in Audrey Nixon's Memory

Audrey Nixon

The legacy of long-time Lake County Board Member Audrey H. Nixon, who served District 14, will be remembered as the new pedestrian bridge connecting the new Lake County Courthouse and the Lake County Building is being named in her honor. 

Fellow members of the County Board and I recently approved developing a new commemorative display at the entry of the bridge that will be funded through private donations. 

Nixon passed away last year after 35 years of public service to Lake County. The new courthouse is scheduled to open this summer. Learn more about the courthouse expansion project.



I was recently recognized as a Master Board Member by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) at its annual meeting. Several organizations in Lake County are members of the IAPD, including the Foss Park District, of which I previously served as commissioner, and the Lake County Forest Preserves, of which I now serve as a commissioner. The IAPD works with park districts, forest preserves, conservation, municipal park and recreation, and special recreation agencies to advances these agencies, their citizen board members and professional staff in their ability to provide outstanding park and recreation opportunities, preserve natural resources, and improve the quality of life for all people in Illinois. 

Forest Preserves Progress Update

In the general election on November 5, 2008, Lake County voters approved a referendum of $185 million to support the mission and vision of their Lake County Forest Preserves. The referendum provided $148 million to purchase between 2,500 and 3,000 acres of land to expand existing preserves and create new open spaces. The balance of $37 million provided funds to complete trails, open new preserves, restore habitat for endangered wildlife and plants, and improve and renovate existing preserves and facilities. 

Now, nearly a decade later, it’s time to check in and report what value those funds have brought to Lake County. Learn more

Profiles in Excellence

Join the Lake County Forest Preserves for an inspiring afternoon in honor of Black History Month at the 35th annual Profiles in Excellence on Feb. 11 at the Greenbelt Cultural Center. This year’s theme focuses on the Illinois Bicentennial (1818–2018) and features the important role of African Americans in Lake County’s history. The event is free and open to all ages. There will be presenters and musical entertainment.

2018 profiles in excellence

More Than 100 Positions Available at Healthcare Job Fair

healthcare job fair

Meet with healthcare employers and training professionals at the Job Center of Lake County’s and Lake County Health Department’s Healthcare Job Fair! More than 100 positions are available, including physicians, registered nurses, social workers, medical assistants, and more.  The event will run from 3 to 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Lake County Health Department, 3010 Grand Ave., Waukegan.

RSVP for the job fair, and learn more about the event by watching this video.

Don’t Stand in Line on Election Day. Vote by Mail!

vote by mail

Skip the lines on election day and vote by mail! Registered Lake County voters can now request a ballot by mail for the March 20 primary election. Request a ballot at or call 847-377-2410.

Seasonal Flu Spreads Across the Country

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that influenza-like illness is widespread across most of the country, including Illinois. Schools across Lake County saw a 34 percent rise in absenteeism related to influenza-like illness this past week.

A flu vaccination is your best protection and is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. While some people who get vaccinated may still get flu, the flu vaccination may make your illness milder.

  • The Lake County Health Department provides flu vaccinations at 2303 Dodge Ave., Waukegan. For information or to make an appointment, call 847-377-8470.
  • The vaccine also is available at sites throughout Lake County. Find a convenient location.

Follow these tips, provided by the health department, on how you can prevent the flu and what to do if you get the flu.

Processing of Prepayments for 2017 Tax Year Near Completion

The Lake County Treasurer's Office is now finalizing all prepayments of 2017 real estate taxes and will shortly conclude mailing out receipts to taxpayers who submitted a prepayment by mail. The rush to prepay real estate taxes last December led to a record year in Lake County. More than 20,000 taxpayers prepaid their real estate taxes in 2017, compared to 200 to 300 who prepay on average. View other facts and an important notice for those who prepaid their 2017 real estate taxes.

property tax prepayment

Free Filing for Federal and State Taxes


Individuals who earned $66,000 or less in 2017 can self-file their federal and state taxes for free and save an average of $200 in fees by using My Free Taxes. English and Spanish support via telephone (1-855-MY-TX-HELP) is available, along with email and online chat support from IRS-certified specialists. Learn more about My Free Taxes.

Annual Workshop Teaches Sensible Salting Practices

Road salt and other deicing materials are needed to keep Lake County’s roads, parking lots and sidewalks safe, but the products used can impact our water quality. Lake County departments recently teamed up to offer deicing workshops to public agencies and private contractors to show how to wisely use road salt that will reduce the environmental impacts and help them save money. Watch this video.

Deicing workshop

Winter Habitat Restoration

This winter, the Lake County Forest Preserves' well-trained crews will remove invasive woody species, primarily buckthorn, autumn olive, sandbar willow, and honeysuckle from 17 preserves. A total of 23 restoration projects are scheduled for this season, including 852 acres of woody clearing, forestry mowing, and small invasive tree and shrub removal. View map and details.

winter habitat

Fort Sheridan Project Update

Fort Sheridan update

Construction of public access improvements at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve is going well. The project is on schedule for reopening a portion of the preserve this summer. Progress has been made on the entry drive, parking lot, pond expansion, turf trail, timber bridges, and overlooks. Boulders selected by our preserve planners are incorporated in the overlooks as gateway and seating elements. During construction, all portions of the preserve north of Fort Sheridan’s historic district and south of the Vattman Road entrance drive to the cemetery are closed to public access. Respect all safety blockades and closure signage. Do not move blockades or attempt to access closed areas. Respecting the closure will keep work moving and allow the site to be reopened sooner. View closure map.

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Park Districts

Foss Park District 
Gurnee Park District
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School Districts

North Chicago District 187
Warren Twp. HS District 121
Woodland District 50
Waukegan District 60