Lake County News: September 2018

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Sandy Hart Banner

September 10, 2018

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Dear Neighbor,

Last month I wrote about the special investigation regarding improper use of a procurement card (P-cards) by an elected official. The investigation has been turned over to the Illinois State Police (ISP). When the investigation is complete (which could take several months), the ISP will review the results with Illinois Attorney General's office, which will determine what charges, if any, are appropriate. 

For your review I have posted my own P-card expenditures on my website and cancelled my card. I recently learned that Lake County is the only "collar county" that gives their elected officials P-cards, and I have stated that I think we should cancel them for all elected officials. Monitoring use and tracking down receipts and proper expenditures is time consuming and there are too many opportunities for potential misuse or confusion regarding what is appropriate and what isn't.


Vendor Disclosures: On August 8th I requested that the Finance & Administrative (F&A) Committee immediately add two Vendor Disclosure forms to the contracting and procurement process:

Lake County does require employees directly involved in the procurement process to identify familial relationships with potential vendors seeking to do business with the County. I think we should also require vendors to disclose familial relationships between executives and Lake County employees, as is done in Cook County. When someone applies for a job at Lake County today, he/she must disclose if they are related to anyone currently employed by Lake County and give the person's name and relationship. If we require this level of disclosure for an individual looking for employment, I think we should require it for companies seeking to contract. I also think that we should follow DuPage County's lead and request that vendors disclose the campaign contributions made to county board members. 

Please note that this would NOT mean that vendors with relatives working at Lake County or who have made campaign contributions cannot be awarded contracts.  It would simply require those relationships and campaign contributions be disclosed to remove any perception of impropriety.  By state statute, Professional Services contracts are not bid, and contracts are often awarded to vendors with whom Lake County has worked with before, so I think these are important additions to our process. F&A discussed this idea (listen at 1:25:30 on the audio) on August 29 and research was done on other government entities' procedures. I am disappointed that the committee did not recommend any changes.

Soon we will begin reviewing the proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year. As I have done in the past I will be hosting budget overview events and open office hours in your neighborhood.

As always, it is an honor to represent you on the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve Board. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sandy Hart Signature

Vote by mail

Lake County residents correctly registered with their current name and address can now complete the required application to request a ballot by mail for the Nov. 6, 2018 election. This is an ideal voting option for snowbirds, students away at school, and those who will be traveling on Election Day as your ballot can be mailed anywhere. Completed applications must be submitted to the Clerk’s Office by noon Nov. 1. According to Illinois state statute, ballots cannot be mailed to the voters until late September.

Electronic and paper forms are available by:


Lake Forest Open Lands: Great Lakes, Great Issues Lecture Series-FREE

The Perils of Plastic
September 12, 7-9pm
Gorton Community Center, Lake Forest

Given the abundance of plastic within the world's oceans, it is not surprising that plastic particles have been found in all of the Great Lakes. The counts obtained rival those within the world's ocean. We hope to build an understanding of the types and abundance of plastics within the Great Lakes and other freshwater systems, laying the groundwork for important additional investigations into their ecosystem impacts. Dr. Mason’s work is at the forefront of research on plastic pollution within freshwater ecosystems. REGISTER


Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony on September 17

Do you know a Vietnam Veteran, or are one yourself? Thank you for your service! Congressman Brad Schneider is hosting a Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony on Monday, September 17, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Art Center, 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. Application and DD214 required. Call 847.383.4870 for more information, or visit


Volunteer with Veterans on September 29!

On Saturday, Sept. 29, 9am - 12pm, join veterans and volunteers from Lake County Veteran & Family Services and Lake Bluff Open Lands to remove the last stand of buckthorn in the Skokie River Prairie! This is a great opportunity to work side by side with local veterans, making a difference in our landscape and capping off a monumental achievement. Sign up here. Refreshments (and tools!) provided.

Proposed Wisconsin Foxconn Development and Des Plaines River Watershed Flooding
You may have read recently about Foxconn (a Taiwan-based flat screen manufacturer) coming to Wisconsin. Wisconsin passed legislation to waive environmental regulations (air and water pollution, wetland mitigation) for this 22 million square  foot facility that will be located at the headwaters of the DesPlaines River watershed. Just one year ago we experienced catastrophic flooding along the Des Plaines River, and this development is expected to greatly exacerbate any future flooding events due to the filling in of 26 acres of wetlands. The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission has entered into a contract to review the proposed Foxconn development and related adjacent improvements due to concerns of adverse impacts on flooding and water quality. Recently our board (and several other local government agencies and commissions) announced opposition to these waivers, and it is our hope that Wisconsin will take the necessary regulatory action to protect the air, water, and property that will be impacted by this development.

Amnesty Week 2018

Collection Fees, Interest to be Waived 
All collection fees and accrued interest will be waived on any past due fines owed in criminal and traffic matters in Lake County as part of Lake County Amnesty Week, which will run Sept. 24 to 28. Full or partial payment will be accepted either over the phone or at any of our branch court locations. Learn more

bike path1

Patriot Path Public Hearing
The Lake County Division of Transportation is conducting an engineering study for a 5.5 mile long bike path along Route 137 from the Des Plaines River Trail in Libertyville to the Robert McClory Bike Path in North Chicago. A public hearing is on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 5pm-7 pm at Independence GroveView the project website for more information.

Election judge

We Need Election Judges

Fair and accurate elections are incredibly important to all of us, and attentive election judges are enlisted for the meaningful responsibility of processing voters. Join our amazing election judge team and take on the rewarding role of working in your neighborhood Election Day voting site. Reserve your seat in an upcoming training. 

Paratransit in Lake County
I often hear from residents about their difficulty with public transportation getting to and from work or to doctor's appointments. When I participated in the Homelessness Count in January 2017, we found a man walking on the road at 2 am after finishing work three miles away. While there are services available through townships, those services can differ significantly depending on where you live. On Friday, our board heard the results of a year-long Paratransit Market Study that was conducted for Lake County. The goal of this study was to develop a sustainable implementation plan to improve mobility for the target population. The team analyzed unserved or underserved geographic areas and constituencies; hours needed; trip purpose; and cost. We learned that over 50% of riders use Pace for employment. As a result of the study, the next steps are:

  • Make services easier to find, understand, and use
  • Market services countywide to increase awareness, support, and use
  • Explore employment transportation options to address stated needs 
  • Add new services to address other service gaps

To achieve this, it is recommended that Lake County:

  • investigate late-night employment transportation for shift work;
  • use van pools for first/last mile service
  • enhance the call-and-ride service
  • modify the taxi subsidy program 
  • establish a countywide paratransit system

The report is currently in draft form and should be released in December 2018. If you would like a copy of it, please let me know and I will send you the final report.

Why Work for Lake County

Why Work for Lake County?

Discover opportunities for professional growth, abundant career choices, and jobs that offer variety and the chance to make a meaningful difference. These are a few of the reasons that Lake County employees love working for us! Watch this video and discover why Lake County is a great place to work! View job openings

Looking for a Job? Visit the Job Center of Lake County 
Looking for a job? The Job Center of Lake County will offer a variety of resources this month, including a job fair, tips to succeed in your next job interview and much more. View this month’s schedule.

Sign Up to Receive Job News by Text
Lake County Workforce Development is piloting a text-messaging service where you can opt in and receive occasional text messages regarding employment events, paid internships and more. You can opt out at any time. Sign up now!


First 2018 Human Case of West Nile Virus 
The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center is reporting the first human case of West Nile virus in Lake County for 2018. A Waukegan resident in her 60s became ill in mid-August. To date, 61 pools or batches of mosquitoes and two birds have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2018. Learn more, including the 4Ds of defense to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes.

LCFPD movement

Buckthorn-the most common tree in Lake County
European buckthorn is an invasive species, but it is the most common tree in Lake Coun ty, making up more than 40% of our canopy. The spread of invasive species is recognized as one of the major factors contributing to ecosystem change and instability in our county, region and nation. These species have the ability to displace or eliminate native species, alter fire regimes, damage infrastructure and threaten human livelihoods. Buckthorn will continue to be an issue until everyone gets involved-from private landowners to homeowner associations, golf courses to garden clubs, businesses to school districts.

We invite all Lake County residents to help eradicate buckthorn. Several homeowners have already volunteered to help. Whether they have removed buckthorn from their yard or are simply considering it, every resident who participates will benefit the community. In the coming months we will distribute resources to help assess your yard, plus tips to remove buckthorn, landscape with native plants, and get further involved with this effort toward an even more beautiful, healthy Lake County. Join the movement.

2018 Hike Lake County Challenge

2018 Hike Lake County Challenge

Studies show spending time outdoors interacting with our natural world makes us healthier, happier and more mindful. Activate the power of nature for your good health by taking part in the annual Hike Lake County Challenge. Enjoy fall breezes and autumn colors while exploring designated “Hike Lake County” trails with family, friends or canine companions. Complete just seven of the hikes by Nov. 30 to earn a commemorative shield. View this year’s hike locations.

Lyons Woods

Trail Extension at Lyons Woods
A newly completed 1.9-mile paved trail now connects Lyons Woods Forest Preserve in Waukegan to the Robert McClory Bike Path and local parks. The Lake County Forest Preserves, City of Waukegan, Waukegan Park District and the Village of Beach Park partnered to create this trail extension. It represents the first phase of a longer 6.9-mile regional trail that will continue west through Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve and eventually connect to the Des Plaines River Trail at Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve in Wadsworth. Visit Lyons Woods today.

Lakewood master plan

Lakewood Forest Preserve Master Plan
We have initiated the master planning process for Lakewood Forest Preserve. The master plan will evaluate the existing conditions and uses of the preserve and will identify potential recreation, education and conservation improvements at the preserve. Learn more

We want to hear from you!

Please take our 10-minute survey below to answer questions that will help us understand how you enjoy Lakewood and what opportunities to explore for the preserve’s future. The survey will be open until Sept. 24. Take our survey!

National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month: Get Immediate Help
Lake County prides itself as being a leader in public health, working to enhance access to mental and behavioral health services through partnerships between the Health Department and law enforcement agencies, the work of the Lake County Mental Health Coalition, and addressing the rapidly increasing opiate problem through the Lake County Opioid Initiative. There are many services available 24/7 to those experiencing problems related to emotional and mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction. In recognition of National Recovery Month, we ask that you help spread the word of these life-saving services. We've all been impacted in some way by mental health and substance disorders. Let's make it known that prevention works, treatment is effective, and recovery is possible. Learn more

emergency alerts

Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How
Learn life-saving skills such as CPR and first aid. Check your insurance policies for hazards you may face. Know practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas. As Lake County joins in observing National Preparedness Month through September, work with your family and community to develop an action plan, so you can be prepared if an emergency should occur. Check out these resources that can help you plan. 


What To Throw In and Keep Out of the Recycling Bin
Curbside recycling keeps so much out of our landfills, BUT did you know there are items that you should not put in your recycling bin such as plastic bags and Styrofoam containers? Before you add items to your recycling bin, check these guidelines from the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County.

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