Early voting/vote by mail, Hiring events, Fall fun, and More

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October 5, 2018

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November 6, 2018 Election News

November 2018 election

Early Voting
In-person early voting for the Nov. 6 Election is now available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 19 at the Lake County Clerk’s Office, 18 N. County St., Waukegan.

Beginning Oct. 22, early voting will be available at 16 early voting sites throughout the county. Use any early voting site regardless of where you live. Find an early voting site near you.

Vote by Mail
Registered voters wishing to vote by mail must submit a completed electronic application or paper application to the Clerk’s office by noon Nov. 1. Voted ballots must be returned to the Clerk’s office bearing a postmark no later than midnight on Election Day. Complete your vote by mail application.

More Information
Visit LakeCountyClerk.info and click on the “November 2018 Election” icon to find voter registration information, preview your ballot, and details on how to vote by mail, early, or on Election Day. 

Upcoming Job Fairs


Several hiring events are planned across Lake County where you can meet potential employers and find your next job. Here is information regarding upcoming events. Make sure to visit the Job Center of Lake County's website to learn more every month, including workshops to help improve your job search process and a list of hiring events.



County to Strengthen P-Card Program Policies

Following an analysis of Lake County’s P-card program, an independent firm concluded that there is not widespread misuse of Lake County P-Cards. However, the firm recommended Lake County update its policy, processes and procedures. Lake County has approximately 260 County-issued P-Cards used by employees, some board members and elected officials for County business related expenses. The firm analyzed a sample of Lake County P-card transactions representing 52% of total spending for 12 months and reviewed best practices from across the country. While the County has a policy that specifically defines appropriate expenses, the study’s findings show there are gaps that can be improved with stronger internal controls. Recommendations to be immediately implemented include: updating current practices and refining procedures to better document approvals and handle exceptions (including personal charges and late submissions); implementing regular departmental reviews of active cards and credit limits, as well as additional training.  The Board will also consider policy changes and updates to its rules that govern board members’ P-card use and consider measures to improve transparency, including posting P-card transactions to the County website.

P-Cards are a valuable procurement and payment tool used by governments, as well as businesses, because it reduces length of time to make a purchase or pay vendor, can decrease transaction costs and earn revenue through rebates. The Committee will review and discuss the action plan for implementing the recommendations at its next meeting.

Watch this video with Finance & Administration Chair, Mike Rummel.

Government Procurement Spotlight: Professional Services

In local government, much of what we do and how we do it is dictated by State and sometimes Federal laws. For example, Lake County government purchases a variety of goods and services and there are different ways to procure those services depending on what it is.  For example, when hiring architects, engineers and land surveyors, Lake County (and local governments) are required to use the Professional Services Selection process and award these contracts through a “Qualifications Based Selection.” This allows the County to evaluate a firm based on experience and expertise relative to the project, and cost is negotiated after the most highly rated firm is selected. 

How does it work? When professional services are needed, the department develops the project scope and then publicly advertises the request for services. Interested firms submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) and Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) and a selection committee –made up of professionals from the department—evaluate the proposals and select a minimum of three firms to participate in an interview/presentation. They rank the firms based on several criteria, including their expertise and past related experience.   The County then begins negotiating the number of hours it will take to complete the scope of services. The final contract is then presented to the Lake County Board for approval.   

Following this process is required by State and Federal law; it provides value to the County and helps us deliver cost-effective, efficient services to our residents because our Lake County team of professionals has selected the most qualified firm to perform the work, and these firms are then qualified to do similar work in the future, based on their past successful performance.  Learn More: Qualifications Based Selection FAQ’s

Budget Award Indicator of County’s Sound Fiscal Management

As it has for the past decade, Lake County has received the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Lake County consistently receives this annual award that reflects the County’s commitment to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting and shows Lake County satisfies nationally recognizes guidelines for effective budget presentation. The award demonstrates that the budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and a communications device.

The Lake County Board has a strong track record of practicing fiscal responsibility. Lake County consistently has a balanced budget, and for 20 years has maintained a Triple A credit rating – the highest rating possible. Lake County is one of only two counties in Illinois that have a AAA rating from the rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, an achievement held by approximately 2% of the nation’s counties.

Also each year, an independent professional audit of Lake County’s finances is completed. The audit firm of RSM US LLP recently issued a “clean opinion” for the latest audit, which is the highest opinion available.  The recent audit, along with the credit rating and GFOA awards, collectively show Lake County is financially sound.

Celebrate Fall in Lake County

Fall festivals

One of the best things about saying farewell to summer is looking forward to fall in Lake County! Enjoy autumn’s glows firsthand while getting spooked, picking out pumpkins or getting lost in a maze of maize. View Visit Lake County’s guide to the top 10 things to do in October.

Sheriff’s Office Pilots New Crisis Outreach and Support Team

Crisis intervention team

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is piloting a new collaborative program with the Lake County Health Department called the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COaST) to support residents with mental or behavioral health illness who interact with law enforcement.

Within approximately three days of a law enforcement officer encountering a mental health interaction or an opioid overdose, the COaST deputy will arrange a meeting with the individual or “cold call” their residence. During that meeting, the deputy will check the well-being of the person and determine if he or she has sought treatment or services since the initial event. The deputy will then provide a “warm handoff” to the Health Department counselor, who will conduct a brief assessment, and if necessary, refer the person to appropriate services. Learn more

Help Give the Gift of Warmth. Donate to Veteran's Coat Drive

Veteran coat drive

Donate your new or gently used adult and children’s coats and outerwear to help area veterans and their families as part of the Lake County Law Enforcement Veteran's Coat Drive. The collection is running now through Nov. 7. Find a collection site near you.

New Food Safety Guidelines to Be Implemented Jan. 1

food safety

Starting January 1, 2019, the Lake County Health Department will implement the new Illinois Food Code, based on the 2013 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) model. The new code contains the most up-to-date food safety guidelines based on science and research. It increases the responsibility of food permit holders, ensures faster reporting of food-borne illness risk factors, and strengthens food production and documentation requirements of certain foods. The new state inspection form will replace the current Lake County Health Department pass/fail system with a new re-inspection standard to assure that food-borne illness risk factors are corrected.

Forest Preserves Logo

Forest Preserve News

Dunn Museum

Free Senior Museum Admission
Senior admission to the Dunn Museum in Libertyville is free for the entire month of October. Daily admission for seniors (62 and up) is just $3 all other months and $1.50 on Discount Tuesdays. Plan your visit.

LCFPD teacher open house

Teacher Open House
Lake County educators, learn about exciting programs and resources for your class, tour the exhibitions and take part in guided teacher training sessions with our education staff on Oct. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Dunn Museum in Libertyville. Professional development credits will be available.  Learn more

Welcome REI
Our county’s first REI store recently opened in Vernon Hills. The retail and outdoor recreation services company has already forged a partnership with the Lake County Forest Preserves. In addition to offering recreation programs in various preserves, we are delighted to thank REI for its recent $20,000 grant to support two public access projects. With these funds, and the help of Youth Conservation Corps crews this summer, we extended an existing boardwalk at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods and stabilized the Des Plaines River shoreline with native wetland plants at the Wright Woods Canoe Launch at IL Route 60 in Vernon Hills. 

Mary Ross Cunningham

If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 847-721-1563 (cell) or email me at mcunningham@lakecountyil.gov

I encourage you to forward this update to others who may be interested in Lake County news. Residents who wish to automatically receive my bi-weekly newsletter can email me, or click the “Newsletter Sign Up" button at the top of the newsletter.

Thank you,
Mary Ross Cunningham

Ms. Cunningham, County Board member and Forest Preserve Commissioner, serves on:

Lake County Board, 9th District:
Diversity and Inclusion Committee, (Ad-Hoc), Chair
Lake County Law and Judicial Committee, Chair 
Lake County Health and Community Services 
Lake County Rules Committee, vice chair 
Lake County Government Reform Implementation Committee

Lake County Forest Preserves, 9th District: 
Operations Committee, Vice Chair
Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee
Gospelfest Committee, chair

Other appointed positions:
National Association of Counties (NACo), Member of Community, Economic and Workforce Development Policy Steering Committee 
Lake County Community Health Center Governing Council, secretary
Lake County Board of Health Personnel Committee, Chair
Community Action Partnership of Lake County, Board Member
Lake County Domestic Violence Council
Lake County Sexual Assault Coordination Committee
Waukegan High School Advisory Board
Lake County Veterans Advisory Board 

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