New Open Data Hub, Trick-or-treat hours, Proposed 2019 budget keeps $3.4 million in taxpayers' pockets, and More

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October 17, 2018

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Open Data Hub Makes It Easier to Search and Access Data

Open data hub

Lake County has launched a new Open Data Hub that makes Lake County government data easily accessible – and searchable — to a broad audience, including residents and taxpayers, enhancing transparency and accountability. Additionally, government employees can now access other departments’ data to help enhance services and drive efficiency.  The Open Data Hub centralizes a wide range of data in one place from property taxes and health and recreation to transportation and government contracts and agreements. This new tool allows users to search and discover PDF maps, web mapping applications and other datasets all free of charge. The existing datasets on the Hub will consistently be updated, and Lake County is exploring adding new information, including financial data.    

Visit the Open Data Hub

Proposed 2019 Budget Keeps $3.4 Million in Taxpayers’ Pockets

The proposed Lake County 2019 budget is balanced and the operating budget reflects a slight decrease from last year. The Lake County Board will hold budget hearings on the proposed budget later this month and will vote on it at its November meeting. In an effort to provide some relief to taxpayers, the County Board directed that the budget be developed keeping the County’s property tax levy flat (or not taking the allowable levy growth based on the Consumer Price Index). This keeps $3.4 million in taxpayers’ pockets.  The only increase in property tax revenue will come from growth on new property. (As a reminder, Lake County’s portion of your property tax bill is about 7%). The proposed FY19 operating budget — which funds the County’s day-to-day operations — is $3.3 million less than last year (or 1%) as a result of efficiencies from shared services with other governments, technology enhancements, and operational improvements. The budget can be viewed at

ELECTION: Voter Registration, Early Voting Sites, and More


Voter Registration
It’s not too late to register to vote in the upcoming election! Grace voter registration is available at the Lake County Clerk’s Office in Waukegan until Oct. 19, during early voting from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5, and on Election Day.

Vote by Mail
Skip the lines on Election Day by voting by mail! Registered voters must submit a required application form by noon on Nov. 1 vote by mail.  Returning voted by mail ballots must be postmarked by midnight on Nov. 6.

Early Voting
Early voting begins Oct. 22 at 16 sites throughout Lake County. View the early voting locations.

For more information about the upcoming election, visit the Lake County Clerk’s November 2018 Election  web page

Trick or Treat, Lake County!

trick or treat

It’s that time of year when youngsters in great costumes go door-to-door in the neighborhood looking for some nourishing sugary treats! View trick-or-treating hours in Lake County, and create a great experience for your little goblins.

UPDATE: 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.

Board Considers Measures to Enhance Procurement Policies

In an effort to strengthen its already strong policies as it relates to purchasing goods and services, the Lake County Board is considering changes that will require vendors submitting proposals for more than $30,000 to disclose familial relationships with County employees. The Board already approved internal policy changes that require employees to annually review ethics and purchasing rules, and attest that they understand and agree to adhere to them.

The Board recently discussed a proposal that would require vendors submitting proposals to submit a “Vendor Disclosure Statement” disclosing the names of each owner/principal/officer of the company, along with those individuals’ immediate family members who are employed by Lake County. Purchasing officers will compare the statement with the staff members serving on the evaluation panel and verify that those employees are eligible to serve. The Board wants to discuss further how to broaden this and make this information more transparent. The Finance Committee will take up the item next month.  

Mike Rummel, Chair of the Board’s Finance and Administration Committee, said, “We already have one of the strongest Ethics Ordinances that govern our process and protect against influence or impropriety. Our ethics standards set us apart from other local governments and they view us as a model. Still, there are examples of some other local governments doing additional disclosures, so we are considering adding these measures to enhance what we already do.”

The Lake County Board adopted Ethics Ordinance clearly outlines the ethical and legal standards that county officers and employees must follow while conducting county business. It also puts a process in place to reviewing complaints and gives the county administrator authority to administer disciplinary action up to and including termination. 

New 2-1-1 Service to Connect Residents with Help They Need


A free, confidential county-wide referral service is one step closer to reality thanks to support from the Lake County Board. Residents will simply be able to dial 2-1-1 for personal assistance (much like they dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance).  The United Way of Lake County is developing the new 2-1-1 service that will connect residents to various resources from shelter and housing options, supplemental food programs, services for veterans, health care, and many other critical services to help improve and save lives. The Board allocated $80,000 in video gaming revenue (which is generated from video gaming in the unincorporated areas) to the United Way of Lake County. The agency expects 2-1-1 to launch in spring of 2019. Watch this video as Lake County Board Member Steve Carlson explains what this service will do for residents in Lake County.

Forest Preserves Logo

Forest Preserve News

Halloween Hikes

Halloween Hikes

Join a guided group hike along a candlelit path at Ryerson Woods Welcome Center on Oct. 19 and 20 to watch fun nature-themed skits, followed by donuts and cider. The hikes are not scary. Even your littlest will enjoy this family favorite. Hikes begin every 30 minutes from 6 to 8 p.m. Total event time is 90 minutes. Total distance walked is about 1.5 miles. Learn more »

2018 Chili Golf Scramble

Play in the Chili Golf Scramble at Countryside
Join this low-pressure 18-hole tournament at Countryside Golf Club in Mundelein, on Sunday, November 4 at 10 a.m. Compete for prizes, then enjoy chili and beverages. Learn more »

LCFPD accessibility

Help Us Improve Accessibility
We are currently evaluating accessibility within our forest preserves, programs, facilities and communications to ensure people with disabilities can use and enjoy them. We invite you to attend one of three public meetings on October 30, November 1, and November 3, to share ideas and provide feedback to help us improve accessibility within our agency. Learn more »


Dunn Museum video

Tour the Dunn Museum
Watch this video to learn more about the Dunn Museum in Libertyville, from Forest Preserve President Ann Maine and Commissioner Carol Calabresa.

Get Rid of Unwanted Prescription Drugs Oct. 27

Drug take back day 2018

Help prevent substance abuse and theft by safely disposing your home of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The Lake County Sheriff's Office is partnering with the DEA for Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27. The service is free and anonymous. View the drop-off locations.

Remember, the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies also provide drug disposal boxes at locations across Lake County where your unwanted and expired prescription drugs can be disposed safely all year round. Find a drug disposal box near you

Jail Visitor Entrance Relocated

The public entrance of the Lake County Jail has moved from 20 South County Street, to the lobby of the Community Based Corrections Center (CBCC) at 15 South Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Waukegan. The relocation is due to the ongoing renovations at the Lake County Jail.

Inmates being released from custody will be released at the CBCC Lobby. Any visitors coming to the Lake County Jail should also utilize the CBCC Lobby.

Public Works Sustainability Improvements

Public Works sustainability improvements

With more than 200 lakes and rivers in the county, it’s important to keep our water safe! Lake County Public Works has been working hard to increase their sustainability efforts to their water operations, from taking phosphorous and nutrients out of wastewater that can be harmful to aquatic life, to performing energy audits performed in coordination with the Illinois EPA. Watch Video

Celebrate Lake County Manufacturing

Lake County Manufacturing

Lake County Workforce Development is joining the College of Lake County to celebrate Manufacturing Month in Lake County, and you’re invited to join a variety of events. Learn about careers in engineering and computer science, meet representatives from manufacturers here in Lake County who will discuss jobs in these growing industries, and meet a panel of employers who will discuss the manufacturing field.  View the schedule.

Community News

Arts and Crafts, Monster Bash, Weiner Races and More
Enjoy family fun on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Antioch. Find numerous treasures at the arts and crafts fair, discover Halloween fun at the monster bash, and enjoy the annual weiner races and pumpkin roll. Learn more

Fill the Food Pantry
Bring non-perishable food items to the Antioch Piggly Wiggly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27 to help the Open Arms Mission as part of the Antioch Junior Woman's Club Fill the Food Pantry event. 

Art of Wine
Enjoy the smooth sounds of Stu the Piano Guy while tasting a variety of wines in the elegant setting of the historic Lehmann Mansion. Hosted by the Village of Lake Villa and the Lindenhurst-Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce, the event will take place Nov. 10. Learn more

Save the Date!
The Antioch Traveling Closet December Giveaway will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Antioch Senior Center, 817 Holbeck Drive. Among the items that will be given include toiletries, used clothing in all sizes, shoes, socks, and winter hats and gloves, and haircuts also will be provided. For information, send an email to

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