April news updates

News from Sandy

Dear Neighbors,

I hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and healthy. This is a challenging time across several different fronts, and everyone has had to make adjustments in their life. In March we moved my parents in with us, and it's a full house with my husband and I working from home and our three kids learning remotely.

We're finding the silver lining in the stay-at-home order, taking long walks with our dogs, learning how to cook new meals, and spending a lot of time together as a family. We are thankful that we're healthy and are doing what we can for others who may not be as fortunate.

I am proud of Lake County's response to COVID-19, both as a government agency and countywide.Please know that Lake County is doing everything possible to keep you informed and to take steps to protect the physical and financial health of our community. You can subscribe to the Lake County Health Department to receive important updates ON COVID 19, and you can visit the coronavirus data hub, where you can find statistics about the number of coronavirus cases in our community. 

We are grateful for the help we've received from individuals, non-profits, businesses, and educational institutions to combat this pandemic. Donations of funding, personal protection equipment (PPE), meals and food, diapers, and many more items and services have made an enormous difference in the safety of our medical professionals, first responders, and people living and working in congregate settings. We are extremely fortunate to have such generous and caring residents here; this is what makes Lake County such a special place.

We continue to meet as a board, albeit via conference calls. Anyone is welcome to listen to our meetings, live or at your convenience, and there is opportunity to submit public comment before or during the meeting to have your voice heard.To review prior meetings or read agendas for upcoming meetings, click here and select from the drop down menu.

Last Thursday the Finance and Administrative Committee met to discuss our budget policies, including taking a close look at what is the right amount to keep in reserves. Reserving too much is an inappropriate holding of tax dollars, and reserving too little can have negative implications, such as our bond rating. Lake County is one of the few counties in the United States that is AAA bond rated, and we receive lower interest rates as a result, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

We also directed our Chief Financial Officer to present a 2021 balanced budget this fall with no growth in the tax levy for the second year in a row. It is critically important that we look carefully at how we can reduce the burden on our taxpayers. We have asked all departments to look at ways to reduce expenditures while finding innovative solutions to continue to provide effective and efficient services to our residents.

During the salary discussion of elected officials, I proposed a reduction in my salary by eliminating the stipend I currently receive for serving as Lake County Liquor Commissioner. 

It is an honor to serve as your Board Member and as Chair of the Lake County Board. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns, and please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay at home.

Read Sandy's full newsletter here.