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Traffic, property taxes common issue in County Board District 19 race

Craig Taylor Lake County Board District 19. | Special Sun-Times Media

Craig Taylor Lake County Board District 19. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Craig Taylor

Party: Republican

Hometown: Lake Zurich

Family: Married with three children

Education: Attended University of Colorado

Deborah Barry

Party: Independent

Hometown: Deer Park

Family: Divorced with two adult children

Education: Graduated from Smith College

Updated: January 1, 2013 1:48AM

Traffic congestion and property taxes have emerged as two issues at the forefront of the race between incumbent Craig Taylor and challenger Deborah Barry for the Lake County Board’s 19th District seat.

Both Taylor and Barry said gridlock can be a deterrent in bringing more businesses to Lake County. And Taylor reported that 2013 is set to be a very busy year for road construction in the county.

“We need to do everything we can to make Lake County attractive to businesses,” said Taylor, a Republican from Lake Zurich. “By improving the roads, it’s going to act as a magnet to bring businesses into the county.”

Barry said that while she supports additional turning lanes at certain high traffic intersections, she noted that the continual expansion of roads may only increase the region’s traffic burden.

“In my district, specifically, we have a lot of road expansion going on, but we are not prepared for the impact,” she said. “If you just keep expanding the roads, it will attract more traffic.”

Barry, a Deer Park resident who is running as an Independent, said widened roads also forces more construction when those roads need to be repaired. Barry said she would advocate for the county to invest in public transportation to ease traffic and to make Lake County accessible to citizens who do not have their own means of transportation.

“We are not investing in alternative transportation,” she said. “That’s where we need to do some studies.”

Taylor said balancing the budget with minimal impact on residents is another priority.

“We’ve got to do everything we can in this economy,” Taylor said.

Raising taxes, he pledged, is something he does not plan on doing to balance the budget. However, Taylor said he does not want to cut or diminish services either.

Staying on the economic topic, Barry said increasing taxes would continue to drive away businesses, young residents and families.

“The number one challenge in Lake County is that we cannot continue to raise taxes,” she said. “We must reverse the trend of rising property taxes.”

Both candidates agreed that bringing jobs into Lake County is key, and that transportation issues tie into how attractive the county can be for employers.

“If people can get about in an easy fashion, it makes it more appealing to come to jobs in the area,” said Taylor.

To create and keep jobs in the county, Barry plans to focus on aging trends in the Lake County population. She cited census figures that show a rise in the population of residents 65 and older. Barry said schools might suffer due to the lack of young families moving into the area.

“We will not be ready for the next stage of growth,” she said.

If elected, Barry also said she would support increasing transparency in public meetings, including recording committee meetings.

Taylor and Barry both said they are proponents of advanced technology, particularly projects that would help manage traffic flow in the county.

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