Meet the Candidate: Sandy Cole for District 62 State Rep.
As elections draw near Patch will profile the candidates running for the District 62 seat in the Illinois House.
Sandy Cole has lived in Lake County for more than 25 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rockford College in 1976 where she majored in graphic arts, minored in Mathematics, and received a secondary education teaching certificate.
She has been married to Stephen Cole for 27 years. They have three children and one grandchild.
Cole served on the Lake County Board from 1996 - 2006; as a director on the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) from 1998-2006; as Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner from 1996-2006; and as a director for the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) of Lake County from 1994-1996.
She was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2006.
Cole has served as a Volunteer Youth Leader for 4-H, an Assistant Coach for Township T-Ball & Softball, a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, a Grayslake Greenery Garden Club member, a Voter Registrar, Republican Precinct Committeeman, a member of the Board of Directors for the Rockford College Alumni Association, a member of the Grayslake/Round Lake Area Exchange Club, the Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Avon Township Youth Advisory Council and a member of B.E.S.T. for the Round Lake area.
Cole's Top Areas of Focus
1. Cole said one of her main priorities is to improve economic growth and development in Illinois. She currently is working on House Bill 5239 that would develop an Economic Development Corporation for the state. Large businesses among other organizations would sit on the board and ultimately help small businesses start up and succeed.
The Corporation will mentor new business owners. Cole said, "if they get help with the business plan, getting the loans and getting the marketing underway, they will end up being a successful business."
"By doing tax deals to get and keep large businesses here Illinois actually loses because smaller businesses are forced to pick up the tab and they can't afford that," Cole said. "By larger businesses supporting smaller ones we will ultimately create jobs in Illinois."
Cole said several other states have an Economic Development Corporation that have proven successful. "Because we're losing jobs and population, we're losing income tax revenue. This will help that rather than raising taxes again."
2. Cole also suggests consolidating units of government. She feels fire protection districts and schools may be a good place to start in joining different administrations in order to ultimately relieve property taxes for residents.
"With some of the satellite stations for the fire departments, especially in the smaller towns, we can merge them under one chief and still have the same service." Cole said this will save on administrative costs which are substantial to taxpayers.
Another suggestion was merging several of the high schools in Lake County. Cole gave Township High School District 214 in Cook County as an example. D214 has six high schools under one administration. "There's no reason locally we can't have a central administration between the high schools. This will be a huge savings on property tax relief," Cole said.
3. Cole also aims to bring additional property tax relief to residents through House Bill 3793 that would create a new formula that would not allow property taxes to increase if the property value has decreased.
"The code is broken when that happens," Cole said. "It's one thing to have a decline in the economy, but when the property taxes increase and the value decreases, it's simply not right."
Cole said while her office has received complaints from some towns and villages against the new formula because it would decrease revenue brought in through the property taxes, "it's something that just has to be fixed."
HB3793 did not pass in the House by a three-fifths vote so it will need to be reintroduced.
You can find out more about Sandy Cole by visiting her website.
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