Name: Jeff Werfel
Position sought: Lake County Board District 6
Resides in: Grayslake
Campaign contact information
Phone: (847) 804-6656
Family: Married 16 years to wife, Jennifer. Two children: Emily 15, and Chase, 13
Bachelor of Arts in Government, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing & Strategic Management, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
Legislative Aide/Community Outreach Manager-Illinois House of Representatives (State Rep. Sandy Cole, 62nd District)
Previously elected or appointed positions: Grayslake Village Trustee (2003 to present)
What are your top 3 priorities if elected to the Lake County Board?
To responsibly manage Lake County's budget and finances while continuing to deliver high quality county services. All of us as taxpayers expect government to respect our sacrifice in this extraordinarily difficult economy by managing its fiscal affairs with the same common sense as we do.
Therefore, I believe county government needs to be as innovative and cost-effective as possible in the delivery of the services for which it is responsible. This is also true for all other levels of government.
As a Lake County Board Member I will focus and work on keeping county government taxes low while maintaining high service levels for our families and businesses. As a Village Board member in Grayslake over the past nine years, we have been successful in achieving these ends.
To encourage more business/commercial development in Lake County to add jobs, improve the overall economy and assist in relieving more of the onerous residential property tax burden on our citizens. Good progress in the newly created County Board District 6 area has been made with the approval and building of significant economic development projects, such as the new Fedex facility and the Cornerstone project by The Alter Group in Grayslake.
I am proud of the role I have played in these positive developments, but there is still more that can be done.
Continue to improve the county's roads and transportation infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion and encourage business/commercial development. I will support the efforts of the county to improve the roads it is responsible for, as well as all efforts by other levels of government to improve the local roads they are responsible for, such as the recent widening of Route 45 and planned improvement of Route 83/137 by the state. I support the Route 120 Bypass and the recently adopted recommendations of the Route 53 Blue Ribbon Commission.
What would you do to help unemployed people throughout the county?
I believe the most important issue facing Lake County over the next ten years is its overall economic viability and competitiveness both within Illinois and outside of it, especially given our shared border with the state of Wisconsin.
The three priorities that I've outlined above are each an integral part of keeping Lake County economically viable and competitive to create a pro-growth business environment which will ultimately make a difference in getting our county’s unemployed back to work. If these action items are not addressed, the county risks creating a declining and non-competitive county-wide economy which will lead to further loss of jobs and opportunity, bringing with it a decrease in quality of life for all of its residents.
Where do you stand on Route 53? If in favor, what can be done to help facilitate the extension into Lake County? If against, what can be done to help relieve traffic congestion?
As mentioned previously, I support the recently adopted recommendations of the Route 53 Blue Ribbon Commission to create an environmentally sensitive and acceptable Route 53 extension into Lake County.
How would you attract more business and economic development to the county?
The Lake County Board should work closely with private business, other governmental units and economic development groups to maximize Lake County's ability to economically grow and develop. As stated earlier, following this approach has led to good progress in the newly created Lake County Board District 6 area where the approval and building of significant economic development projects, such as the new Fedex facility and the Cornerstone project by The Alter Group in Grayslake has occurred.
You are running against someone whom you know well, and you both have experience on the Grayslake Village Board. How does that impact your race for this position?
The shared municipal government experience is a helpful and positive one for each of us to have.
Why should voters elect you? What makes you most qualified?
I possess a combination of education, private and public sector work experience, extensive civic involvement and 9 years spent as a local elected official which has given me a unique range of experience that is extremely applicable to this elected office and its responsibilities. I have represented the majority of this newly created Lake County Board District as an elected official (a Grayslake Village Trustee) and have been actively involved with the rest of it through my work in the office of our Illinois State Representative. I am quite familiar with the new district’s public policy issues, challenges and needs.
Accomplishments as Grayslake Village Trustee:
*Multiple approved new business developments to provide jobs, needed services and expanded and more diversified tax revenue
*Key driver behind Village adopted practice of calculating positive/negative tax impact of any new business or residential development as part of village approval process
*Numerous local road improvements throughout Grayslake
*Continuation and expansion of innovative and cost-efficient government management practices
*Retirement of last village held public debt
*Strengthening of local enforcement mechanisms of environmental standards/safeguards in the Countryside Landfill Host Agreement with Grayslake
*Village comprehensive/strategic plan
*Assistance in establishing new youth center location
*Light pollution ordinance
*Jake braking ordinance