Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles Lake Zurich Patch will provide about Village Board candidates' views on key issues within the village. All five candidates were given a questionnaire and had the same amount of time to prepare and submit their answers. Their answers are presented in their own words. The order of their responses will rotate with each article so that each candidate is fairly represented.
Five candidates are seeking to fill five available posts on the Lake Zurich Village Board in the Tuesday, April 5 consolidated election.
Incumbent Tom Poynton and former Mayor John Tolomei are running as independents. Mark Ernst, Dana Rzeznik and Jennifer Talley are running as part of the LZ Vision party along with incumbent Kathleen Johnson, who is running unopposed for village clerk.
Following are their answers, in their own words, to the question:
Is there improvement needed in communicating with the average resident in town?
Communication can always be made better. The village website does a good job of providing information for those that keep up with it. The sign-up system that provides alerts to interested residents on defined topics is good. Such a system could be improved by giving residents information about significant issues related to the village at-large and specific information to their individual neighborhoods such as zoning variation hearings.
Yes, presently if a resident is interested in village business they can learn more by attending village board meetings, going to the village website, etc. I believe there has to be a way that informs residents who may not be as active in searching out information such as allowing residents to sign up for e-mail updates from village board meetings and electronic versions of the village newsletter.
Of course, isn’t there always a need to improve communications with the average resident? The village has dramatically improved in communicating with residents. New notification systems have been added and the website has been improved. But, there is always room for improvement especially on big issues. Suggestions:
- Create a system to gather community input on key issues sooner rather than later in the process.
- Use the website as an information gathering tool and not just an information dissemination tool.
- Create instant surveys e-mailed out to anyone who provides an email address box. The village can provide notification and feedback in one email.
- Create a village Facebook page.
We have come a long way over the last couple of years regarding communications with residents. Anyone who is interested in the village board meetings may watch them directly on a computer monitor at any time.
Emergency information is now being disseminated via village wide telephone notification system. Information relevant to the village operations or events is immediately available on the village website (www.volz.org).
A paper copy of the LZ Newsline is mailed quarterly to every residence. The residents are encouraged to call or e-mail village staff or elected officials with questions and concerns and the contact information is widely available. To attract and involve younger residents, social media should be another avenue of communications.
Yes. This is very important in my opinion. The residents do currently have options on how to get communication however I feel we need to make it even easier and provide multiple options for communicating.