Lake County, Illinois
Originally part of McHenry County, the townships comprising Lake County were carved out into a separate county in 1839. Naval Station Great Lakes is located in the city of North Chicago in Lake County. It is the United States Navy's Headquarters Command for training, and the Navy's only recruit training center.
- Main article: Evaluation of Illinois county websites
This website was most recently evaluated on an unknown date.
- The most current budget is listed.
- Budgets are archived for 10 years.
- Administrative Officials
- Department heads are listed for each department.
- Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
- Elected Officials
- Meeting minutes are archived for 4 years.
- Meeting agendas are archived for 4 years.
- A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
- Meeting video or podcasts are available.
- The most recent audit is posted.
- Audits dating back to 2003 are available.
- Bids and RFPs are posted online.
- Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.
- Public Records
- The public information officer is identified and maintained by the FOIA Officer position. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
- A public records form is provided.
- A fee schedule for documents is provided.
- Permits and zoning
The Lake County Board is made up of 23 elected members. Board members serve on standing committees and provide policy and budget oversight of the county government.
The County Administrator -- currently Barry Burton -- serves as the chief administrative officer for the county government, an organization of more than 2,800 employees and a $505 million budget. The average resident likely doesn’t recognize all the things that are happening behind the scenes to ensure your taxpayer dollars are being spent effectively and efficiently.
Some of the County Administrator's primary responsibilities include:
- Implement policies of the County Board, including strategic priorities
- Develop and oversee the budget and capital budget
- Oversee the activities of all department heads appointed by the County Board
- Coordinate and/or collaborate on countywide activities involving departments with elected and appointed department heads
- Oversee Emergency Management Operations and Communications activities
- Direct the County’s annual legislative program
Below are documents given on the Lake County website:
The county is facing budget challenges, but was able to balance the budget with $9 million less from the previous years budget. Since 2009, the budget has been cut by $15 million. This was done partly by eliminating 113 positions, largely by holding vacancies. That has also been no discretionary spending, wage increases, and reduced funding for outside agencies. Q: Where does the money come from and where does it go?
Approximately $120 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding has been awarded or is anticipated for Lake County. Recently, $5.7 million was awarded to promote energy efficiencies and conservation strategies across various Lake County government operations. The County has also be awarded $1 million to provide financial and/or legal assistance to keep individuals in their homes or to assist individuals that have become homeless with obtaining a house. More than $5 million has been awarded to assist in job placement services and training for adults, youth and laid-off workers. About $3.6 million will be utilized to address the significant increase in new patients accessing services at the Health Department services for the first time. These funds will allow the department to increase staff and service hours to meet this increased demand, create a new access point clinic location on Grand Ave (currently under construction), and expand the Midlakes Clinic in Round Lake Beach. Lake County’s designation as a Recovery Zone provides the ability to issue up to $98 million in bonds at lower rates, thereby promoting economic development projects within the county.
ARRA Grant Awards:
- $5.6 million - Job placement and training for adults,for laid off workers, and job placement program for youth for two year period
Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center
- $1.7 million - Funding to be utilized for expansion of the Midlakes Clinic and purchase of new computer servers
- $1.3 million - Primary care services at a new community health center site in Waukegan
- $648,000 - Offset increased demand/expenses for health services
- $4.6 million - Neighborhood Stabilization Program 1
- $1.1 million - Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Assistance for Lake County to distribute
- $1.1 million - Homeless Assistance for distribution by the Lake County Continuum of Care program
- $691,000 - Community Development Block Grants for North Chicago, Waukegan and Lake County for shovel-ready infrastructure projects
Finance and Administrative Services
- $5.7 million - Energy Conservation Related Programs
- $59 million - Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds fo public infrastructure projects
- $39 million - Recovery Zone Facility Bonds for public infrastructure projects
- $268,283 - Funding for creation of one victim assistance counselor position for a three year period to assist with domestic violence, cyber crime and financial related cases
- $161,269 - Process LiDAR data (through the U.S. Geological Survey)
- Main article: Lobbying in Lake County, Illinois
- Lake County Municipal League
- Metro Counties of Illinois
- National Association of Counties
- Lake County Transportation Alliance
Taxpayer-funded lobbying is the use of public funds by governments to influence other levels of government. Counties, for example, will pay lobbyists to influence the state or the federal government. This type of lobbying is often not disclosed to constituents. Counties hire lobbyists on a contractual basis, have lobbyists on staff, or join groups which promote or oppose legislation on their behalf. Lobbyists also help counties seeking specific projects or appropriations.
Lake County's lobbying consists of two contracts with lobbyists, including Kolkmeier Consulting. It belongs to four government sector lobbying associations, including National Association of Counties.
For more on Lake County lobbying, see the main article.
|$ lobbying total||$ Illinois||$ federal government||$ lobbying groups||# lobbying contracts||# lobbying groups|
Public employee salaries
- Main article: Lake County employee salaries
Lake County salaries are salaries paid to elected officials and county employees.The Lake County website does not include compensation for elected officials or county employees. The website does not also list a total number of county employees.
Main article: _(Sunshine_Review)|Illinois Public Pensions
Lake County offers four pension plans to its employees. Two of the plans are for law enforcement employees. As of 2009 the Lake County's annual cost for its four pensions total $1.4 million. None of the four plans are fully funded, according to the website.  As of 2008 the two IMRF plans were 80.39 percent funded. The two law enforcement plans, SLEP, were 48.72 percent funded. The IMRF plans had an unfunded liability of $6.1 million. The SLEP plans had an unfunded liability of $1.5 million.
The Lake County website does not include a breakdown of how many employees opt into each pension plan.
Illinois is facing a crisis with its publicly funded pensions. In 2010 state government was responsible for over $130 billion in pension payments, however they only had $46 billion set aside, which leaves an unfunded liability of about $85 billion.  Finding a way to fund that $85 billion will be the focus of the 2011 general assembly. The Pew Center for the States reported that as of 2008, Illinois is one of the worst states at contributing to its pension systems. State lawmakers will consider selling $4 billion of bonds to pay the state's annual payment on the five pension programs it runs.  In April, the state legislature created a two-tier system for all municipal and state employees—including teachers and state lawmakers—hired after Jan 1, 2011. Police and fire were included in an earlier draft but removed shortly before the vote. For the others, retirement was raised to 67. 
- Lake County official website
- Lake County Tourism Website
- Lake County Forest Preserves' Website
- Lake County Office of Education Website
- Lake County Chamber of Commerce Website
- 19th Judicial Circuit Court
- Lake County, Budget Documents, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Staff Directory, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Board Members, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Elected Officials, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Meetings, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Audits, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Purchasing, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, FOIA Request Form, Fees, and FOIA Officer Contact Information, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Tax Rates, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Pay Taxes, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Legislative Program, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- [1.pdf Lake County, 2012 Contracts, Accessed: December 16, 2012]
- Lake County, Planning, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- Lake County, Building Permits, Accessed: December 16, 2012
- County Administrator
- Stimulus Money
- Lake County, Legislative Program
- 'Lake County', Notes to Financial Statements, November 30, 2009
- Illinois Issues, The Pension Chasm, November 15, 2010
- State House News, November 4, 2010
- 'Patch.com' Illinois Senate to Vote on Public Safety Pension Reforms Thursday Morning, Dec. 1, 2010
State of Illinois
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