A long-term development

“I’m very concerned with the sales tax being down,” Irwin said. “With less sales tax, we can offer less services. Alberta Myer, a former Fox Lake trustee, also is seeking the mayor’s seat. She served as a trustee on the Village Board from 1987 to 1999.The three candidates for mayor of Fox Lake are focused firmly on business. Each has his or her own ideas on how to bring more of it to the village.

Incumbent Mayor Cindy Irwin is seeking re-election with the United Party slate. Now finishing her first term as mayor, Irwin said she was most concerned with the recent business closures in the village, notably the closing of the Chrysler dealership in December.

Compared with other communities in Lake County, Fox Lake has fared relatively well, she said.“You’ve got to get out and knock on doors and talk to business and find out what they need to come to Fox Lake,” Bender said. “I want to see stores where people can take a walk down Main Street and shop.”

Although she has not held elected office since being a trustee, Myer said her past board-related committee experience gave her the knowledge and experience needed to adequately take over as mayor.The loss of business must be considered with the global economic crisis in mind, Irwin said, not just the local economy.

“We were progressing, getting businesses in town and working with the existing businesses.”“When I was on the board, we had the village moving forward,” Myer said.

“Every community is going through the same thing we’re going through,” she said. “We have a whole list of businesses that are willing to come to Fox Lake as soon as the economy gets better.”

Getting residents to shop at local businesses also will help improve the local economy, Irwin said, and it will keep jobs in Fox Lake.

Village Trustee Ed Bender is challenging Irwin on the platform that he is best equipped to improve the local economy and attract new businesses to Fox Lake.

“The major difference is I’ve got a business background, and I’m used to going out and getting business; [Irwin] is not,” Bender said. “If I win, we hit the ground running. We can’t just sit around and wait for the national economy to get better. We’ve got to start working on our economy now.”

Bender is heading a group of candidates running on the Focused Party slate.

Before entering public office, the two-term trustee worked for 36 years at W.W. Grainger Inc. – a business-to-business distributor – where he became vice president.

If elected, Bender said he wanted to initiate a long-term development plan that would address how to improve the village’s business climate and what type of businesses the village could attract.

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