High School, Grant Community High School, 1971
Associate's Degree, Fine Arts, College of Lake County, 2010
Business Owner of Construction Co., Procision Boring Inc.
See recent video below of Donald Schmit talking about the issues.
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
Fox Lake is a great place to live in and I want to keep it that way. We have some problems that need to be fixed and I believe that I can be part of the solution. I am willing to work hard for the Village and make the difficult decisions required. I am very accessible and am willing to listen to all people. I will always give a decision and explain the reason for the decision. Since I was in grade school I have been active in the community in a variety of ways ranging from volunteer activities to coaching youth organizations to providing free infrastructure to the Village. The fourth generation of my family is living in Fox Lake. I want future generations of my family to live here also. I have experience on the Village Board and Planning Commission. As a business owner and I have to make payroll and pay vendors each week. I know how to keep within a budget. During the recent hard economic times, my company has prospered while others have not. I believe that actions speak louder than words and have worked to make the Village better through my actions.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
The number one issue for me is to place businesses in the vacant properties that are ready for development. My major focus would be to find developers for the Grade School property on Forest, the 18 acre lakefront parcel on Route 12, the Big Hollow School property and to assist the Mineola property owner to find developers or to assist in rebuilding. The number two issue would be to restore the senior/handicap bus service to the neediest of our citizens. With three senior centers in Fox Lake, this is a vital service. Residents have told me how inconvenient it is for them to go to doctors, shop at the grocery store or go to the salons and restaurants. I will work with Grant Township and our Parks and Recreation Department to keep the cost down, but also make this service more attainable and convenient to our residents. The number three issue is to have a more open form of government. Too often, I hear about Village issues by reading the newspaper or hearing rumors in coffee shops. Recently, four businesses have had to make additional modifications or have their openings delayed because of the lack of communication between our departments. This can be remedied by regular department meetings when permits are issued. Each department will know what is being done and can coordinate inspections to reduce delays and costs to our businesses. Changing this culture will make it easier to do business in Fox Lake and help attract businesses to our town.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
The Village has an obligation to provide services such as Police and Fire protection, sewer and water and public works, which includes plowing and maintaining streets. Cuts have been made to all these departments, and any further cuts will mean that the Village may not be able to provide these vital services. I would hope that the levy could stay the same or be decreased, but that is dependent on property values. I would like to freeze the levy at its current rate, but not at the expense of our residents.
What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?
The decision I disagree the most with is the decision to give the 13th gas station in town a $150,000.00 economic incentive. During the planning process, the developer promised to do the landscaping on the Village property. Two weeks after he was granted permission to build the station, he asked for $100,000.00 for landscaping. The Village gave him $50,000.00 more for the landscaping than he asked for. It is not fair to the other 12 gas stations that had to invest their own capital. Economic incentives should only be given to unique businesses that attract visitors to our town. Nobody will be coming to Fox Lake to see the 13th gas station. The revenue from this station will not be “new money” but rather, cannibalized money that would have been spent at the other stations in town, of which the Village receives 100% of the tax dollars. It is not only unfair to the other gas stations, but because of the store attached to the station, it is unfair to the neighboring sandwich shops, bakeries and fast food stores that will lose sales to this station.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
The biggest accomplishment this year is the electric aggregation. The savings on the supply of electric to the Village residents will be very welcome.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I have deep roots and a great love for this town. As you can see by the volunteer activities (Fire Department, church and Village) that I have done and continue to do, that I do not only talk about helping the town, I do it. I have worked hard for the Village and if I am elected, I will continue to work hard and represent the people who elected me. I have a proactive rather than reactive plan for the Village that I will implement to help Fox Lake realize its unlimited potential. I am very accessible. Together, we make Fox Lake all it can be. My phone number is 847-875-5136. I am willing to listen to everyone.
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