Stephen Harlfinger

Demographics

Independent

38

Lake In The Hills, IL

Disaster Restoration/General Contractor - Vice President, Sterling Fire Restoration, Ltd.

Not available, Danielle

Alexandria, 14

Brooke, 11

On the Record

What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?

I have served on the Village Board as a Trustee for the past 12 years which has given me the experience to listen to the concerns of the residents. During this time, I have been the youngest member of the Village Board as well. I am also the only currently serving village board member to have grown up in Lake In The Hills. As this village grew, I have grown along side with it. Learning from what was done in the past, and help move us into a more positive direction with various residents, board members, and our staff. As a Village Trustee, along with others in the community and the village board we have developed numerous items and programs. My main focus for the past several years has been for building safety in the community, protecting the consumer, and economic development.

What are your top two or three priorities if elected?

As I have stated previously, I will continue to focus on building safety, protecting our residents as consumers, and also continue to work to bring in and develop our commercial areas for business. Recently I have been speaking with residents and staff about what we can do as a village to deal with the unfortunate homes that have been left vacant and/or foreclosed by the recent financial downfall this country has faced. Working with Financial Institutions and Landlords to get these homes once again occupied by people who want to be part of a community is a must. I would like to address the homes that have become abandoned and left to sit, becoming an eyesore in the various neighborhoods. We need to require that the landlords and/or financial institution that owns the home maintain it to a higher standard until these homes are sold. If the home continues as a rental property, we need to ensure that the new residents and landlord continue to maintain the home, and be a part of the community. Hopefully we will be able to assist those that need a place to stay, and want to reside in Lake In The Hills because they get that sense of what it means to be a member of the neighborhood, community, and live in Lake In The Hills.

Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?

Lake In The Hills is part of various governing bodies, not just the Village Board. Our staff has done a tremendous job in maintaining our budget by doing more with less funding. We have numerous financial awards for this, and have one of the best records in Illinois for our fiscal responsibility to the residents. Freezing any tax that we have jurisdiction over would not be wise. For we have been lowering some of taxes during my time on the Village Board. As well as maintaining a positive level of services and programs for our residents, as recent survey’s have advised/shown us.

What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?

Having been on the Village Board for the past 12 years, I can not recall that last time we have had a major disagreement. Having been a life long resident, minus a few years in the United States Army and some education, I can safely say the past 12 years we have had the most cohesive board this village has ever seen. Each member of the board and staff have worked well together, because we have helped develop a better line of communication with our residents. If there is an item where we have a disagreement, our residents advise us, and we work to find a reasonable solution. I would like to continue to be a part of this process, because I believe it has been working and will continue to do so.

What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?

Our Police Department, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation Department have done a tremendous job with helping to provide the services, programs, and festivals to the community as we had in the past, by doing more with less. Staff has worked with State and Federal Offices to continue taking part in programs and services that do not impact our residents with a tremendous financial burden. From replacing trees that had been damaged or destroyed by insects or natural causes, maintaining our streets to be safe for driving in times of bad weather, or basic repair/replacement. Protecting our residents by providing excellent public safety from our Police Department, working with the Fire Protection Districts, Schools, and Businesses as well. Our Parks and Recreation Department has worked to offer outstanding programs to our residents that rival neighboring communities. From our various festivals, races, and programs we have become a leader in providing fun and educational activities for our residents.

Why should voters elect you to office?

Everyone will say experience. Some will say because they have much to offer. I can only say that I represent practically every resident. I grew up in the original section of Lake In The Hills, I am the youngest member of the Village Board, I have spent 12 years as a Trustee developing relationships with other elected officials at both the County and State levels to help Lake In The Hills. As a Village Trustee, I have helped develop numerous programs and ordinances to improve public safety, and consumer awareness. As well as those residents that have a small business at home, such contractors, or those that drive a business vehicle that needs to meet the requirements of their profession. I will continue to push forward in developing our commercial areas, while protecting the interests of the residents concerns. My profession as a contractor allows me to provide insight for building safety, as well as consumer rights. Most importantly, I have always been here for Lake In The Hills. As a child, as a young man, and now as an adult with a family of my own. I have made Lake In The Hills my home for a lifetime, and I think it shows.