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Kim Stone: Candidate For Highland Park City Council – Patch.com

Kim Stone: Candidate For Highland Park City Council – Patch.com

HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Ahead of the April 6 consolidated municipal elections, Highland Park Patch provided questionnaires to all candidates on the ballot. Six candidates are seeking three available seats on the Highland Park City Council. Only one of the three incumbents with an expiring term in office is running for re-election. Highland Park Patch

HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Ahead of the April 6 consolidated municipal elections, Highland Park Patch provided questionnaires to all candidates on the ballot.

Six candidates are seeking three available seats on the Highland Park City Council. Only one of the three incumbents with an expiring term in office is running for re-election.

Highland Park Patch is publishing all responses submitted by candidates verbatim and in the order they have been received.

Village board or city council

Kim Stone

Age (as of Election Day)

Town/City of Residence
City of Highland Park

Office Sought
Village board or city council

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
My husband works for a unit of local government in another municipality that does not have any interaction with the City of Highland Park.

B.A., Middlebury College; Master of Public Policy, University of Michigan; and Master of Science, University of Michigan.

Environmental Advocate (30+ years) and Councilwoman (8 years)

Campaign website

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

In the near term, the City faces two significant issues – recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic and addressing the effects of climate change. The City must continue to make tough financial decisions so that we can provide the high level of services our residents expect within tight budgetary constraints as we recover from the pandemic. We also need to bring innovative ideas to help our business community regain its vibrancy.
Climate change has financial implications for the City as extreme weather causes damage to infrastructure. I will continue my leadership to make environmentally responsible choices that save the City money, and to ensure that the City’s infrastructure is built to withstand the stronger storms and bigger temperature fluctuations brought on by climate change.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

Yes, I support the peaceful protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Right now we are at a crossroads, reconciling who we are as a country and who we want to be. As evidenced by the mass organizing and protesting this past summer, there have been too many acts of violence against people of color. The Black Lives Matter movement has been shining a magnifying glass on many issues of systemic racism, inequality, and a broken criminal justice system. It is now our turn to listen, to educate ourselves, and to take action to address systemic racism. Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done. If re-elected, I will continue to be a strong advocate on the City Council for the work that needs to be done to create an equitable and just community.

Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?

Highland Park takes pride in being a diverse and welcoming community. The City Council has put in place a statement against hate. The Police Department was the first in the state to adopt the Shared Principles of Public Safety in 2018, affirming the commitment to fair and equitable policing, and these principles are reflected in the training of Highland Park police officers.
There is more work to be done to end systemic racism. The City is undertaking a racial equity evaluation of policies and practices this year. I look forward to the results of this evaluation, and will strongly advocate to update our codes and policies to improve equity.

What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?

The response to the coronavirus should be a coordinated, national effort. The role of local governments is to help with implementation and take additional steps to protect our community when needed. I am supportive of science-based measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus and get the pandemic under control. I am in favor of local mask mandates because Covid-19 is an airborne disease, and the best available science has shown that masks help prevent spread of the virus.
We need to consider the level of community spread of the virus and understand where the virus is likely to be spread before discussing the closure or restriction of business operations. Since the City does not have a health department, these measures are better undertaken at the state or regional level and based on data and guidance from Public Health experts at the Lake County and Illinois Departments of Public Health.

What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?

The vaccine rollout has been very frustrating as demand for the vaccine has exceeded supply. I am hopeful that vaccine availability will soon increase, and that everyone will have the opportunity to be vaccinated in the next few months. The City does not have a health department, and thereby relies on Lake County to manage vaccine distribution. The City has helped by regularly communicating information about vaccine distribution and availability to residents.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

As the only incumbent running for re-election, my strong record of success sets me apart from the other candidates. My knowledge of how the City operates and experience getting things done is crucial as we begin the recovery from the pandemic.
In my time on City Council, some of my accomplishments include:
Action on climate change;
Improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists;
Efficient and effective spending of taxpayer dollars; and
Enhanced community vibrancy.
As a Councilwoman, I have been a strong advocate for our community. I know how to build consensus, work collaboratively with sister governments, and deal with tough issues in a practical way to meet the needs of Highland Park residents. I am also the only candidate with a deep understanding of the critical importance of reducing our carbon footprint in an economically sustainable way. Municipalities can be a driving force for change when it comes to environmental action since cities have jurisdiction over building and zoning codes, fleet purchases, roads and other infrastructure.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)


Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform

I am an experienced leader and strong advocate for Highland Park residents. My commitment is to make Highland Park a healthy and vibrant community for all. That means:
*Making our streets safe for people of all ages and abilities, so it is easy to get around town on foot and bicycle, as well as by car;
*Reducing the City’s environmental impact and protecting our natural environment;
*Planning and budgeting appropriately to maintain our infrastructure without imposing additional burdens on taxpayers;
*Supporting local businesses;
*Providing opportunities for arts and culture to thrive; and
*Ensuring that there is safe and affordable housing for people of all ages and income levels.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

My strong advocacy, combined with decades of professional experience in nonprofit management, has led to a solid record of success as a Councilwoman. During my time on City Council, we have maintained a balanced budget and AAA bond rating, taken action to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions, developed a long term capital plan to efficiently maintain City infrastructure, filled gaps in the sidewalk network, achieved recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community, streamlined the permit process for solar installations, provided support to small businesses suffering during the pandemic, added year round food scrap pick-up to our trash service, and more.
To me, an important marker that I can handle the job is my commitment to the day to day effort that makes these accomplishments happen. I believe that my ability to work with people with views different from my own, the care I take to research issues, and the way I listen to my constituents is ultimately what makes me an accomplished councilwoman ready to take on another term.

If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?

I believe my time on Council to date has been successful, but there is more work to be done. An additional term would be a success if Highland Park:
*Becomes more environmentally sustainable;
*Is an accessible and safe place to get around on foot, by bicycle or by motorized transit;
*Becomes a more equitable and affordable community in which to live;
*Has thriving business districts in which to shop and dine;
*Offers residents opportunities to experience cultural arts;
*Is a vibrant place to live, work and play; and
*Has beautiful natural areas to visit.

Why should voters trust you?

I strive to represent all residents of Highland Park in my decisions, and to vote in the best interests of our community. During my time on City Council, I have always listened to the views of residents and thoroughly studied the issues which have come before the Council. Constituent services are a priority, and Highland Park residents often reach out to me to share issues or get assistance with problems regarding the City.
Campaign finance reform is often applied to higher office, but is just as important in local government. My campaign is funded by many small donations from individuals, and not by business interests or developers. In addition, I have signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, committing not to accept donations from those involved in the fossil fuel industry.

What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?

The budget is the most important policy document of any organization– where you put your money is where your priorities are. Each organization or government must prioritize limited resources. Working for non-profit organizations for over 20 years, I learned to allocate tight budgets to serve many critical needs. As your Councilwoman, my job is to make sure that we use hard-earned taxpayer dollars wisely.

The City’s spending should be efficient, effective, transparent, and with the best interests of all residents in mind. The City’s budget process takes many months, and includes public meetings and discussions. The budget must strike a balance to provide funding for infrastructure maintenance and City services without increasing the property tax burden on residents. On the revenue side, I have helped the City to identify other sources of income, including advocating for long term planning that enables the City to successfully compete for grant funds. I am proud that the City has maintained a balanced budget and a AAA bond rating during my time as a Councilwoman.

Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?


The best advice ever shared with me was:

Think Globally, Act Locally.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I love hearing from residents who have thoughts about the City. If there are issues or ideas that you want to share or if you have questions about our campaign, you can reach me at info@friendsofkimstone.com.

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