Candidate Full Name: Keith Brin
Office: Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.
I have served as Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court since being elected in 2012. I have modernized the office, reduced spending, increased accountability to taxpayers, and ensured unmatched customer service.
Immediately after assuming office, I led a modernization effort of the Clerk's office without a dime of taxpayer funds, using technology to create around-the-clock access to the courts.
A true fiscal conservative, I have committed myself to being efficient with public funds. Since taking office I have reduced the office operating budget by over 20 percent while simultaneously expanding and improving the services my office provides.
I am proud to play a small part in supporting important civic and philanthropic organizations including the USO, Service Dog Connection, Make-A-Wish Illinois, Northern Illinois Food Bank, NICASA, and Honor Flight-Chicago. I was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court's E-Business Policy Advisory Board and to the North American Regional Board of the International Association for Court Administration.
2. Upon election, what immediate steps would you take to improve the efficiency of the Clerk's operations?
Since taking office, I have made it my mission to continue the Lake County tradition of fiscal responsibility. I understand that it is your money, and we must spend it responsibly and transparently. To that end, in just my first term in office we have reduced our office's operating budget by over 20% while simultaneously expanding and improving the services we provide! In fact, not a single dime of your tax dollars is used for our operations, as we operate solely on user fees from the services we provide.
When I ran for office, my main campaign promise to voters was that I would modernize the office. I am proud to say that we have made great progress in this important effort. In fact, our office earned national attention when we used technology to create around-the-clock access to the courts without using a dime of taxpayer funds. This includes a state-of-the-art, real-time Electronic Filing System which allows court documents to be filed and viewed remotely at any time of the day from any location, free public access to court and case information, and more. In addition, I led an electronic transfer payment initiative in the county, expediting payments to every Lake County municipality and taxpayer and preventing the waste of 4,500 pieces of paper per month. We also overhauled our website, winning the Interactive Media Awards "Outstanding Achievement Award" in the government category.
If honored to be re-elected to another term, I pledge to continue being a true fiscal conservative by seeking out ways to be even more efficient. I will continue to effectively utilize current technology to improve communications, further improve efficiency and security, and vastly improve services. I will remain accountable to the citizens of Lake County for every dollar and every decision.
3. Some experts say that the Clerk's operations would be better served by a non-elected technocrat than a politician. Would you favor converting the office to a non-elected position before the next election cycle?
I believe that public officials must be accountable to the people that they serve, and an elected Circuit Clerk ensures that accountability. I am in favor of continuing to elect our Clerks, and I have faith in the voters: you will continue to elect public servants rather than politicians.
I and my team fully understand that we work for you. It is our responsibility to serve you to the best of our abilities. Furthermore, we have the added responsibility of representing and championing the county in which we live, work, play, and raise our families. We take these responsibilities seriously.
As the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors, I am grateful for the opportunities my family has found in our community. I recognize that it's not enough to simply work in the office in which I was elected; I must also support the greater community in my efforts. I and my office are unyielding supporters of many charities and programs, in and outside the courthouse. Moving forward, we will continue to make Lake County proud, both in how our office operates as well as in our personal time as we seek to be worthy of your trust and support.
4. Voters say they are turned off by the negative and misleading TV ads that dominate the air waves. However, campaign and election experts say candidates rely on them because "they work." Will you and your campaign agree to refrain from running negative ads from now until the election?
Yes, we will run a campaign based solely on the facts. I delivered on the promises I made to voters in 2012, and I am confident that they will agree that I have earned a 2nd term to continue working on their behalf.