Holly Kim and Steve Lentz Discuss Top Village Issues


Michael del Rosario, Production Editor-in-Chief

While most voters may have their minds set on Election Day this November, local voters will have yet another important civic duty this upcoming Spring: electing the Mayor of Mundelein. It may be easy to lose track of the race happening right in Mundelein residents’ backyards when so much media attention gets placed on elections at the national and state levels this season. Despite this fact, it remains important to understand where mayoral candidates stand on issues that will directly impact the village. In this interview series, we met with challenger Holly Kim in Mundelein’s AREA General Store and incumbent Steve Lentz in a MHS conference room to hear their stances on five key topics*:

1. Community Pride

Mundelein prides itself as one of the most diverse communities in Lake County; however, this diversity can also pose a challenge in achieving unity throughout the village. With such a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds present in Mundelein, both candidates describe how they have used their time as public officials to spread community pride and how they plan to grow this pride in the future. Kim cites her fluency in Spanish as a large advantage in communicating with Mundelein’s growing Hispanic population while Lentz focuses on establishing more memorable places in town to entice future residents.

2. Law Enforcement

While Mundelein ranks as one of the safest cities in Illinois, the accountability of law enforcement remains a key factor in determining whether or not residents can actually feel safe. Lentz took this opportunity to detail his work with Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther, including a county-wide plan that equips every squad car with NARCAN, a drug used to treat heroin overdose. Kim’s response centered around public forums she has held to educate residents about their rights and how to properly interact with law enforcement.

3. Local Business

Mundelein has seen a significant influx of new businesses setting up shop in the downtown area in recent years. However, both candidates also want to focus on improving the local businesses that have been part of the community for awhile. For Kim, part of this improvement means facilitating growth through business incubators that are focused on the future. Lentz would like to expand upon the Business Incentive Grant program, which has helped fund interior and exterior improvements for places like the Hawley Lake Plaza.

4. Medical Cannabis

Since the opening of Lake County’s first medical marijuana clinic in Mundelein last year, the debate over the use of cannabis to treat certain ailments has become more relevant to local government. While both candidates speak in favor of its use for medical purposes, Lentz would like to see heavy regulations before Illinois decides to expand the types of conditions that cannabis is used for. In contrast, Kim would like to see the stigma surrounding medical cannabis decrease, voicing her support for the Illinois Women in Cannabis group.

5. Chickens & Beekeeping

The potential keeping of backyard chickens and bees in Mundelein has become one of the most divisive topics the Village Board has debated in recent years. While both candidates have voted against one another on this topic, they each justify their own stances with an understanding of property rights.

*For timing purposes, some parts of responses have been edited. Any retracted parts are detailed in the paragraphs preceding each video.