LAKE FOREST/LAKE BLUFF — Incumbent Cynthia Maloney and challenger Teresa “Terry” Darraugh are competing for the job of Shields Township Supervisor in a nontraditional campaign.
Darraugh is the Start Party contender running with a slate of uncontested candidates for township trustee, assessor, highway commissioner and clerk. Maloney is waging a write-in campaign to keep her job.
Maloney and Darraugh exchanged their ideas about township government and how they might change it during a debate before a crowd of more than 50 people March 19 at the Lake Bluff Recreation Center.
Voters will decide the winner in the April 4 election. Early voting started March 20 at Lake Forest Village Hall.
Maloney said in a DailyNorthShore.com interview before the forum she did not plan to seek another term, but that she changed her mind and decided to run as a write-in candidate when she concluded Darraugh was not going to continue some of the programs Maloney deems necessary for the township’s less resourced residents.
“It’s really important with the budget cuts in Washington and in Springfield that we maintain township services,” said Maloney in the interview. “The people in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff don’t all understand the needs of the people in North Chicago.”
Shields Township is bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, the southern border of Onwentsia Country Club in Lake Forest on the south, an area roughly paralleling Waukegan Road on the west and 18th Street in North Chicago on the north.
Darraugh said in a DNS interview after the debate she recognizes the importance of North Chicago in the township. She said she would keep some of the senior services for residents there as well as a food program at North Chicago High School and take a close look at all efforts if elected.
Both Maloney and Darraugh gave brief opening statements discussing their qualifications before three questions were provided by people in the crowd. They were written on index cards and read by the moderator.
During the introductions, Maloney talked about the work she did to help the more vulnerable people in the township during her four years in office. Darraugh stressed the networking abilities she developed doing volunteer work in the community as well her six years as a therapist.
Both Darraugh and Maloney pivoted away from giving precise answers to the three questions. Instead each talked about issues they considered key. When a questioner asked if township services were better handed by Lake County, they said the township had a specific function but differed after that.
Maloney talked about the Dial A Ride service she initiated.
“I started it to help people who did not have a way to get around or get out of the house,” said Maloney.
Darraugh said Dial-A-Ride needed improvement. She wants to see it coordinated with other townships so people who have to get from home in Shields to a job in Vernon Township do not have to use two ride services along with a bus.
Maloney said coordinating rides with other governmental entities is easier said than done. She also said much of the program is currently funded by grants rather than by the taxpayers.
Making the Shields Township Food Pantry easier to reach for patrons in North Chicago is a priority for Darrough.
“I would look for a location more accessible for the people who use it,” said Darraugh. “Knollwood is out of reach from North Chicago by public transportation.”
Maloney said she looked for locations in North Chicago for the food pantry but could not find any that were rent free as they are in Knollwood. She said more than 300 people are served by the pantry.
The forum was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.