Meeting Governor Rauner

L to R: Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, me (looking very petite despite wearing 3 1/2 inch heels!) and my husband Aaron.

Last week Governor Rauner attended our Lake County Municipal League annual dinner at Kemper Lakes in Kildeer, and I finally had my opportunity to meet him in person. First impression–wow he is tall! He is also extremely gracious after what must have been a long and difficult day dealing with State budget issues and unrest over police brutality in Chicago. Governor Rauner thanked me for my service to Long Grove, but I cannot imagine the amount of pressure he must be under serving our State at this particular time. I asked him if he would enjoy sleeping in his own bed tonight (his home is nearby in Lake County) and that elicited a big smile.

Elected officials are under intense scrutiny in our world today, on the national, state, and even local levels. And for good reason, because we want those that represent us to be held to a high standard, and the work that they do for us to be transparent. But all that said, public figures are not to be put on a pedestal. Each and every one of us is flawed in some way, and it is my belief that a large part of the purpose of our human experience is learning to overcome those flaws. And equally importantly, excepting those flaws in others, and helping them to work through life’s lessons with patience and compassion.  Am I making excuses for illegal and immoral behavior or abuse of public trust? No way. But I can say that the vast majority of Trustees, Mayors, county and state officials that I have had the privilege to work with are genuinely trying their hardest to make the lives of their constituents better. It’s just that we can’t always agree on how that is best accomplished!

While I don’t agree with all of Governor Rauner’s policies, I am truly grateful for the gift of his personal time and talents to help the citizens of Illinois. I have faith and trust that he is working diligently to find ways to solve the numerous problems in our state that he has inherited. He rightfully deserves our respect, even if we don’t share the same position on every decision made. Despite disagreements on local issues, I feel the same sense of respect for my Lake County and Long Grove colleagues. With very few exceptions, we are all doing the best that we know how to do.

And even though I know Bruce Rauner is really just another Lake County resident (admittedly, a statuesque one!) who holds public office, it was still pretty cool to shake hands with the Governor!