Waukegan is the county seat of Lake County, Illinois. It is governed by a body of dedicated civil servants entrusted to maintain the highest standards, uphold the law and enrich the lives of its citizens.
The city operates under a mayor-aldermanic form of government with a mayor and nine aldermen representing nine wards and serving as the city council. Administration of city government is headed by the mayor, who is elected on an at-large basis for a four-year term. Although the mayor and aldermen all serve for four years, their elections are held two years apart, making it possible for the city to maintain a realistic separation of duties and constituencies. Administrative functions for the city are based downtown at city hall. The city’s employees and officials ensure smooth operation within its annual budget.
The Waukegan Police Department is located adjacent to city hall. Included in the Police Department’s activities are crime prevention techniques, D.A.R.E. programs and a mobile police unit designed to enhance neighborhood security. The department also operates an up-to-date 911 emergency phone service to connect callers with the city’s central communications office that immediately dispatches assistance.
The City of Waukegan also operates five full-service fire stations located throughout the community that are staffed by professional firefighters, certified paramedics and civilian personnel. Along with their daily emergency and rescue duties, the fire department holds fire prevention classes, teaches fire safety to school children, conducts courtesy fire inspections for local businesses and offers free smoke detectors for homes.
Waukegan’s state-of-the-art Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining the entire infrastructure of the city. City crews maintain a constant vigil to ensure clean streets, sidewalks, sewers and efficient water plant operations.
The city maintains a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program that provides financial assistance to eligible property owners and organizations. Block grant funds are federal dollars used to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate income persons in the community.
Other departments that are integral to effective government include the City Clerk’s Office, the Waukegan Water Department, the Department of Planning, Zoning, Building & Code Compliance, the Engineering Department and the Collector’s Office.
Pride in its civic duty is one of Waukegan’s hallmarks, evident from the mayor’s office to the police department and the fire department. These local officials hold the public trust in the highest esteem and provide first-rate service and professional security for the community, making it an ideal place to live, work and raise a family.