Senior Reporter Kevin Craver was taken by surprise when he noticed earlier this month that McHenry County Board member Sandra Salgado was calling it quits after 13 years.
Salgado started her time on the County Board in December 2000, several months after Craver started at the Northwest Herald. In early 2001 she started working for Pioneer Center for Human Services, the county’s largest social service provider, and became its human resources director in 2005. She held that job until September, when she jumped on a “great growth opportunity” as business manager for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Craver took some time to talk with Salgado, of McHenry, about her decision not to run and the changes in her life. And Craver learned that Salgado has the same weakness as his wife does – an insane love of cheese.
Craver: Why did you decide not to run?
Salgado: During the past year there have been a lot of changes in my personal life – getting a new job, and my children are becoming older and getting busier. I spend a lot of time outside of my meetings and committees working with the public. It just made sense. It was a very difficult decision for me, and it’s not the end of me in politics.
When I ran I was 24 and single. My life has changed so much since then. I love politics, but I need to focus on my girls, and give them that time as well.
Craver: What activities are your daughters getting into?
Salgado: My girls are very involved in our church, St. Patrick Church in McHenry. One daughter became an altar girl, and they both attend religious classes. They’re into softball and after-school art classes.
Craver: What about you?
Salgado: I like spending time with my family. I like riding my bike – I get out on the trails. We’re very fortunate in McHenry County to have all of these bike trails.
I also read a lot. I like government spy books – stuff about the CIA, Secret Service.
Craver: How did you feel about Tom Clancy’s death?
Salgado: I think I read all of [his books]. His death didn’t shock me as much as Vince Flynn’s. That was a shocker when he passed away.
[Clancy died in October at age 66. Flynn, who wrote political thrillers, died of cancer in June at age 47.]
Craver: Tell me about the new job.
Salgado: I’m the business manager for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. It has more than 500 employees and a $67 million budget. We work with the chiefs, undersheriffs and the sheriff, and work on how to best serve the public with limited budgets.
Craver: You said your political career is not over. Elaborate.
Salgado: I can’t even imagine my life without being involved, and I think there are many opportunities that lie ahead over the next two years. A senator position, a state [representative] position, even within the Republican Party here in McHenry County. I think there are leadership positions available.
I’m going to be looking on the horizon as to how best serve the public.
Craver: Any goals you want to reach before your County Board term expires?
Salgado: People living on non-dedicated roads. I want to get a plan in writing that gives them an option to them to achieve what they need. And I really want us to consider Valley Hi [Nursing Home] – whether the county should be in the nursing home business. I truly feel at this point we have it in a position that it’s sustainable, and we should be looking for buyers.
Craver: You said your favorite food is cheese. Same as my wife. What’s your favorite?
Salgado: Sharp cheddar. We go up to Wisconsin every year, and I swear we stop at 20 different cheese places.
The Salgado lowdown
Who is she? Sandra Salgado, McHenry County Board member
Family? Husband, Chris Ranzino; daughters, Raegan, 9, and Riley, 7
Favorite book? “Term Limits” by Vince Flynn
Favorite food? Cheese