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Archive for the ‘2019 Trustee Elections’ Category

Two candidates for trustee advocate “live steaming” (broadcasting) for Board of Trustee meetings as well as some committee and commission meetings. May be a good idea, but at what cost?

Barrington CUSD 220 has been streaming their board meetings for many years.   We’ve attended a few of those meetings, and there are usually at least two or more people working the camera(s), computer(s) and microphones.

Much time is spent setting up the equipment long before the start of each meeting, and then breaking down the setup afterwards.

Clearly, Village Hall meetings needn’t be this elaborate. Costs to live stream meetings have decreased given advances in technology, such as YouTube, but are they really cost effective? The answer is NO for our Village, and here’s why…

We’ve watched numerous District 220 meetings from the comfort of our homes using their YouTube channel. A counter on the screen indicates number of viewers at any given time, and that’s when the reality of true resident apathy hits home!

Approximately 9,000 students attend District 220 schools. Tens of thousands of potential viewers reside in communities from Tower Lakes to Hoffman Estates to Carpentersville to Deer Park and beyond, but for all that the District pays to live stream their meetings, can you guess how many viewers are actually tuned in? Nearly none!

We observed on average only 5-8 people watching a typical District 220 meeting. Chances were that   1/3 were students, 1/3 were reporters or salespeople and the rest too lazy to drive to the meeting. 5-8 people! (Imagine viewership in a community of only 4,200 residents – maybe 1 or 2 viewers for a meeting?)

Recordings are available on demand, so it is likely District 220 residents watch the meetings at their convenience, and as common sense might suggest, viewer totals per meeting may become more acceptable, but still not cost effective.

Barrington Hills has invested time and money in audio recording equipment to accommodate residents who cannot attend meetings. Recordings are usually available for review a few days after each meeting.

So, for those advocating live streaming meetings on the Village’s dime, we suggest a more cost effective alternative for those wanting the service.

Invest their own money for the ability to live stream meetings, and sell it to residents who wish to subscribe to your service. Chances are they won’t because they’d lose money from the start, which begs the question, why are they asking our Village to subsidize their personal (and likely selfish) needs?

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Bryan Croll, Debra A. Buettner and Brian D. Cecola

In keeping with what is becoming something of a tradition in otherwise bucolic Barrington Hills, voters are being treated to a feisty race for the village board in the April 2 election.

Three trustee seats are up for election, and cameras seem to be a campaign focus one way or another.

We did not endorse Cecola and Croll when they first ran in 2015, but they have delivered on their campaign promises. Spending has been cut as has the village property tax levy, and the village website has been improved.

We endorse them for re-election. Buettner is a potentially good teammate with sound judgment and experience. She wins our endorsement, too

Read the full Daily Herald endorsement here.

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The Daily Herald publishes profiles of most people running for office. The following reflects the answers each of the five candidates supplied to questions be the Herald’s questions (click on the candidate’s name to read their responses):

Please take some time to review each candidate’s answers. Once again, the candidates names are listed above in the order they will appear on the ballot. 

The Observer will be providing more election coverage in the coming weeks for all area election, as well as our candidate endorsements.

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Early voting begins Monday, March 18th, and continues through Monday, April 1st. Click on the name of the county below for polling locations and times:

Please be aware that some of the early voting locations have charged, so it’s wise to check first.

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Come and prepare yourself for the upcoming April 2, 2019 election by attending a candidate forum for Barrington Hills and Barrington Village Trustees. Information about the School District 220 referendum will also be provided.

Presented by the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area.

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Five candidates will be vying for three seats on our Village Board of Trustees in the April 2nd Barrington Hills election in a few short weeks.

The first campaign mailer arrived in residents’ mailboxes this week. The websites are up, and soon, signs will appear in neighbor’s yards asking would-be residents to vote for his or her candidate(s).

When it comes to websites, we thought we’d share three that have emerged for this year’s campaign. They are listed in the order candidates names as the appear on the ballot:

One Barrington Hills: Incumbent Trustees Bryan Croll and Brian Cecola will be running with Zoning Board member Debra Buettner. To learn more about their cause, their website can be viewed here.

Linda Cools 4 Trustee: Linda Cools ran for office two years ago as a write-in candidate. She is running independently, and her website can be viewed here.

Vote Louis: Louis Iacovelli campaigned for Village President two years ago. This time he’s running independently for Village Trustee, and his website can be viewed here.

Early voting begins on Monday, March 18th and runs through Election Day, April 2nd.

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On December 28, a social media post invited residents to attend a hearing of the Barrington Hills Electoral Board scheduled for December 31 at 1:00 PM at Village Hall. The invitation emanated from a Facebook page and read:

I was served challenge papers to my petition for Trustee. The hearing is Monday at 1p.m at Vhall. Support me and condone this miscarriage of justice by this Administration! Shame! “ 

Linda H. Cools

The Facebook post was deleted within hours after publishing. However, the Village calendar confirmed the date and time of the hearing of the Electoral Board, which, as we later learned, was to review a complaint challenging the petition of trustee candidate, Linda H. Cools, due to alleged violations of election rules.

The complaint alleged Cools had turned in her petition with an excess of signatures over what is allowed on the nomination ballots and that her signed statement of economic interest was filed in the wrong county. It seems filing campaign paperwork that does not comply with Illinois statute was also the reason Cools was not on the ballot and could only run as a write-in candidate for trustee in 2017.

After the hearing began, Cools indicated she would like the opportunity to speak and to state her case. Village Counsel advised her that she first needed to be sworn in and Cools was sworn in by the Electoral Board’s official court reporter, taking an oath, declaring that her testimony would be truthful. Cools asked some preliminary questions of the Village Attorney and was reminded prior to giving her statement by the attorney that “all the statements that you make will be under oath and is considered testimony.” To which she responded: “Okay. Can I proceed? Do I have a time limit in how much time I can speak?”

The attorney responded she had no time limit but needed to keep her testimony relevant to the issues raised by the complaint. Cools then proceeded to give her testimony:

Electoral Board, my name is Linda H. Cools. I’m a resident candidate for Village trustee in the Village of Barrington Hills. Although I have not been properly served by the Sheriff of McHenry County as required based upon the requirements outlined by the State of Illinois Board of Election, proper service was not executed; therefore, the hearing should be dismissed solely upon that one singular fact. 

However, I intend to strenuously refute the objector’s petition regardless of this Board’s decision whether by appeal and presentation as part of the official public record.  

This is not an impartial, independent board but rather one with a vested interest in this outcome.   Nevertheless, I appear in good faith before you to present my oral argument against the objector’s petition.   I’m going to skip to the next page if you give me a second to do that. 

To summarize, there are four points I wish to put into the Village record. The first is the filing dates of the objector were not met per Illinois Election Guide. Point No. 2, service upon Candidate Linda H. Cools was improper and nonexistent at best.   Point No. 3, regarding the allegation of excessive signatures, candidate feels the objector is grasping at straws.   The objector does not adhere to the rule to quit counting once the minimum has been attained. And point No. 4, the ambiguity of where to file the statement of economic interest falls on the shoulders of the Village president/Electoral Board for clarity; and that is my final statement.”

Once Cools completed her testimony, the three members of the Electoral Board consisting of Village President Martin McLaughlin, President Pro-tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan and Village Clerk Nikki Panos, were allowed to ask question of Cools:

Konicek Hannigan: Ms. Cools, are you denying that you received service of the objection?

Cools: I was not aware of any service or any receipt of any service.

Konicek Hannigan: So you’ve never received a copy of the objection?

Cools: I have not.

Konicek Hannigan:   Then why are you here today?

Cools:  I received an email. I have an email notifying me from the grapevine that I was to appear here, but I did not receive anything in writing or any other information to come here to the Village. I have not received proper service.

Konicek Hannigan:  Okay. You’ve actually written in public blogs about having been served with an objection.

Cools:  What public blogs? I don’t run a public blog.

Konicek Hannigan:    On Facebook?

Cools:  I don’t run any public blog.

Konicek Hannigan:   On social media?

Cools:  I run no public blogs.

Konicek Hannigan:   On social media?

Cools: I don’t run any social blog, social media, print media, nothing.

Konicek Hannigan:       Okay. So the Facebook page Linda Cools for Barrington Hills Trustee is not your page?

Cools: I have no information to share on that.

Konicek Hannigan:    Okay. Are you denying that that’s your Facebook page?

Cools:  I have no information to share on that. 

The truth is there are a number of social media websites that contain Linda Cools’ name and photos portraying her image as pictured below in a recent Facebook posting that we captured a screenshot of:

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

(Since Cools testified under oath that she does not run any “social blog, social media, print media, nothing,” we strongly suggest she contact the proper authorities immediately and that she have these records copied for evidence before requesting they be removed by Facebook and Twitter.)

As for the two filing errors, the Electoral Board continued the hearing to January 8, 2019, and allowed the objector and respondent to file additional statements. At that hearing, the Electoral Board voted unanimously to allow Cools to amend her statement of economic interest, and held, on advice from the Village Attorney, that the excess number of petition signatures would not act as a bar to Cools’ being on the ballot, despite the fact that it was a clear violation of Illinois statutes and election rules. The Village Attorney referenced a federal court case that discussed striking a candidate for having excessive signatures as being unconstitutional. He also stated that there was a clear discrepancy in federal and state law and that Illinois case law favored striking her name from the ballot, but the U.S. Constitution was the law of the land. Still, this does not change the fact that statements were made by Cools, under oath, in a public forum while giving her testimony on December 31, 2018.

As a side note, someone once said the Illinois Board of Elections would likely approve a candidate’s paperwork if it was written in crayon. If this is true, given Ms. Cools’ problems completing paperwork accurately in two consecutive Village campaigns, she might be well advised to invest in a box of Crayola Crayons (preferably no more than 10 colors, PLEASE) the next time she must file for nomination in 2020.

It should be noted that some time after the December 30th hearing Cools retained an attorney who appeared on her behalf at the continued hearing of the Electoral Board on January 8, 2019.  At that time, prior to proceeding with argument, Cools’ attorney withdrew certain statements Cools made at the prior hearing to the effect that the Electoral Board was “not an impartial, independent board but rather one with a vested interest in this outcome.” Cools’ attorney agreed that there was no evidence to substantiate the comments, and Cools herself agreed on January 8th that she had nothing to support those statements and they would be withdrawn.

 

Related: “Barrington Hills candidate fights to stay on ballot

Barrington Hills trustee candidate survives effort to knock her off the ballot

 

 

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