Archive for the ‘McHenry’ Category

220 Board 2019

Members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education Barry Altshuler, from left, Mike Shackleton, Sandra Ficke-Bradford, President Penny Kazmier, Superintendent Brian Harris, Angela Wilcox, Gavin Newman and Leah Collister-Lazzari are pictured July 30, 2019. Shackleton, Ficke-Bradford, Kazmier and Newman were up for reelection in 2021. Kazmier and Newman did not run. Ficke-Braford unofficially retained her seat in the April 6, 2021 election while Shackleton did not. (Steve Sadin / Pioneer Press)

One incumbent and three others who would be new to the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education are emerging as top vote-getters in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results from the Cook, Lake and Kane county clerks’ offices.

The district, with its headquarters in Barrington, serves surrounding towns that are in part or all of each county. Also, a small portion of the district is in McHenry County but unofficial results do not include any totals from McHenry because of what the clerk’s office there called “some anomalies in [Tuesday’s] unofficial election results.”

The top four vote-getters include incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford, the current board vice president, with about 12% of the combined Lake and Cook county vote, and newcomers Erin Chan Ding, with about 13%, and Katie Karam and Steve Wang, both with about 12% of the vote, according to unofficial results from each county clerk’s office.

The race had been rancorous, with charges by the League of Women Voters and others of strong partisan involvement in what some expected to be a non-partisan race, and complaints by some parents and candidates over what they saw as unseemly endorsements from the Barrington Education Association teachers union. The union endorsed Ficke-Bradford, Chan Ding, Klauer, and Thomas Mitoraj.

Ficke-Bradford said she wasn’t sure if the BEA endorsement hurt or helped. Chan Ding said she thought the endorsement had little effect overall, but she found it personally affirming that the teachers group saw her as someone with whom they could work.

Read more of the Barrington Courier-Review report on the 220 election here.

Editorial note:  So far, the Daily Herald, Barrington Courier-Review/Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times or the Northwest Herald have not commented on what Alex Strobl shared with this and other publications last weekend.

Additionally, forty-five minutes of Tuesday evening’s Board of Education meeting were devoted to the topic (See “District 220 Board discusses Strobl documents”), so we’re really looking forward to their reports (though we’re not holding our breath).

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The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses Brian Cecola for Village of Barrington Hills President, as well as David Riff, Tom Strauss and Laura Ekstrom for Village Trustees in the April 6th Consolidated Election.

Early voting starts this morning for the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Elections.  For information on where to cast your ballot between now and Election Day, click on your county below:

We’ll be publishing our official endorsements soon. In the meantime, feel free to use and share the sample ballot below noting our recommendations:

Sample Better

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County clerk says this year’s primary illustrates the importance of voting in local primaries

Just a few thousand McHenry County Republican primary voters decided the fate of five competitive races across three local townships Tuesday, choosing Republican candidates for various races in Algonquin, Nunda and Grafton townships, which, in some cases, meant deciding the overall winner.

A preliminary total of 3,426 ballots were cast in Tuesday’s primary, with 805 people voting early and 82 people by mail, according to McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio and numbers posted to the county’s election results page.

As the ballots were counted Tuesday night, it became clear that Randolph “Randy” Funk will become the next Algonquin Township supervisor. Funk garnered 57% of the vote over current Algonquin Township Trustee Elaine Ramesh, who received 30% of the vote, and former federal law enforcement officer Kirk Cole, who got 13% of the vote.

Given that no candidates from opposing parties decided to run for the Algonquin Township supervisor role, Funk’s name will appear on the April 6 ballot alone as the de facto winner of the race.

In the Algonquin Township highway commissioner race, Daniel Sandberg won 57% of the vote over Robert “Bob” Bragg (43%) and will now face off against independent candidate Derek Lee in the April election.

Read more here.

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Voters to weigh in on only two contested races among the township’s key roles, supervisor and highway commissioner

Candidates for Supervisor at Algonquin Township include (from left:) Kirk Cole, Randy Funk, and Elaine Ramesh.

In the Republican primary set for Feb. 23, voters will decide who will serve as Algonquin Township’s next supervisor, one of only two races for the township – the second being highway commissioner – that are actually contested out of the five races on the ballot this spring.

Primary voters will be asked to chose between three Republican candidates for supervisor: Elaine Ramesh, Randolph “Randy” Funk and Kirk Cole. The winner will appear on the April ballot where they are set to run uncontested.

“These days, a lot of people are discouraged with the national political situation and everything else,” Ramesh said. “I think good people have to stand up and try and say, ‘OK, I’ll run for office, I think I could do a good job so let it be me.’”

Ramesh is a current Algonquin Township trustee and secretary of the McHenry County Republican Women’s Club. She also previously served on the Barrington Hills Village Board. She said she is running for supervisor as a continuation of this service and to bring more female representation to township leadership.

Read more here.

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The Heritage Quilters are raffling a “Fit to be Tied” quilt with a bow-tie pattern made from 1930s pastel prints. (Courtesy of McHenry County Historical Society)

Time is running out for an opportunity to win this year’s McHenry County Historical Society hand-stitched quilt.  “Fit to be Tied” features a bow-tie pattern made from 1930s pastel prints.

Some of the fabric prints have recognizable figures in them. They are called object or conversation prints. These were used as early as the mid-1880s. Often the early prints were of a patriotic or nautical subject, or a nature theme.

The Heritage Quilters’ bow tie quilt has a lightness and whimsy to it, with a center block of applique. The pattern dates to the 1880s and was first published by the Ladies Arts Company in 1895.

Like so many quilt patterns, it had other names: Colonial Bow Tie, Peekhole, True Lovers’ Knot, Dumbbell. Tickets, $1 each or six for $5, are available online at mchenrycountyhistory.org/fit-be-tied.

Because of ongoing health concerns this year, the drawing will be held virtually at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at the museum, 6422 Main St. in Union. Visit GotHistory.org for a link to follow along, or follow www.facebook.com/McHenryCountyHistoricalSociety.

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Algonquin Township voters won’t get to decide this April whether to abolish the township and its associated road district if the unanimous vote cast by the township electoral board Friday holds.

The vote sustained an objection made by Randy Funk, a candidate for township supervisor running in the April election, that questioned more than a hundred signatures he said didn’t match voter registration rolls and nearly 90 where the signer didn’t appear to live in the township or wasn’t registered to vote at the address listed.

Funk needed just 89 signatures deemed invalid in order to have the petition sunk but the three-member electoral board sustained his objection in its entirety, he said. The objection also raised issues with four pages where Funk said the petitioner signed off on the paperwork despite it being “clear as day” the signatures gathered were not from township residents.

The vote by the electoral board – made up of township Supervisor Charles Lutzow, Clerk Karen Lukasik and Trustee Daniel Shea – was no surprise to Bob Anderson, a McHenry Township trustee who has long fought for the elimination of townships and helped gather signatures for the rejected petition.

Read more here.

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Petition for referendum certified this week, McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio says

Algonquin Township voters will decide whether to abolish the local government unit in the April election after a petition for a referendum on the matter was certified by McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio and the township clerk’s office this week.

An effort to gather township voter signatures to get the referendum on the ballot was initiated by McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally and former McHenry County Board Chairman and state legislator Jack Franks.

The petition was successful in gaining approval to head to voters in the spring, Tirio said Thursday, and will appear on the ballot barring any formal objections or legal actions taken by voters to prevent that from happening.

The petition required signatures from 445 township voters to be certified for the upcoming election, and those gathering the signatures were led in part by McHenry Township Trustee Bob Anderson, a longtime critic of the township form of government who is seeking to consolidate the township he helps lead.

Anderson said almost 100 signatures more than necessary were turned into the township clerk and county clerk offices.

The ballot measure will offer the latest test case for how McHenry County residents feel about the framework for township abolition set up by a state bill sponsored by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, that was signed into law last year. McSweeney decided against running for another term this past November.

Read more here.

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We searched on Barrington Hills for the results of the presidential election, and the results are depicted above.

Joe Biden won Illinois by nearly 17 percentage points, Sen. Dick Durbin sailed to reelection over Republican challenger Mark Curran and the graduated-rate income tax amendment fell by a wide margin.

The statewide results were mirrored in final tallies from Chicago and the collar counties. Biden defeated President Donald Trump in those areas by a 57.4% to 40.7% margin; Durbin had 54.5% of the vote to Curran’s 38.8%; and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed income tax amendment fell 53.4% to 46.6%.

But break down the vote behind those apparent landslides into the smallest electoral pieces — precincts — and a more nuanced picture emerges. Solidly Democratic precincts in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood saw the tax amendment fall by a wide margin. Same story in parts of Libertyville. Pockets of Niles went for Trump but saw Durbin finish ahead in the race for U.S. Senate. Parts of Lake Forest went for Biden but not for Durbin.

Search (HERE) for your address, ZIP code or town to see how your neighborhood compares. The buttons above the map allow you to switch from the race for president, U.S. Senate and the tax vote.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker addresses the proletariat during a video news conference from his well stocked bunker in Chicago

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is responding to a report that another Illinois county will not enforce the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office says that it will not enforce an executive order by Pritzker shutting down indoor dining amid rising coronavirus numbers, citing questions about the legitimacy of the governor’s actions.

In a news release, the office said it “cannot in good conscience” enforce the rules on indoor dining, which Pritzker implemented as part of a statewide set of mitigations he said is aimed at curbing the rising numbers of coronavirus infections.

“Surprising that a state’s attorney doesn’t want to follow the law,” Pritzker said. “These are the laws of the state of Illinois and other jurisdictions are following the law and prosecuting.”

Illinois courts have largely sided with the governor in lawsuits filed over various restrictions, with courts in McHenry, Cook and DuPage counties denying requests for temporary restraining orders when establishments files suit over the governor’s plan to prohibit indoor dining in October.

Pritzker has warned of the potential consequences for businesses that choose to stay open in defiance of state mandates, saying that licenses could be pulled in those cases.

Read more here.

Related:McHenry County state’s attorney’s office won’t enforce governor’s indoor dining ban

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The McHenry County state’s attorney’s office will not enforce the governor’s ban on indoor dining, State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally announced Wednesday.

The office will, however, enforce related orders requiring employees and customers to wear masks, maintain social distancing and adhere to capacity limitations.

Kenneally’s decision not to enforce the indoor dining ban rested on two main considerations.

First, no provision in the executive orders or the Illinois Emergency Management Act requires or authorizes the state’s attorney’s office to enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders, Kenneally said.

“Second, there is the legitimate question, currently being litigated, as to whether the executive orders, which require the Governor to exercise ’emergency powers,’ are authorized under Illinois law or otherwise constitutional,” Kenneally said in the release.

As restaurants throughout the county continue to defy the governor’s indoor dining ban in an effort to stay afloat, enforcement of masks and social distancing remains paramount, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said.

“We have to deal in the real world and be practical,” Franks said in an interview Tuesday, ahead of Kenneally’s announcement. “So we understand that there’s not going to be enforcement of the indoor dining, OK … but knowing that, we need to try to reduce the harm and how do you do that? By enforcing the other things — the social distancing and the masking. That’s how you handle this.”

Read more here.

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