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Many suburban school districts are fortunate to work with private foundations that help raise money for special projects and coordinate diverse volunteer programs. An effort under way in Barrington Area Unit District 220 calls attention to these efforts and demonstrates how creative and supportive communities can be in helping to meet the needs of their students.

The nonprofit Barrington 220 Foundation has announced it will provide a donation to support an outdoor science laboratory where students can work first-hand with scientific principles on a 67-acre conservation area across from Barrington High School. Our Robert Susnjara reported this week that the students will learn to monitor the health of streams, research soil composition and prairie habitat and study renewable resources.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District announced earlier today that the indoor riding arena will be closed to the public this Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th, from the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM for a, “Brad Andrews Horsemanship Clinic.”

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Citizens for Conservation, one of the oldest and most successful volunteer conservation groups in Illinois, recently announced that it has acquired two parcels of land that are significant additions toward achieving the group’s 25-year strategic goal of linked ecosystems in the Barrington area.

One parcel was acquired from Arthur Rice III and Lynn Rice and is across Hart Road to the west of Citizens for Conservation’s Craftsbury Preserve, which is currently being restored. Citizens for Conservation plans to consolidate the preserve with the new, 31-acre parcel, creating a single preserve The new preserve will be 53 acres and will be Citizens for Conservation’s second-largest preserve after Flint Creek Savanna.

The other parcel of nearly five acres on West Oak Knoll Road in Barrington Hills was donated to Citizens for Conservation by the Joan Y. Mullins Trust. The land is near Citizens for Conservation’s Grigsby Prairie Preserve and is adjacent to the open space of Barrington Hills Country Club.

Citizens for Conservation will be developing land management plans for the property in the future.

The acquisitions are important to Citizens for Conservation for a number of reasons, said Kevin Scheiwiller, Citizens for Conservation’s restoration manager.

“The new Craftsbury tract of land offers rolling topography and wetland depressions left over as the last glaciers receded from this area,” he said.

Read more here.

 

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Over the years, we’ve seen the worst of townships, as when the separately elected township supervisors or assessors or road commissioners or clerks or boards do battle, duplicating costs and getting less work done for the public.

Recall, for example, the assessor in Antioch Township in Lake County moving her staff out of the township building and renting new offices after fighting with the supervisor. Or Algonquin Township in McHenry County almost running out of road salt after highway commissioner Andrew Gasser ordered a supply and the township board refused to pay for it.

We’ve also seen the best of townships, as when well-run food pantries or senior transit or general assistance programs provide safety nets for suburban residents who’ve run out of options.

With that in mind, we’re not fully in the growing “throw them out” camp that seeks to abolish townships as rural throwbacks not needed in the suburbs.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

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Dear Barrington 220 Community,

On Tuesday, April 2 registered voters in the Barrington 220 community narrowly opposed a $185 million bond referendum, which would have provided significant improvements to our schools, identified in our master facility plan. According to preliminary results, the question was voted down with 4,077 (51.05%) NO votes and 3,909 (48.95%) YES votes.

Thank you to the parents, students, teachers, district administrators, Board members and community members who participated in the two year community engagement process leading up to this vote.

Congratulations to Angela Wilcox on her re-election to the Board of Education. I also want to welcome newly-elected Board members Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler. They will replace longtime Board members Brian Battle and Joe Ruffolo. The new Board will take their seats at a special meeting planned for Tuesday, April 30 at 7PM.

It will now be up to the new Board of Education to decide how to proceed, in order to address our facility needs. 

Dr. Brian Harris

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Four years ago we asked readers of The Observer to trust our judgment when voting for 3 new trustees to be on our Village Board of Trustees (see Croll, Maison and Cecola for Barrington Hills Trustees).

In what turned out to be a hard fought, oft times contentious campaign, some may have thought we were asking for a leap of faith from our readers, and we continue to appreciate the confidence bestowed upon us by our readers. Though this year’s campaign is the quietest we’ve witnessed in 10 years, the stakes are no less high than they were four years ago.

Five residents are running for three seats on our Board of Trustees. Two residents are incumbent Trustees, one is a current member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the other two ran unsuccessfully for village positions in 2017.   Here are our thoughts on these five candidates:

Louis Iacovelli: Louis seems like an affable guy in the computer software business. His campaign website is well done, though it would be more suitable to have photo of a location in the Village on the home page and not unincorporated McHenry County.

We cannot support Louis candidacy for the simple reason his wife, Gigi Iacovelli, is the treasurer of the Barrington Hills Park District. Currently a candidate for election on the park board herself, she derives at least part of her income by providing lessons at the district. While this is not a direct conflict of interest, the potential for lack of objectivity may cause concern in a trustee position.

Linda H. Cools: Linda ran as a write-in candidate for trustee 2 years ago, and after two recent Board of Election hearings, she is running for trustee on the April 2nd ballot.

The best thing one can say about Linda is she will do anything to get elected. This was evidenced by the fact that she (‘misspoke’) under oath multiple times to the Village President, President Pro-Tem and the Deputy Village clerk (see Truth or consequences). We have no place in such a small village for unrepentant (misspeakers)!

Buettner

Debra Buettner: Debra had served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for nearly 4 years when President McLaughlin asked her to consider running for Trustee. When she asked if he needed her help, he replied “Yes.” And that’s why she’s running today.

Debra founded her law firm about the same time she moved to the village nearly thirty years ago.   She is a graduate of Barrington High School, and she has her CPA as well as a law degree. Her confident attitude and her experience on the Zoning Board warrant our endorsement for Board of Trustees.

Cecola

Brian D. Cecola: Brian became a Trustee in 2015 and was given responsibility for Roads and Bridges as well as Public Safety.   No one adequately prepared him for the conditions he would be inheriting, but as most residents now recognize, he was up for the challenge and then some.

Brian also graduated from Barrington High School and he also owns his own business. He and his wife, Stephanie, and their three children are active in the community, participating in the neighborhood clean up days and riding trail maintenance.

Brian is also very active in philanthropy, is President of the Lions Club, and helped found and run the Fourth of July tent and fireworks. Despite all this, when President McLaughlin asked him to serve another term, he agreed, and he has our wholehearted endorsement.

Bryan C. Croll: Bryan was also elected to the Board of Trustees in 2015. He has been in charge of monitoring the finances of the village with the day-to-day oversight Peggy Hirsch, Village Treasurer.   He and Peggy also keep track of police pension fund performance.

Bryan and his wife Josie have three children and he manages his family business remotely in Arizona.   He donates his spare time to causes such as Barrington Area Conservation Trust and the local riding club.

We had some concerns with Bryan’s willingness to work with others early on in his first term. We now are equally concerned with his motivations in seeking a second term, and this publication cannot in good conscience unreservedly endorse him.   

Overall endorsements: The Daily Herald, Village President Martin McLaughlin and President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan have endorsed Bryan Croll, Brian Cecola and Debra Buettner for Trustees of Barrington Hills.

Cecola and Buettner have the unconditional support of The Barrington Hills Observer. Both have demonstrated a passion for our Village and willingness to serve our community. Both display the honesty, dedication and sound judgement that will represent the residents of Barrington Hills admirably for the next four years.

Early voting ends today, April 1.  Election Day polls open tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM.

Please Vote!

 

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Barrington Hills Neighbors and Library Supporters –

I have been a Library Trustee for the Barrington Public Library District was nearly 20 years. During that timeframe, I have been proud of the quality library services that we have delivered to the Barrington community in our 72-square mile library district.

Last April, I had to make a difficult decision regarding a request from the Village of Barrington to purchase a substantial portion of our library property to re-direct Lake Zurich Road through the library parking lot to our traffic light. While I have the utmost respect for our Village and understand the dilemma the train traffic on Northwest Highway has created, I could not in good conscience make a decision at that time to irreversibly sell the property and sacrifice the future financial integrity of the library.

A full explanation of my decision can be reviewed in the attached PowerPoint presentation (seen here) I made at the Board meeting in April, where three of my fellow Library Trustees agreed to cease negotiations to sell the land. Now, two challengers are running for three of the open Library Trustee seats, seeking to unseat the three incumbents – including me – with an effort to swing the vote to sell the library property.

I am asking you to vote on April 2nd for Carrie Carr, Barbara Pintozzi and me – the three incumbents, all of whom voted to not sell the library property – to Protect Our Library. The attached flyer gives more background on our candidacy. Note that Daily Herald – after a group interview of all five candidates – endorsed all three incumbents for re-election. You can read the Daily Herald’s endorsement here.

You can read more about our campaign at our website seen here.

Thank you for your consideration of our re-election, and please feel free to contact me with any thoughts you have on the library or the decision on last year’s property issue.

Carolyn Welch Clifford

cclifford@ottosenbritz.com

 

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