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Palatine

Another IDOT road project kicks off Monday at the border of our Village near Crabtree Nature Center.

A 4.8-mile stretch of Palatine Road from Algonquin Road in South Barrington to Roselle Road in Inverness and Palatine will be under construction from now through October according to IDOT.

Officials say the projects will require daily, intermittent lane closures. Access to residences and businesses within the work zones will be maintained throughout construction.

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Editorial note: Monday’s monthly Village Board of Trustees meeting will be the last regular one for President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan and President Martin McLaughlin.  Here’s what the Daily Herald wrote when the two first won office eight years ago:

DH CM

Barrington Hills Village President-elect Martin McLaughlin looks over results Tuesday at his election night party with Trustee-elect Colleen Konicek Hannigan. Both won election and will be sworn into office next month. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

McLaughlin looks ahead to Barrington Hills presidency

Posted 4/10/2013 5:15 PM

A day after his upset victory over two-term Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud, president-elect Martin McLaughlin said his intentions remain the same as during his campaign — to return the village to the normal business of providing services cost-effectively.

McLaughlin said he’d considered divisive debates over outdoor lighting regulations and commercial horse boarding to be manufactured and unnecessary, and believes voters ultimately agreed.

“There were a lot of exhausted, weary residents who were just looking for someone to represent them,” McLaughlin said. “We need someone to actively heal the divisions. I don’t think we need to do anything great here. We just need a deep breath.”

McLaughlin said he never considered the race to be personal and hopes he can turn to Abboud as a resource in the future.

Given the perceived strength of Abboud’s campaign, McLaughlin said he never counted on more than being a messenger.

“I thought I would define issues,” McLaughlin said. “The outcome was a pleasant surprise.”

While McLaughlin would like to give the village a fresh start, he realizes there’s few times when that’s entirely possible. The village remains in the midst of addressing important issues such as the proposed Insurance Auto Auction site in neighboring East Dundee, the long lingering lawsuit over covenants governing the Sears property in Hoffman Estates and mediated negotiations toward a police contract.

McLaughlin believes the fact East Dundee voters also elected a new village president — Lael Miller — provides opportunity for a fresh start for talks about the auto auction proposal, which he considers a threat to the aquifer Barrington Hills residents use.

McLaughlin disagreed with his predecessor’s aggressive approach to East Dundee.

“Shaking hands isn’t a bad way to start, instead of shaking fists,” McLaughlin said.

He also hopes to reach a settlement on the Sears lawsuit and examine the police department’s pension system, which broke away from the state’s several years ago.

Senior Village Trustee Fritz Gohl, who won re-election Tuesday, said he’s keeping an open mind on working with the new president, whom he’s not yet met.

McLaughlin will be joined on the board by two new trustees, Gohl’s running mate, Michael Harrington, and McLaughlin’s running mate, Colleen Konicek Hannigan. Though he’s unfamiliar with McLaughlin, Gohl knows Konicek Hannigan very well.

“I know where she’s coming from because she’s a Barrington Hills lifer like me,” he said.

Having worked with both Abboud and the late Jim Kempe, Gohl said he knows the approach to the village president job has a lot to do with each president’s personality. He agrees with McLaughlin’s assessment that new leadership in East Dundee offers new opportunities for negotiation over Insurance Auto Auction.

Gohl is less certain McLaughlin will find any obvious places to cut the village budget short of laying off workers, and said he welcomes professional insight of the new president and Harrington on managing the village’s police pension fund.

More challenging will be the village’s change of leadership in the midst of police contract talks, Gohl said. The new contract will be one of many areas in which the new president will likely experience a baptism by fire.

“It’ll be interesting to see what happens,” he added. “He’ll be learning as he goes.”

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CN April 21

Penny Road will be closed starting tomorrow at 9 AM between Old Sutton Rd and Rt 59 for three days due to crossing work being performed by Canadian National Railway.  CN will reportedly reopen Penny Rd Friday at 6 PM.

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Hoffman Candidates

A friend recently stopped by Village Hall, and something caught their eye in the discarded election signs stacked for recycling at the “public works” barn.  Upon closer inspection, they discovered three hundred (300) new, sealed and uncirculated Hoffman Estates election campaign signs left for recycling (seen in the image above).

Now, Barrington Hills does promote recycling at our facility, so there’s no problem with that.  And, we actually published a piece six years ago on the overabundance of election signs blighting our roads (seeToo many sign”), but we weren’t advocating wasting donors hard earned money just to please us, so we had to learn more.

The Hoffman Estates unofficial election results show the second-place presidential candidate lost by roughly 900 votes, but the trustee elections were much closer for one candidate named in the heap at our Village ‘pubic works” barn.

She lost by just 28 votes, and according to the Daily Herald, the incumbent trustee who narrowly defeated her, “…said he picked up all 77 of his signs Wednesday morning from throughout the subdivision.”

So, would 300 extra campaign signs have made a difference?  There’s no definitive answer, but some might argue it explains why those signs were left in Barrington Hills and not closer by Hoffman Estates.  Others might say a little more effort might have changed the outcome for at least one candidate.

Why is this noteworthy?  Because ten years ago all it took was one newly elected trustee to spark a change in the momentum of our village government, and it’s a shame to see any opportunity like that squandered.

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220 Green

Did you know you need to be approved by a school board’s candidate steering committee?  You didn’t?  Neither did former Marine, Masters Degree educated teaching  professional Alex Strobl. He learned this very quickly when he decided to run for Barrington District 220 School Board last December.  To be fair, there isn’t an actual steering committee, just a bunch of local partisan, woke “agendists”, pulling strings behind the scenes, making sure that anyone who runs for the Board shares their leftist ideals and philosophies.  Alex Strobl surely wasn’t aware of this when he accepted an invitation from what he thought was a group of interested parents who might get behind his candidacy.  He thought the Zoom call he was invited to would be informal, cordial, informative and helpful in assessing his chances to win election to the school board.

He was surprised that there were about 30 people on the call, including:

  • Penny Kazmier – current D220 Board President
  • Sandra Bradford-Fike – incumbent Board Member running for re-election
  • Maria Peterson – former Democratic candidate for Lake County Board
  • Members of the Illinois Education Association, local Barrington teachers’ union and other official and non-official local organizations

(It should be noted that the two D220 Board members, Kazmier and Fike-Bradford, never notified the other five D220 school board members about this meeting, and thus, they possibly broke several Open Meetings Act laws, not to mention violated ethics policies and standards of practice for any public board member.)

As you will read from Mr. Strobl himself, this was not a “get to know you …how can we help you” call.  This was a full interview and a formal vetting.  And it was evident from the start, if the candidate didn’t share the “woke” agenda of the panel, he was not welcome.  By the end of the interview, Alex was confused and disappointed in the questions and responses from the unofficial tribunal. He decided that this was NOT for him and this whole vetting process did not make sense.  Who were these people? Who gave them authority? How could his candidacy succeed after this inquisition.  He withdrew from the ballot shortly thereafter.

He decided to chalk it up to experience, and put the whole incident behind him until an article showed up on March 27th https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20210326/league-of-women-voters-decries-party-politics-in-barrington-local-elections in the Daily Herald from Elena Ferrarin and then another https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20210330/party-support-appearing-in-district-211-other-local-races?cid=search by Eric Petersen on March 30th.

In the articles, co-President of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of the Palatine Area, Vicki Martin and others criticized a group of local Barrington moms who had assembled to run for the D220 school board and other offices, accusing them of infusing party politics into non-partisan local elections. The LWV claims of partisan organization were unfounded and frankly stung Alex as quite ironic, based on his experience.

This is what prompted him to submit his letter attached:

It is with heavy heart that I write this but I could not remain silent. My name is Alex Strobl. I am a resident of Lake Barrington, a parent of three elementary aged students, and a former teacher and coach at Barrington High School (2005-2015). Recently I was a candidate running for the Barrington Area Unit School District 220. I am writing to share my experience in running for the school board and why I ultimately dropped my candidacy due to the partisan nature of some of the members on the school board.

I write now in response to (and to further expand on) a Daily Herald article titled “League of Women Voters decries party politics in Barrington local elections.” This article struck a chord with me as I agree that transparency is key. My purpose is to inform my community members and to shed additional light on the process as I experienced it. Specifically to inform you that currently two members of the school board are working hand in hand with partisan groups to select, vet, and sponsor candidates of their choosing. While I believe in robust political engagement of citizens across the spectrum, I believe it is a conflict of interest for school board members – who are in non-partisan positions – to actively be working with groups who select and vet candidates along partisan/ideological lines.

In December I was contacted by a current board member to run. I had previously expressed interest in running for a school board position to that board member and appreciated them reaching out. I am passionate about education, well versed on how things operate within the district, and I thought I could make a positive impact. Like many others, I want what is best for the children of Barrington.

I was told that I would be put in touch with a group that was initially described to me as a “group of community parents that could help get out the vote” and one that has helped to “elect other candidates.” Days later, someone else reached out to me to set up a meeting. The next day I signed into a Zoom call with about thirty members of the community. On the call were two current school board members: Penny Kazmier (current president) and Sandra Ficke-Bradford. I was told at the time that the group was a sort of steering committee and that the group was looking to diversify the school board in Barrington. The discussion we had and the questions that were asked seemed to be at one end of the spectrum. I mentioned to the group that I was not only a social studies teacher but was also an executive coach and a former Marine. In each instance, when I responded, my answers were analyzed and a member of the committee would “encourage” me to fine-tune it or at times to reframe it in another way. It was not at all what I expected. I had expected more of a dialogue in my first interaction. More importantly, I was taken aback that I was speaking to a group which I felt represented the school board and was left feeling that I did not fit their desired mold. Again, citizen groups can align to whomever they choose. The difficulty comes with the addition of school board members and the feeling that I needed to change to be welcomed on the board. I felt this interaction represented the board at large because I had been put in touch with the group by a current member coupled with the visible presence and participation of another two board members on the call. In short, in the weeks after the call I was disheartened by what I perceived to be the partisan nature of the group and a directive around what could and could not be said. It is ultimately why I withdrew from the race.

I have genuine desire to help unite this community and serve the students in another capacity. Perhaps I was a little naïve in believing that a non-partisan position such as the school board could ultimately be non-partisan. That said, I feel compelled to surface the hypocrisy of groups and articles pointing to “party politics” while other groups are quietly doing it themselves. I want to ensure that my friends, neighbors, and fellow community members know the machinery behind the scenes of the school board election.

Alex Strobl

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BEA 1

The Barrington Education Association (BEA), the teachers union for D220, has been very vocal publishing social media posts, emails, and flyers supporting their four endorsed candidates for school board election. Beyond being vocal in support they have been extremely vocal in criticizing the three candidates (Katie Karam, Steve Wang and Malgorzata McGonigal) who chose not to meet with them to seek a union endorsement, nor to meet with an organization called Be the Change Barrington (BTC).

Who is BTC? They have a website that lists various positions and recommendations for the administration and education of students in D220. However, nothing on these pages identifies who exactly they are, who they are accountable to, where they live, or even if they are residents of D220.

Their list of recommendations (more accurately demands) is a platitude of critical race theory, alleging widespread racism and social injustice within D220. However, from police sources, there is little evidence of hate crime within our district. So what are these recommendations based on?

Apparently, a survey of around 600 alumni and active students. The survey does not break down the percentage of alumni to current students, nor does it identify whether any of these alumni are currently living within D220, parents of students, or taxpaying members of our community. Yet, the BEA has crowned them as an important representative voice of D220 and has lambasted and shamed the three candidates who chose not to meet with these unidentified individuals.

Why should you care? To follow are some of the recommendations of BTC for your children:

“BTCB calls on Barrington 220 to critically examine and make changes to its staff training, curriculum requirements, and administrative policies in the pursuit of anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy.”

“All educators and students must undergo a mandatory anti-racism training and unconscious bias training. Anti-racist and unconscious bias training is necessary for supporting the multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural student body within Barrington 220.”

“Barrington 220 must play an active role in challenging the myths of colorblindness and meritocracy within the education system, and instead commit to practicing anti-racism, anti-bias, and equity. In order for training sessions to be sustainable and meaningful, they must go beyond the intellectual work of fighting oppression and challenge staff and students to do the deeply personal, emotional, and communal work of dismantling racism and white supremacy culture.”

The list is much broader and can be found at this ink: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N9DdAepfjRtjNjhA0UMddGkrXMFfNHU-/view

These recommendations have been cited by the BEA and its four endorsed candidates as important lesson plans and discussions that your children should be given in their D220 education.

The BEA has a lobbyist group (iPACE) that sends out mail pieces, i.e. “in-kind” donations, on behalf of the four candidates endorsed by the BEA and also provides monetary donations to those candidates. Recently, the Palatine League of Women Voters (LWV) hosted several Candidate forums, including forums for school board candidates and library board.

For a group that claims to be “non-partisan“, the BEA through its lobbyists, iPACE, has donated significantly to Democratic candidates, including $52,800 in 2019 to former Speaker Michael Madigan.

Also, LWV was outspoken in a recent Herald article surrounding Karam, Wang & McGonigal, for school board and Croll, Ordway & Stenberg for library board: “A partisan political group in Barrington has expressed support for candidates in school and library board races, a move criticized by the League of Women Voters, which says party politics has no place in local elections…”

Wow! Pot? Kettle?  Sounds like the BEA and LWV need to take a long look in the mirror.

So, in what conceivable way can the LWV forum have been considered non-partisan under these circumstances? Particularly where the BEA, which pays dues to IEA and iPACE, started a full court press on endorsements and social media posts supporting Ding, Klauer, Ficke-Bradford, and Mitoraj by February 6th, a month prior to the LWV forum, and iPACE had already made donations to Ding which she stated she used for signs and mailers (mailers that coincidentally didn’t include campaign disclosure information as required by SBOE).

There is a lot of ugly going on around the D220 community.

The BEA is flexing its union muscle and it wants to con you into voting Ding, Klauer, Ficke-Bradford, and Mitoraj. They even went so far as condescending to come back to full time school the week before the April 6th election. Why? Because they want their handpicked four to be elected and vote the BEA union byline.

Make no mistake, D220 families; if Ding, Klauer, Ficke-Bradford, and Mitoraj are elected to the school board on April 6th your kids will be back to e-learning and remote school on April 7th.

If you want a board that will advocate on behalf of your children, tax dollars and community, it is imperative that you VOTE KARAM, WANG, & McGONIGAL for school board.

    – Guest essay

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There are a number of exceptionally qualified candidates running for office in the upcoming Consolidated Elections April 6th.    

Following is a summary of candidates running for various offices in the order they appear on the ballots for those offices. The Observer has noted those candidates we endorse with a check mark.

Early voting is available to registered voters now through Election Day.

Pres VBH

Trustee VBH

220 VBH 1

HC VBH

BAL VBH

BHPD VBH

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Dittmann

North Barrington resident Kelly Dittmann has our endorsement for Harper College Board

Late last month, the Daily Herald wrote the following of candidate Kelly Dittmann in their summary of candidates running for Harper College board:

“Newcomer Kelly Dittmann, of North Barrington, does, however, complicate the decision for voters. For, she, too, exhibits a passion for the school and an appealing record of service, ranging from board memberships on the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Central Homeless Shelter to leadership roles with the United Way and more. She would fit well into the composition of the Harper board”

Maybe the Herald didn’t endorse Dittmann, but they clearly wanted to. They all but wrote, “Vote for her,” and not to say that influenced our decision, it did reinforce our resolve that Kelly Dittmann deserves to be on the Harper College board.

Our (very) short list of reasons for our endorsement of her include:

  • Dittmann has earned degrees from Purdue University in Organizational Leadership and Management, an MBA in Executive Leaderships and Management from Drake University and studied Advanced Strategy & Economics: Building and Implementing Growth Strategies at The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business
  • Her extensive community involvement also speaks to her qualifications including Community Leader, Board Member Make-A-Wish Foundation, Strategic Advisor, Mentor AgriTech Accelerator and iEmergent Technologies Mentored leaders, Cabinet Co-Chair, Board Member United Way Education Leadership Initiative (ELI) National Chapters and Board of Directors Central Iowa Shelter Services (CISS) to name a few.

Kelly’s full profile of qualifications and experience can be explored here, and she can be found with other qualified candidates at Action PAC.

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Fast Tines 1

Political committees must abide by Illinois State Board of Elections transparency rules.

Earlier this week, we posted some helpful reminders to area political candidates of their campaign reporting responsibilities with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE).  This will be our second (in what may become a series) posting of helpful hints on campaign transparency due to one (apparent) repeat offender.

The ISBE rules clearly state:

“Any committee that makes an expenditure for any kind of communication directed at voters and mentioning the name of a candidate in the next upcoming election must ensure that the communication clearly identifies the committee as having paid for it. This applies to any committee that pays for any part of the advertisement, including its production and distribution.” 

Well, residents are now receiving a mailing from a candidate committee (a portion pictured below) that does not appear to adhere to these rules. We previously noted that this candidate’s campaign committee signs display no state mandated committee identification either.  

DK Violation

A campaign mailers sent to residents recently does not disclose the campaign committee that paid for it.

Common sense dictates that if one is running for elected office that every opportunity for campaign advertising with the candidate’s name on it would be maximized, especially when it comes to taking credit for who paid for it (at least one would think that).

This particular candidate, however, either fancies himself as a rebel, or perhaps isn’t taking this election as seriously as he should considering the high office he’s seeking.  Another possibility is much more troubling, however, and that is he may not wish to disclose who is actually paying for his advertisements.

Related:Some helpful campaign tips for area candidates

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Work on the Northwest Highway (Route 14) bridge over the Fox River in Cary and Fox River Grove will begin, weather permitting, Monday, March 15.

Northwest Highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Ebert Drive to Opatrny Drive. In addition, left turns from southeast bound Northwest Highway onto River Road and to 215 Northwest Highway (The Arlington Club) will not be allowed. Motorists should follow the posted detour.

The project consists of deck and joint repairs and a new deck overlay. It’s expected to be completed in late September. Find traffic and road conditions at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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