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Archive for the ‘OP/Ed’ Category

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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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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A statue named Young Lincoln at Senn Park in Chicago in Winter. It is on the list of monuments to be reviewed by an advisory committee.

Abraham Lincoln and Chicago go way back, from his visits here as a traveling lawyer to his nomination for president at the 1860 Republican National Convention. His connection is one of the proudest claims of our state — official slogan, “Land of Lincoln.” Every child grows up learning his incomparable place in the history of Illinois and of the nation.

But some people think Abe’s sins cancel out his achievements. On one hand, he was elected vowing to stop the spread of slavery, waged a successful war to preserve the Union and worked to achieve constitutional equality for Black Americans. On the other, he represented a slave owner trying to recover escaped slaves, sometimes expressed bigoted sentiments and allowed the execution of 38 Dakota men during the U.S. war with their tribe.

Facts like those account for the scattered calls that he be relegated to the dungeon of America’s villains. Even Mayor Lori Lightfoot thinks he may be problematic, judging from the list of monuments to be reviewed by an advisory committee. It includes several statues of Lincoln. Also in the dock: George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley and Leif Ericson, among others.

We have no objection to periodically reassessing public monuments as new information emerges and old information gains new pertinence. Chicagoans are not obligated to defer to the judgment of previous generations. But let’s not revel in proclaiming our superiority to yesterday’s heroes.

Apparently, some critics think every person we memorialize must be perfectly blameless by the standards of modern America. In that case, we’d have to raze just about every statue. If purity is the threshold — purity based on today’s standards against the cultural and political dynamics of our ancestors — there will be no monuments. A better approach is to weigh the good done by those who have been honored against their shortcomings, and in the context of their generation, not ours.

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

Related:Column: Crime, taxes, closed schools or clogged side streets. But Lightfoot focuses on statues.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s team announced last week it will enlist federal Disaster Survivor Assistance teams to help at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cook and St. Clair counties. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency will give Cook County $49 million to help with vaccine distribution.

That’s entirely appropriate because so far, Illinois’ rollout of vaccinations has been flat-out disastrous.

It’s as if seniors across the region have had to come out of retirement to take on a new full-time job — tracking down the ever-elusive vaccine injection. They’re spending hours — and days — cold-calling potential vaccination sites and scrolling through the internet for injection appointments. Refresh. Refresh.

And how about these optics? At the same time elderly Illinoisans maddeningly scour their communities for a shot at a shot, Pritzker put state lawmakers at the front of the line. On Wednesday, members of the General Assembly were offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a state police facility in Springfield. One Tribune reader, Phillip Tutor of Schaumburg, wrote to us, “How about we have a law that no Illinois politician gets his or her COVID-19 vaccination until all Illinois residents get theirs? I then would bet that this vaccine rollout fiasco gets fixed in record time.”

The vaccine rollout in Illinois has been, well, as Tutor says, a “fiasco.” As of late last week, Illinois ranked 37th among states and D.C. in terms of rate of shots injected and that was actually an improvement. Of the vaccines it has received from the federal government, Illinois has injected 66.2% of those doses, which puts the state under the national average of 68%. As of late, distribution has been improving in Illinois, but the question remains: Why has Pritzker’s vaccine distribution management been so subpar, compared to other states? And why does he keep pretending it hasn’t been?

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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Indian Lakes Hotel, Bloomingdale

Village leaders in Bloomingdale may well be wondering what they could have or should have done to avoid the weekend mayhem that resulted in multiple shootings and one death at the Indian Lakes Hotel.

And they’re wise to examine their practices and polices — and for reacting decisively regarding what Public Safety Director Frank Giammarese described as the scene of a “drastic spike in crime” in recent years.

But they certainly cannot be faulted as having done nothing. They’ve pressed for years, by the hotel’s owners’ own description, to try to “ensure the safety and security of all guests and associates of the hotel.” And as recently as last December, they imposed fees and restrictions on short-term rental properties — including a minimum 30-day stay — following a shooting in neighboring Roselle over the summer in which one person died and six were hurt.

A short-term home rental is no hotel, of course, and the very nature of a hotel or motel complicates the actions a community can take to fend off problems from large parties. Indeed, for weddings, birthday celebrations, conventions and all manner of public events, hotels and banquet halls are important community centers.

The point is that, even so, Bloomingdale has not been blind to the potential for trouble when large gatherings occur. Nor have many other suburbs. In 2016, Lake Barrington passed an ordinance prohibiting rentals of less than three months following a shooting at a rental property in the village. Barrington Hills already had a zoning law in place outlawing parties like the one that led to a fatal shooting there last April. Naperville imposed a short-term rental ban last August, and Roselle imposed strict regulations governing short-term rentals following the fatal shooting at a short-term rental. Even Airbnb itself has announced a global ban restricting rentals to occupancy of no more than 16 people.

Continue reading the Daily Herald editorial here.

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Restaurant owners aren’t giving up. They’ve struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, retrenching to stay in business, investing in safety protocols, re-imagining their menus to offer takeout and delivery fare. They’ve shown indomitable spirit. Most have played by the state’s strict rules. Now it’s time for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to give them a reasonable break.

Governor, reopen the dining rooms.

Pritzker shut down indoor dining in October when the coronavirus outbreak spiked, renewing hardships on a crucial jobs sector. That spike has now tapered. Takeout food is an option for customers, but it’s not the same draw for cooped-up residents, many of whom would be eager to go out to eat, assuming all proper social distancing and hygiene rules are in place.

This is a matter of being fair, reasonable and protective of the economy. “The rules are lopsided against restaurants,” chef Brian Jupiter of Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods told the Tribune. In December, we saw shopping malls bursting at the seams and that wasn’t an issue. We are sanitizing the living s— out of everything. Wearing masks. But we still can’t operate.

Read more of the Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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Let’s hope it’s a great one!

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Tom Roeser

Closing of businesses in Illinois is controversial.

I operate a manufacturing business with 500 employees. We are designated as an “essential” business and have never been required to close.

Our experience with the virus is illustrative of how a business can remain safely open. We have had only one case where an employee contracted the virus at our workplace. Our procedures have kept our employees safe and kept their families solvent.

We have a strict policy for systematic employees to call in rather than come in. Those that can work from home (about 25) are equipped to.

Doors are propped open to reduce contact opportunities and extra cleaning is in place. Hand washing, masks and social distancing work.

If employees feel ill while at work, we send them to get tested. If positive, we send the entire production line home for 14-day quarantine.

There are many other “essential” businesses with a similar safety record. It is irresponsible for our government to discriminate against some businesses, churches or other public spaces, requiring them to close.

Governments could have gone to those open businesses to experience which easily-implemented safety measures have kept them safely open.

Fear of the virus has allowed our government to hide from making decisions. Does the science tell us that schools should close? Is there data that shows that restaurants are mass spreaders? Does one really think that a 5,000-square-foot church can only accommodate 50 parishioners?

The vaccines will put this virus behind us, but the judgment of our elected leaders will remain and the carnage of businesses and family finances will be their legacy.

• Tom Roeser, of Barrington Hills, is president of OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville.

Source

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