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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

PC 9.21

The Plan Commission will be holding a special meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Plan Commission Introduction, Duties and Code Requirements
  • Lot Consolidation Application: 266 Steeplechase (Public hearing followed by commission meeting/vote), and
  • Plum Farms

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.  The meeting will be held at Village Hall, or residents can try to listen in to the meeting proceedings by dialing 508-924-1464.

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CN1

Canadian National “is continuing to evaluate all options available to us,” said Jonathan Doorley, a spokesman for Canadian National.

Kansas City Southern said on Sunday that it had deemed an offer from Canadian Pacific superior to a bid from Canadian National, in the latest turn in a monthslong battle to become the first railroad to connect North America.

Canadian Pacific first put forward a roughly $29 billion bid for Kansas City Southern in March, before being topped by a $33.7 billion offer from its rival, Canadian National, in April. But the Canadian National deal hit a key regulatory challenge this month, sending Kansas City back to talks with Canadian Pacific. The talks proved fruitful.

The crown jewel in the deal is Mexico, as the railroads look to capitalize on trade flows across North America on the heels of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement signed into law last year.

Closing a deal could take time. It must be approved by shareholders of both companies, as well as approved by Mexican authorities and the Surface Transportation Board, the U.S. regulatory board that oversees rail deals.

Kansas City Southern has notified Canadian National of its intention to terminate that deal, both companies said on Sunday. Canadian National has five days to make a better offer. If Kansas City opts for Canadian Pacific, Canadian National will receive $700 million in breakup fees, according to the terms of their deal.

Read more here.

Related: “Feds reject initial CN plan for merger with Kansas City railroad that’s drawn ire from some suburbs,” “Suburbs wary of proposed railway merger that could mean more freight trains,” and “Could railroad merger lead to more freight trains in the suburbs?

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DL App

Services such as behind-the-wheel driving tests and standard driver’s licenses now require appointments at certain Illinois Secretary of State facilities.

Questions such as “do you have an appointment?”, and the occasional letdown, “all our appointments are full,” circulated Friday outside the driver services facility in Lombard.

That’s because the Illinois Secretary of State’s office this month is retooling a variety of procedures to avoid crowds and lines at DMVs caused by COVID-19 backlogs.

What that means is, as of Monday, many Illinoisans will need to make appointments for services such as behind-the-wheel road tests, REAL IDs, standard driver’s licenses, and ID cards at certain locations. The change was rolled out earlier at some sites.

Appointments for those services are required at the following locations: Aurora, Bridgeview, Des Plaines, Joliet, Lake Zurich, Lombard, Melrose Park, Midlothian, Naperville, Plano, Schaumburg, Waukegan and Woodstock, plus three Chicago offices.

Scheduling can be done online at ilsos.gov or by phone at (844) 817-4649.

Walk-ins are still allowed for people seeking vehicle titles, or for renewing license plate stickers — but please don’t, officials say, since stickers are easily obtainable online. Customers can also order duplicate licenses and driving records on the ilsos.gov website.

At the same time, Secretary of State Jesse White is introducing a new program estimated to allow thousands of safe drivers to renew their licenses or ID cards remotely.

Read more here.

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RCBH

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their September, 2021 newsletter. One of the sections provides an “update” on the August meeting of the Village Equestrian Commission regarding, Equestrian Trail Licenses:

“The Equestrian Commission met on the 19th of August to discuss the continued need for the Equestrian Trail Licenses issued by the Village for the purpose of riding on the Village deeded easement trails. 

By Ordinance in June in 2005, certain trails traversing private land in the Village exist as easements recorded in favor of the Village. The easements are generally in and around the newer subdivisions in the Village where the Village and the Equestrian Commission worked successfully with developers subdividing tracts of land to protect the continuity of the trail network and to maintain the unique character of the Village. Easement trails are maintained by the RCBH.  As set forth in Title 6 and Section 8-5 of the Village Code, equestrian use of easement trails is allowed solely by licenses issued by the Village of Barrington Hills. 

There is an ongoing discussion with a need for further information. As soon as the Equestrian Commission has that information a date will be determined for the next meeting.”

In other words, they’d rather not reveal anything that was discussed. No surprise.

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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The committee didn’t make a final determination about a statue of Reagan. State Rep. Mary Flowers said the panel she chairs is not at the decision-making stage yet and is focused on listening to “what everyone has to say.”

Reagan 86

President Ronald Reagan attends the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in 1986 with Gov. James Thompson. Reagan is holding a 4-day-old goat belonging to Carry Marshall, 16, of Decatur. – Nancy Stuenkel/Sun-Times file

As statues of controversial figures are being torn down across the nation, an Illinois House panel on Wednesday discussed putting a new one up in Springfield of Ronald Reagan, the Illinois native who went on to become the nation’s 40th president.

House members on the Statue and Monument Review Task Force debated the pros and cons of “The Gipper’s” legacy, and the propriety of memorializing him on the Capitol grounds, but didn’t come to a decision.

The South Side Democrat who chairs the panel said in weighing the former president’s flaws with his legacy there has to be a recognition that “whether we agree with his policies or not … he had a profound impact on the direction of this country.”

Reagan spent his early years in northwestern Illinois — born in Tampico and raised in Dixon — before heading west to launch his acting career in Hollywood, playing Notre Dame football player George Gipp and others, and eventually his political career as governor of California.

He died in 2004 at the age of 93.

Josem Diaz, the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Reagan’s alma mater Eureka College in the Illinois city of the same name, would like to see a statue of a young Reagan on the state capitol grounds.

Read more here.

State Rep. Mary Flowers’ contact information can be found here.

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bhpd-logo-2-2021The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in-person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Outdoor arena bid status
  • Review of IGA/Horizon Farms status, and
  • Review final draft of Fox River Valley Hunt’s Cooperative Agreement with the Park District

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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Labor Day

A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country.

The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation. Alaska and North Dakota took the top two spots as the hardest working states. New Mexico came in at No. 50.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said workers in downstate Illinois likely helped the state’s ranking.

“That is where we see a leveling of the work week,” Gonzalez said. “In Chicago, we typically are seeing a shorter work week, and places where they are heavily relying on agriculture, we see a longer work week.”

Americans put in an average of 1,767 hours per year as of 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. That is 435 hours per year more than Germans work, but 357 fewer than Mexicans do.

Alaska has the longest hours worked per week at 42, which is 14% longer than in Utah, the state with the shortest week at 37 hours.

The category that pushed Illinois down in the rankings was the lowest annual volunteer hours per resident, in which Illinois ranked 47th in the country.

Read on here.

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CNIt wasn’t a knockout punch, but federal regulators’ rejection of an important component of the Canadian National Railway’s bid to buy the Kansas City Southern Railway might signal good news for suburbs opposing the merger.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Monday nixed CN’s request to create a “voting trust” that would hold KCS’s stock until the merger is decided on by STB members.

“The board finds that the proposed use of a voting trust … would not be consistent with the public interest” and “would give rise to potential public interest harms relating to both competition and divestiture,” members wrote in a ruling announced Tuesday.

A number of municipalities from Bartlett to Barrington urged the STB to deny the plan, fearing a merger would add to freight train traffic and delays that surged when the board in 2008 approved CN’s purchase of the smaller EJ & E Railroad, which runs through multiple north, west, and south suburbs.

Also weighing in was the Canadian Pacific Railway, initially embraced by Kansas City Southern as a merger partner this spring, only to be dumped when CN moved in.

“The STB decision clearly shows that the CN-KCS merger proposal is illusory and not achievable,” Canadian Pacific President Keith Creel said in a statement. To Kansas City Southern’s board, he wrote, “CP has always maintained that the CN-KCS combination and the proposed CN voting trust is not in the public interest,” Creel said. “Hundreds of rail shippers, community leaders, elected officials and other stakeholders have voiced those same concerns and today the STB agreed.”

Read more here.

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ACTION PAC EVENTAction PAC

Please visit suburbanactionpac.com to learn more.

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Jewel Sign

“Everyone’s been through this before,” said South Barrington Police Chief Tom Roman. “It’s old news for everyone.”

Illinois’ mask mandate returns Monday with one big change for businesses: This time, they won’t face fines if they fail to get scofflaw patrons to comply.

“That’s a significant change for us,” said Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “That’s a relief to our members that the enforcement expectation is not on the retailer.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s previous statewide mask mandate, which ended in June, threatened to fine businesses up to $2,500 if they repeatedly failed to require customers to wear masks. The new executive order issued Thursday makes no mention of enforcement requirements or penalties for noncompliance.

Karr said many business owners are relieved they don’t have to be the enforcers of the mask edict any longer. They noted local police were generally unhelpful when workers called to complain about noncompliant customers.

“Unless there was a threat to welfare, most of our members said the response from police was largely, ‘What do you want us to do?'” he said.

The policy regarding mask enforcement at each police department is different.

Read more here.

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