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Note: This is the second article we’ve posted on the August 15 District 220 meeting due in no small part to the caption in the photo below:

A group of more than 20 residents lobbied the Barrington School District 220 board at the Aug. 15, 2019 meeting, asking board members to include a fine arts center in the $147 million referendum the board will place on the March 17, 2020 election ballot.

The Barrington School District 220 board voted to make another go at getting money for what officials say are needed infrastructure, safety and other school building improvements, this time asking taxpayers to green light a $147 million referendum.

The measure will be placed on the March 17, 2020 primary ballot, after school board members voted at the Aug. 15 meeting to approve that move.

Board members decided to ask the community for $38 million less than the $185 million on the referendum voters rejected in the April 2 election. They reached a consensus on the referendum – after discussing which school improvements to include and which to postpone until later – following four meetings since June 8, including two last week. There was one primary goal.

“We have to be sure the community as a whole is with us,” said board President Penny Kazmier “We can’t go to the voters without being prepared. We have to have a good plan. We have to decide ‘where do we draw the line?’”

Read the full Barrington Courier-Review story here.  As you’ll read, the board did not approve requesting funding to cover a new fine arts center.

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In April of this year, the Village of Barrington released the results of a 16-item survey sent to 4,505 Barrington households. They received 1,111 responses (a 25% return rate), and we just got around to reviewing the information residents shared with the Village.

Of all the items Barrington included in their survey, one stood out in our eyes immediately as something our residents might find interesting. In question 12, respondents were asked to, “Select your top three (3) sources of information about Village news and activities,” as seen below:

(Click on image to enlarge)

Even with the option of selecting three (3) out of 12 options, the two choices were dead last were:

  • Village Board/Commission Meetings – 2.3%
  • Channel 4 – 3.3%

“Channel 4” in Barrington is a dedicated Comcast channel for all Village meetings. It essentially serves as a “Live Stream” service that two candidates were pitching heavily in the most recent Trustee elections.

Not only were “live streaming” of meetings of little interest to survey respondents, data kept on Village meetings dating back years demonstrate that people seldom looked at recordings of meetings after they’d occurred (the records can be viewed here).

On the bright side, we found little surprise that respondents preferred printed newsletters, emails and newspapers as their primary sources of information.

Further, last week the Barrington 220 Board of Education held two widely publicized meetings that were Live Streamed. Out of a potential audience in the tens of thousands in District 220, only one person tuned in to these streamed events outside of The Observer, and we suspect even that one participant may have been a 220 intern assigned to monitor the quality of the broadcast.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Based on the Village of Barrington and District 220 facts, no one in their right mind would continue to suggest that our Village invest in “Live Streaming” meetings with any expectation of return on investment.   But then again, what sane people suggesting this and other oddities have multiple Facebook pages (anonymous and named), multiple aliases they blog under and at times, post fictitious dialogs under their pseudonym’s hoping to inspire some form of coalition that never materializes.

Many readers may be surprised this goes on. Sadly, it does, especially every two years during election seasons.   

The full 2019 Barrington survey results can be viewed and downloaded here.

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A Rolling Meadows man was sentenced to probation Thursday in connection with a single-vehicle crash that killed a Lake Barrington High School student.

More than two years after Matthew Zeek lost control of his vehicle while speeding in a 25-mph zone, the 25-year-old accepted an offer from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to reckless homicide.

McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge sentenced Zeek to 2½ years of probation in connection with the March 3, 2017, crash that killed 18-year-old Rebecca Soderman and injured a 16-year-old passenger.

Zeek, of the 2400 block of Sigwalt Street, was driving 93 mph in a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu that was traveling west on Plum Tree Road in Barrington Hills when the crash occurred.

Read the full Northwest Herald story here

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For the second time this week, only two people watched the Live Stream of the Barrington 220 Board of Ed meeting, and The Observer was one of the two.

At a special Board meeting on August 15, Board members approved placing a $147 million school district referendum question on the March 17, 2020 primary election ballot. A successful referendum would:

  • Improve safety and security at all Barrington 220 schools
  • Eliminate mobile classrooms at BMS-Prairie, BMS-Station and Grove Elementary
  • Repair and renovate aging building conditions at all schools, such as heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and roofs
  • Improve traffic circulation at pick-up/drop-off zones at BHS
  • Build PE/Wellness addition at BHS

Build front addition at BHS, which would include:

  • New Student Services area (counseling, attendance, health services, dean’s office), so students can easily access these services in one central location
  • Additional classroom space and cafeteria improvements

Build additional classroom space at all elementary schools to be used for:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) instruction
  • Students with special needs 

While the Board did not include building a new fine arts center at Barrington High School in this referendum, it does include funds to complete the architectural design. If voters approve the March 2020 referendum, the Board has committed to engaging the community in a collaborative discussion, to create a model for future consideration.

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Two (2) people tuned in to the Barrington 220 Board of Ed Live Stream Tuesday night

At its August 13 meeting, the Board of Education continued to discuss which projects should be included in a future school district referendum question. The Board plans to place a referendum question on the March 2020 ballot.

The statutory deadline for the Board to approve a referendum question on the March ballot is December 30, 2019, however Board members are preparing to approve a question well before the deadline.

The referendum discussion will continue at a special Board meeting on Thursday, August 15 at 7:30 PM at the District Administrative Center, 515 W. Main St.

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SPRINGFIELD — A Republican state lawmaker is calling for the resurrection of the death penalty in Illinois after two mass shootings in the United States and recent gun violence in Chicago.

Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills said he will either sponsor or co-sponsor some version of a measure overturning the abolishment former Gov. Pat Quinn placed on capital punishment eight years ago. Former Gov. George Ryan had placed a moratorium on the death penalty in 2000.

At the time, Quinn said Illinois should not have a system in place that might result in the erroneous execution of citizens. McSweeney said “eliminating the death penalty was a terrible mistake.”

“It has been a complete failure,” he said.

Read more from The News-Gazette here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members intend to vote Tuesday, Aug. 13, on whether to place a question on the ballot early next year seeking voter permission to borrow money to fund building projects.

The meeting begins a half hour early at 6:30 PM at District 220’s administrative center, 515 W. Main St. in Barrington.

Board members will need to decide a dollar amount and projects for the planned March 17 referendum. It would be the second time in about a year the district went to voters for funds.

Voters in April defeated a measure seeking to raise property taxes to pay for $185 million in building projects. If the board can’t decide the issue Tuesday, the elected officials would return for a special meeting at the administrative center 7:30 PM Thursday, Aug. 15.

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