Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

“At its Oct. 20 meeting, the Board shared two upcoming opportunities for community members to provide input on the district’s superintendent search. The Board is working with search firm School Exec Connect to select the district’s next leader. Dr. Brian Harris will be retiring at the end of June after serving more than 30 years in public education.

  • Online Questionnaire: First, the Board is asking community members to fill out an online questionnaire. It should only take about five minutes to complete and it will be available until Oct. 30, 2020. Click here to complete the online questionnaire
  • Virtual Community Forum: In addition to the questionnaire, if you would like to provide input on the district’s strengths, the district’s challenges, and the characteristics the next superintendent should possess, the Board of Education and School Exec Connect consultants invite you to attend a virtual forum on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7pm. Please click here to register for the forum.

Findings from the questionnaire, the virtual forum, and several focus group conversations will be used to develop a New Superintendent Profile that will be reported to the Board at its November 17 regularly scheduled meeting.

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Authorities estimate that about 500 people turned out for the “Barrington Back-to-School Rally” Sept. 14, 2020 at Citizens Park in Barrington.

At their October 20th meeting, Board President Penny Kazmier announced there will be four school board seats up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. School Board members serve a four year term.

Community members who are interested in running can feel free to reach out to current Board members to ask questions and receive candidate information at the Cook County website. The Illinois Association of School Boards website also provides helpful information.

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People were lined up to vote before the doors opened at Village Hall Monday and the appeared to to be no letting up this morning.

More early voting sites opened Monday in Lake and suburban Cook counties, giving areas residents – including in northwest suburban communities – options both in and near their own towns to cast their ballots ahead of the General Election next month.

Polling places are following public health guidelines, and election and village officials have told Pioneer Press that voters are required wear face masks and to socially distance. Also, voting machines will be sanitized between uses.

Barrington is located in both Cook and Lake counties. Barrington residents who live in Cook County may early vote at either the Barrington Hills Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, or at Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1900 Hassell Road, Monday through Friday. At both locations, early voting hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., according to information provided by Barrington Hills Village Clerk Nikki Panos.

“Early voting has started with a bang. We’ve got lines out the door and around the building,” Panos said. “We are absolutely allowing early voting here, for Cook County voters only.”

Both village halls also have drop boxes for mail-in ballots, with an election judge stationed nearby, officials said.

“For those with mail-in ballots, they don’t have to stand in line,” said Panos.

Read on here.

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The following is from the District 220 Board of Education who kept roughly 300 taxpayers waiting for nearly half an hour before their meeting began Tuesday night. No explanation for the delay was given nor was there any apology.   

“At their Oct. 20th Board of Education meeting, Dr. Harris announced the district will do an adaptive pause of its Hybrid mode from Wednesday, Oct. 28 until at least Monday, Nov. 9, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our community and the region.

The announcement comes after the Lake County Health Department recommended on Tuesday that all Lake County public and private K-12 schools transition to virtual learning. Though Barrington 220 serves students in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties, the district is considered a Lake County school district and works directly with them for guidance.

In Barrington 220 the rise in cases is reflected when looking at the district’s health metrics on the Northwestern Medicine dashboardSince earlier this week, for each of the four zip codes, the number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days has either exceeded or has been nearly at our Step 3 (Hybrid) threshold of 200. Below is the most up to date data as of 10-21-2020:

  • 60010: 227.0
  • 60021: 223.0
  • 60110: 464.3
  • 60192: 211.8
  • Total Average: 312.4

As data changes daily, in order to prevent schools from switching back and forth between learning modes, the Lake County Health Department has also advised that school district’s should remain in their current learning mode for at least 7 days before transitioning to another mode. Since Barrington 220 is currently in its Hybrid mode, it will remain in Hybrid until Wednesday, Oct. 28. This means the following for students, staff and families:

Between now and Oct. 27

  • Oct. 22 and Oct. 23: All students will continue with their Hybrid mode or regular Distance Learning schedules as planned.
  • Friday, Oct. 23: The district will provide exact details of each grade level’s schedule during the pause in the Hybrid mode
  • Monday, Oct. 26: “A” day for all students
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27: “B” day for all students

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 28 (Adaptive Pause of Hybrid begins)

  • All students will temporarily return to Distance Learning mode
    • Special education students who were previously in-person will remain in person
    • Extracurriculars and IHSA approved sports will continue as they did during the 1st Quarter
    • Students will continue to have opportunities to come into school buildings for various reasons such as a science lab at the high school, as they did during the 1st Quarter
    • All Barrington 220 staff will continue to work from their school buildings
    • The adaptive pause will remain in effect until at least Monday, Nov. 9. Resuming Hybrid mode will be based on public health metrics.

Families who are currently in the Hybrid plan who wish to do Distance Learning prior to October 28 should contact their school principals. Families who choose to do this can return to the Hybrid plan once the adaptive pause is over. Click here to view Dr. Harris’ full presentation.”

A YouTube recording of last night’s meeting can be viewed here.

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The opening of the Longmeadow Parkway toll bridge inched forward Tuesday as a Kane County Board committee gave preliminary approval to a multimillion-dollar contract that locks in two discount programs for frequent users.

Even with the discounts, board representatives from the area where the tollway will be located are still not pleased with the project.

The board’s transportation committee voted to give a $7.8 million contract to Texas-based Electronic Transactions Consultants Corp. The company, whose primary owners are based in Italy, would oversee the discount program and manage customer accounts and communication.

The contract is a six-year deal with possible extensions that could see it last up to 10 years. The $7.8 million reflects the full 10-year cost of the pending agreement.

Tolls for most cars will be 95 cents per trip on the bridge over the Fox River. It’s the only bridge over the river in the county that would charge a toll.

Frequent users of the Longmeadow Parkway toll bridge can take advantage of one of two discount programs, depending on where they live.

Read more here.

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A Barrington Middle School-Station Campus staff member checks a student in at the start of the school day Monday, the first day of in-person instruction for Barrington Area Unit District 220. Each student must be checked in to make sure the student has completed a COVID-19 symptom screening before entering the school.

“Dear Barrington 220 Community: 

Today Barrington 220 successfully implemented its 1st day of the Hybrid mode for all grade levels. It was great to see more of our students in our schools and we are excited to welcome back another group of students later this week. 

Unfortunately, our region is currently experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases. This rise in cases is reflected when looking at our health metrics on the Northwestern Medicine dashboardFor each of our four zip codes, the number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days has either exceeded or is nearly at our Step 3 (Hybrid) threshold of 200.

  • 60010: 222.4
  • 60021: 204.5
  • 60110: 443.5
  • 60192: 199.3 
  • Total Average: 299.9

As of today, the Lake County Health Department advises schools to remain in their current mode of learning for at least 7 days before making any transition. Over the next 7 days we will be monitoring the weekly cases for all of our individual zip codes, as well as our average of the four zip codes, to determine if specific schools or the entire district can continue with the Hybrid mode, or must revert back to Distance Learning. The district will give families approximately one week’s notice if there is any change of plans. Please keep in mind, when making decisions to manage the risk of exposure, we are looking at trends over time.

We cannot stress enough that in order for us to continue bringing students into our buildings, it is critical for our community to maintain vigilance during this time and follow the 3W’s:

  • Wear a mask
  • Watch your distance
  • Wash your hands

Our COVID-19 dashboard (seen here) shows the daily number of positive cases and quarantine cases among students and staff at each building in the district. 

  • A positive case is counted on the day it is reported. Every day after, it is placed in the quarantine category. 
  • Quarantine cases are students and staff not attending school due to testing positive or exposure to a positive case. 

*Please note, the dashboard only counts positive and quarantine cases for students who are in our school buildings. Students who are Distance Learning from home are not counted.*”

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Suburban voters already have reportedly cast more than 266,000 early or mail-in ballots ahead of the Nov. 3rd presidential election, with early voting slated to expand across the region starting today.

County clerks are ramping up early voting today, with 17 sites available in Lake County, 11 in McHenry and more than 50 in suburban Cook. Kane County offers seven permanent early voting sites, eight alternative sites and various mobile locations starting today through Oct. 28th.

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On September 26th, The League of Women Voters (LWV) of the Palatine Area, lwvpalatinearea.org, conducted a virtual non-partisan candidate forum for three candidates running for the 52nd District of the Illinois House of Representatives; Martin McLaughlinAlia Sarfraz and Marci Suelzer. The YouTube recording of the meeting can be viewed here.

We listened intently to the recording and felt we would be remiss if we did not share at least one excerpt we believe is critical for voters to hear or read. The LWV asked candidates to,

“Think of a person that is, or has served in Springfield, that’s made an impact for the better in our state.”

Marci Suelzer’s response to this simple question was,

Marci Suelzer

I’m somewhat at a disadvantage in this question in that I did not grow up in Illinois. But I do think that Governor Pritzker has made an impact in saving lives in Illinois.

I wish that I had a better base of historical knowledge to go back two decades or whatever, but I simply don’t.”

The question and her response can be heard here.

Though she admittedly lacks experience, that has not stopped significant contributions to Suelzer’s campaign which only began less than three months ago. Her campaign committee has amassed upwards of $400,000, primarily from Democratic Party of Illinois ($129k), Democratic Majority ($94k), LIUNA Chicago Laborers ($58k), Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters PAC ($58k) and Friends to Elect Kathleen Willis ($45k).

Clearly with this overabundance of political funding, Marci Suelzer does not need to worry about her lack of experience, since if she is elected, her well-financed handlers will tell her how to vote.

Martin McLaughlin has been running for the 52nd District for nearly a year with funding of about 20% of that of his opponent. What matters most when considering which candidate to vote for in an election;

  • (a) one who has been successfully leading a Village for eight years or
  • (b) one who, although inexperienced, has substantial financial backing from the current State leadership?

You decide!

Campaign finance references: Marci Suelzer Campaign Committee, Martin McLaughlin For State Representative

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The contest ahead of a Nov. 3 vote on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution remains close. There are many interesting paths forward depending on the eventual outcome of this vote.

The fight over the graduated income tax—or the “Fair Tax,” as Gov. J.B. Pritzker branded it—has rightly been called a battle of the billionaires.

But it’s not just billionaires like Pritzker and his chief opponent on the tax, Citadel founder Ken Griffin, who have big stakes in the tax vote. All of us do.

The contest ahead of a Nov. 3 vote on Pritzker’s proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution remains close. A source familiar with daily polling data from the pro-amendment side told me the projected outcome is within the margin of error of the polls, too close to call.

Other facts support this. Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton recently warned about a possible 20 percent tax hike on everyone if the amendment fails. The threat would not be needed if the vote were secure.

Griffin late last month poured another $26.8 million into the campaign to stop the amendment. He wouldn’t have doubled his initial outlay if the outcome weren’t still in play.

It’s astounding the contest is close. The “fair tax” is a soak-the-rich appeal to raise taxes on the top 3 percent of earners. The remaining 97 percent are told their taxes will drop or stay the same. The 6 million taxpayers expecting lower or level tax bills should overwhelm the 190,000 in the top 3 percent who would face a tax hike.

Of course, politics is more than math. It requires understanding the hopes and fears of people, their sense of whom to trust and what to believe. Those concerns help explain why Pritzker’s proposal is not faring better.

Read more from the Better Government Association here.

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“Dear Barrington 220 Community: 

During my presentation of the Hybrid Learning plan at the Oct. 6 Board of Education meeting, I discussed how periodically there may be specific classrooms or schools that have to return to Distance Learning mode due to a high number of COVID-19 cases. 

We have been monitoring our health metrics this week on the Northwestern Medicine dashboard. For the first time yesterday we exceeded the Step 3 threshold for Metric #1 (New Cases), when looking at the average of all Barrington 220 zip codes (60010, 60110, 60192, 60021). After further review of the individual zip code data, it is clear that the increase for Metric #1 in the 60110 zip code has been trending significantly above the other zip codes.

Barrington 220 has one school, Sunny Hill Elementary, located in the 60110 zip code. Ninety-nine percent of the students who attend Sunny Hill reside in the 60110 zip code.

We have consulted with our public health officials and we agree that all students who attend Sunny Hill Elementary will remain on Distance Learning next week. We will continue to monitor the situation for that school community and consider a future date to move to the Hybrid mode. 

*All other schools in the district will move forward with the Hybrid plan on Monday, Oct. 19. If you previously signed your child up for Hybrid learning and wish to make a change based on this information, please contact your school principal.*

As a reminder, we must all continue working together to keep our community healthy. We have many mitigation procedures in place for the return of our students. If your child is planning to return to school in the Hybrid mode on Oct. 19, please remember to complete the COVID-19 Symptom Screening BEFORE heading to school each day. I also urge you to continue wearing your mask, washing your hands and maintaining social distance.” 

Editorial note:  The Northwestern Medicine dashboard link was not functioning in the 220 update we received last night.   

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