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Barrington Hills Village President Brian Cecola

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host an economic summit, “State of the Greater Barrington Area,” from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Barrington’s White House, 145 W. Main St. in Barrington.

Village officials from Barrington and surrounding communities will update local business leaders and the community on current economic conditions and what lies ahead for the area.

The public is invited to attend the event, which includes pastries, coffee, networking and the program. Cost to attend is $10 (cheap). Register at www.BarringtonChamber.com.

Confirmed speakers to date include: Barrington Village Manager Scott Anderson; Barrington Hills Village President Brian Cecola; Deer Park Village President Greg Rusteberg; Killdeer Village President Nandia Black; Lake Barrington Village Administrator Karen Daulton-Lange; Long Grove Village President Bill Jacob; North Barrington Village President Eleanor Sweet McDonnell; Port Barrington Village President Keith Vogeler; and South Barrington Village President Paula McCombie.

Editorial note: Hopefully the summit presentations will be recorded and distributed so we might share President Cecola’s “pearls of wisdom” with residents.

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VB Police Contract

Barrington has reached agreement on a new, three-year contract with its police officers. The deal gives officers annual 3% raises and allows the department to make lateral hires. (Daily Herald File Photo)

Barrington officials signed off this week on a new contract with the village’s police officers.

The agreement with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #177 began Jan. 1 and includes 3% salary hikes for each of the three years of the contract. It was approved by the village board Monday.

Under the new contract, the new officers will start with a $76,620 salary. After six years, an officer could achieve the top pay of $109,977.

Police Chief Dave Dorn said Barrington’s recently acquired home-rule status enabled the contract to allow the hiring of “lateral” transfers — officers currently employed by another agency. Bringing in lateral transfers has advantages, he said.

“You can look at a broader applicant pool. You can speed up your testing process as well,” Dorn said.

Dorn said the agreement would have been negotiated quicker if wages had been the only focus. But contract talks also involved incorporating 12-hour shifts for patrol officers from a separate memorandum of understanding into the main contract.

More here.

Editorial note: Makes one wonder where we stand with our own Village Police agreement(s)?

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2022

Following are the eleven (11) most viewed posts published in The Barrington Hills Observer in 2022:

  1. Controversial ‘Gender Queer’ will remain on the shelf at Barrington High, school board decides
  2. Woman bit her daughter’s finger off during altercation in Barrington Hills, prosecutors say
  3. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1)
  4. Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom
  5. Special Village Board meeting this afternoon
  6. Resident tells 220 Board of Education what they needed to hear (but did they listen?)
  7. Barrington Hills man severely injured in crash
  8. Some observations on tonight’s Appropriations public hearing
  9. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 4)
  10. District 220 goes too far (again)
  11. Petition started to “Filter Adult Obscene/Porn Content & SB818 Opt Out,” in D220 Schools

For those wondering why eleven and not an even number, we simply couldn’t end the year without reminding readers where we’ve been in 2022 by omitting #11.

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Barrington Hillbillies

“TV families are a lot like real families. They always come together for Thanksgiving. For the ultimate TV Thanksgiving, look no further than the 1968 episode of The (Barrington) Hillbillies, The Thanksgiving Spirit.”

The crossover episode not only features the Clampetts, it features the cast members of Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. The episode culminates with a shared dinner that includes characters from the three shows.” (Source)

Editorial note: Many preferred to use the phrase, “Barrington Hillbillies,” when referring to the political antics of some in our “oasis of another time” Village, but that subsided until recently when the Cecola Administration took office. Now the popularity of that phrase is experiencing a resurgence.

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ethics

Last Winter, the Village of Lake Barrington published the following in their seasonal newsletter:

Lake Barrington’s Ethics Commission

Did you know that the Village has an Ethics Commission? The independent commission adds to the overall transparency of our government and serves to investigate complaints alleging violations of the Ethics Chapter of the Village Code. We are proud to report that this 3-member Commission has never once had to meet regarding a violation!”

Their Municipal Code actually devotes a chapter to ethics, and the main page of their website contains a link to, “Report a Concern.”

As previously chronicled in this publication, if one searches our Village Code, keying in the word “ethics,” the result reads, “No Matches Found.”

Our Village needs an Ethics Commission.  How else could parties involved in complaints present their respective cases to determine if ethics violations did, or did not, occur? Listed below are typical practices that might arise in our Village, and in our opinion, may warrant investigation, understanding that there are no implications as to guilt or innocence of any on the list:

  • Should expensive legal battles, possibly precipitated by actions of elected and appointed Village officials, be investigated?
  • Should the hiring and retention of Village paid staff positions by elected family members be investigated?
  • Should contracts with vendors who maintain personal and professional relationships with elected Village officials and their families be investigated?
  • Should the solicitations of funds and hand selection of vendors by family members or close friends of elected Village officials, absent oversight by appointed Village committees, be investigated?

For these and other reasons, our Village needs to appoint an Ethics Commission to act as ombudsmen, when any question of potential maladministration or ethics violations is considered or occurs.

Candidates for this proposed commission could come from existing appointed Village bodies, ones whose objectivity would be unquestioned.

The perfect candidates for this roll are the incumbent members of the Board of Heath.  They are highly qualified, underutilized, and would prove to be an effective force in maintaining ethical governance of the Village of Barrington Hills.

Related:Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Better Government Association Commends Passage of Chicago Ethics Ordinance–Sees More to Do,” “What happened to ethics reform in Illinois government? Why watchdogs have some hope,” “Meanwhile, One Barrington Hills makes amends, extinguishes website and turns the volume down,” “Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom,” “Agreed

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County Line Road 1

Road signs on Haegers Bend Road let drivers know which way to turn when driving in Barrington Hills or Algonquin.

The August Board of Trustees meeting was brief.  It lasted less than half an hour, but that was more than enough time to cause continued disappointment with the Cecola administration.

For example, why has the phone-in system to Board of Trustee meetings not yet been fixed yet?  Is it intentional to discourage resident’s attendance or does it just reflect incompetence on the part of those responsible for getting the job done?

Next, Laura Ekstrom, Roads & Bridges Committee Chair, provided an update on resurfacing work and detours taking place on, “Lake Cook Road,” in our Village. President Cecola, former committee chair, and Bryan Croll provided their perspectives on, “Lake Cook Road,” work.  The problem is, there is no road named, “Lake Cook,” in Barrington Hills.

County Line Road, named decades before Barrington Hills was incorporated, runs from Haegers Bend Road all the way to Hart Road. Trustee Riff, who actually lives on County Line Road, joined in the road work discussion yet made no effort to correct the record.  Given the fact he wrote on his Facebook site, “I was swarm into office as a Barrington Hills, Illinois Trustee,” he may not be as bright as some had hoped.

Some will say we’re picking at nits here.  But ask the employees or residents of the Barrington Hills Country Club, Countryside Elementary School or the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House what their address is, they will all say County Line Road. Other might say, “Come on, you know what they meant,” however, one must then question what else Trustees say versus what they meant.

The best point we can make in rebuttal is if you Google, “300 W. Lake Cook Road, Barrington Hills, IL,” instead of a map leading to Barrington Hills Country Club, you’ll see a map of downtown Buffalo Grove.

We elected Trustees relying on their intelligence and experience.  Live up to those expectations.

Recordings from the August 22nd Board of Trustees meeting can be found here.

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Can you Hear Me

Nope!

It’s been some time since we posted recordings from Board if Trustee meetings.  But considering it’s been some time since residents could phone in to meetings and actually hear anything remotely audible, we thought we’d go “old school” again.

Since it’s been nearly impossible to dial in to meetings to participate for months, the only conclusion we can arrive at is the Cecola admiration would rather we didn’t. As a result, no effort has been made to remedy the documented technology issues.  None.

The recording of the July 25th Board of Trustees meeting can be accessed here.

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Red

Barrington Hills First Lady and Village of Lakemoor Building Permit Coordinator, Stephanie Cecola, was seen running at the start of the 2nd annual, “The Land We Love Run,” earlier this month.

The Summer 2022 edition of the Village Newsletter was recently released. Topics covered include:

  • President’s letter
  • 2nd Annual “The Land We Love Run” recap*
  • Horizon Farm public meeting
  • Tornado preparation tips
  • Donlea Road drainage update
  • Crime prevention, and
  • Pointers on whether permits are required for landscaping or earth moving

A copy can be viewed and downloaded here.

* Event participant results (no First Lady listed??), by category, can be found here.

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BACT Officers

Barrington Area Conservation Trust officers

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] Appointment: Matthew Vondra, Plan Commission Chairman Term as Chair expires 04/2023
  • [Vote] A Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Doctor Pamela Cools for Years of Dedicated Service Resolution 22 –
  • The Land We Love Run Summary

A brief statement of Matthew Vondra’s qualifications for consideration can be viewed here. Without too much detail, we’ll expound on his experience a bit.

Matt is currently Vice President of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT).  Their President is Brian Croll, who is also a Trustee of the Village of Barrington Hills. The BACT Treasurer is Loren Ekstrom, the husband of Village of Barrington Hills Trustee Laura Ekstrom.

The BACT is responsible for, “…creating the largest permanent land preservation easement in the state of Illinois,” known as Horizon Farm, which is now owned and managed under that easement by the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

Note: For the third month in a row, it’s unknown if the telephony issues that have plagued recent meetings have been remedied yet, so callers might encounter issues again.

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BGA_Logo_WithTag_typeUnder_Final-10

City Council passage of improvements to Chicago’s government ethics ordinance is a welcome step toward reform–with more work yet ahead, the Better Government Association said Wednesday. The research and policy arm of the 99-year old civic watchdog organization assisted Ald. Michele Smith and the city’s Board of Ethics in drafting the reform measure.

Among other changes, the new ordinance:

  • Broadens campaign finance restrictions on city contractors to include contractors for sister agencies such as the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools
  • Strengthens conflict of interest provisions to prohibit city employees from exercising official powers on behalf of a relative, spouse, or domestic partner
  • Prohibits lobbying on the floor of City Council, including by prior members of Council
  • Requires specific and complete disclosure of the conflict of interest in cases where members of City Council recuse themselves from a vote due to conflict of interest
  • Expands conflict of interest provisions to cover all city officers.
  • Requires independent contractors who work for City Council or its committees to complete required ethics training and file annual financial interest statements, including a record of which committees or other bodies they contract with.
  • Strengthens fines for ethics violations, including granting the Board of Ethics the ability to levy fines equal to the value of any monetary gain from wrongdoing.

“Passage of this ordinance is important for the city, and it’s important for voters and other residents who have a right to expect honest, transparent government,” said David Greising, president of the Better Government Association.

Read the full statement here.

Note: A keyword search for “ethics” on our Village Code web page resulted in “No Matching Records” as seen below:

Capture

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