Archive for the ‘One Barrington Hills’ Category

One Barrington Hills candidates Tom Strauss, Brian Cecola, Laura Ekstrom and David Riff

Four candidates are running for seats on our Village Board of Trustees under a familiar campaign banner, “One Barrington Hills.”

Second term Trustee Brian Cecola is running for Village President. Cecola is hoping to succeed the current Village President, Martin McLaughlin, who’s eight years in village office comes to a close in April.

Former Village Communications Committee member, Laura Ekstrom, along with David Riff and Tom Strauss have joined Brian on the campaign trail vying for Village Trustee seats.

To learn more, visit the One Barrington Hills website by clicking here.

Early voting begins March 25th, and the election is Tuesday, April 6th.

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The League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area and the Barrington Area Library are hosting a series of virtual forums for candidates in several Barrington-area races in the April 6 election.

The first three are set for Saturday, March 6. Barrington Hills village president candidates Brian D. Cecola and Dennis Kelly, are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cate Williams will moderate. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/6s4f1dkh.

From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Kim Inman will moderate a discussion with Barrington Hills village trustee candidates Laura S. Ekstrom, David Riff, Thomas W. Strauss, Brent Joseph Burval, Paula Jacobsen and Robert M. Zubak. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/12bj0f4g.

A forum for Barrington Area Unit School District 220 candidates is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 13. The field includes William Betz, Erin Chan Ding, Sandra Ficke-Bradford, Katie Karam, Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, Jonathan Matta, Malgorzata McGonigal, Thomas J. Mitoraj, Michael Shackleton, Alex Strobl, Steve Wang and Robert Windon.

To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/2kp6j4pc.

The forum will be followed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. that day by one for Barrington Area Library board candidates Josie Croll, Jennifer J. Lucas, Anne Ordway and Denise Tenyer. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/3ngvn4ad.

“Candidate forums are an ideal way to see and hear your community leaders and their opponents explain their views, defend their voting record, and answer questions posed by our fellow citizens,” Vicki Martin, co-president of the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area, said in an announcement of the events Tuesday.

All candidate forums are run by trained, nonpartisan moderators. Equal time is given to all candidates to answer each question. The candidates will have two minutes to present an opening statement, in turn, by number drawn.

Questions solicited from community members and nonpartisan groups will be vetted in advance by the league for appropriateness and relevance. Candidates who are unable to participate will be allowed to submit a three-minute statement that will be read by the moderator.

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Campaign Piggy BankAlthough 2016 is not an election year in Barrington Hills for seats on our Board of Trustees, at least four prior political committees are still reporting available campaign funds to the Illinois State Board of Elections in their latest quarterly reports due Friday, January 15th.  Three of those committees reporting date back to the 2013 election.

Here is the information from the four committees we found from elections board records, in descending order of financial balances (presumably available for the 2017 Village election campaigns):

Save Open Space – Barrington Hills Trustees NFP:  We never quite understood what the “NFP” stood for, but clearly this didn’t bother donors.  The SOS Party amassed enough campaign funds in 2014 and 2015 that they now have about $22,000 remaining in their coffers. 

A copy of their latest financial report can be viewed here.

Country Oaks Committee to Elect Robert G Abboud:  The former Village President also has excess funds from his 2013 Save 5 Acres campaign for office, totaling roughly $4,800.  A copy of that committee’s latest filing can be viewed here.  

Unite Barrington Hills: Also formed before the 2013 election, this committee which supported current board members Colleen Konicek and Martin McLaughlin shows a balance of about $3,000.  Their latest report can be viewed here.

Friends of Kelly Mazeski:  This committee was also one of four operating independently to support a candidate running under the Save 5 Acres moniker in 2013, and it has a balance of around $700.  A copy of the report can be viewed here.

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The Observer takes a look back at another year gone by, as we present the ten most frequently read news stories and editorials for 2015.  Click on any title to read and revisit stories from this past year.

January 26th Village Board meeting recordings released

The top read story of the year came early with our reporting of an unfortunate scene during the January Village Board meeting when a former Trustee resorted to profanity with tensions mounting before the 2015 elections.

Horse boarding rules already facing legal challenge

It came as no surprise to most residents that within days after some Trustees voted to override the veto of the highly controversial LeCompte/Anderson Horse Boarding amendment that a lawsuit was filed against the Village, as this news article from March reports. 

“Don’t be deceived” – Part Five

In the weeks leading up to the April 2015 election, we ran a series of five articles titled “Don’t be deceived” dispelling rumors and falsehoods being published by the SOS party candidates during the campaign.  The fifth was the most read.

We’ve Been Clubbed by Commercial Horse Boarding

The play on words in the title of this January editorial was the only light-hearted item about it as we pointed out the obvious and blatant conflicts of interests that a majority of members of our Zoning and Village Boards had when it came to legislating anything related to horse boarding codes.

Croll, Maison and Cecola win seats on Barrington Hills Board

The title of this article speaks for itself, and it was read by hundreds of relieved residents.

Barrington Hills candidates debate horse-boarding solutions, veto

Early on in the 2015 campaign for three seats on our Village Board, the controversy over horse boarding was employed as a wedge to divide the electorate.  This February 4 Daily Herald article is one well read example.  

Homeowners sue Barrington Hills after tree dispute bars them from moving in

This May 2015 story ultimately pointed out some shortcomings in our code, as well as the uneven enforcement of them by our (now former) Code Enforcement Officer.  Lessons were learned and corrective action was taken.

Polo politicking – SOS Party style

Political operatives supporting one trustee slate attempted in March to persuade would-be voters that if their candidates lost the election it would mean the end of public polo matches in Barrington Hills.  This editorial pointed out their underestimation of the intelligence of residents. 

Board votes to settle suit, void Commercial Horse Boarding amendment

Our October article reporting the actions of the Village Board regarding the flawed LeCompte/Anderson Horse Boarding amendment was well read and garnered quite a number of reader comments.

Too many signs

A former Village President was fond of saying the reason there are no signs reading “Welcome to Barrington Hills” on roads leading into the Village was because people passing through knew the borders instantly by seeing the sprawling estates.  Last April, no one really noticed the estates, just the over-abundance of political campaign signs.

**It should be noted that a recently published article titled “2015 Shining Star Awards” would likely have made this year’s top read list considering it has been shared by 119 Facebook users already, but it was only published on December 22nd.  Perhaps it will make our 2016 list.

-The Observer

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The Village has released audio recordings from last Monday’s special Village Board meeting.  We understand the meeting was well attended by residents, but the same cannot be said of elected officials.

Trustees Gohl and Harrington were absent from the brief meeting, as were outgoing Trustees Meroni and Selman.  Once newly elected Trustees Croll, Maison and Cecola took their oaths of office, a quorum of the Board was then present, and the meeting was called to order.

Two residents made public comments.  Trustee Messer was then given a plaque and commendation for his years of service to residents by President McLaughlin, and all present gave him a round of applause.  Plaques were also prepared for former Trustees Meroni and Selman and presumably they will pick up them up at a later date.

The Board then voted on Trustee assignments for oversight of the various committees and commissions made up of appointed residents, as well as approve a new President Pro-Tem.

To access the menu of edited audio recordings from the meeting, click here.

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There will be a special Village Board meeting Monday, May 11th, for the purpose of swearing in newly elected Trustees, Brian Croll, Michelle Nagy Maison and Brian Cecola, and to vote on organizational assignments.  Topics on the agenda include:

  • Commendation to Outgoing Trustees
  • [Vote] Trustee Committee Appointments
  • [Vote] President Pro Tem Appointment

The meeting begins at 6:30 PM at Village Hall.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The official certified vote counts from the April 7th consolidated election have been posted to the Village website.  A copy of the results can be seen below:

VBH 2015 Official Election Results


Also, David Orr, Cook County Clerk, has certified the vote counts by township and precinct.  A copy of his report can be viewed here.

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campaignfinanceThe “One Barrington Hills” (One BH) and “Save Open Space” (SOS) campaign committees filed their first quarter financial reports with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Wednesday, April 15th.

According to those filings, One BH reported total campaign contributions of $19,502.88 for the quarter compared to the SOS campaign’s receipts of $60,825.99.  For the same period, One BH spent $16,267.26 for their campaign versus the $50,901.35 spent by SOS, but the respective categories of expenditures by each campaign differed dramatically according to details contained in their reports.

One BH candidates spent a little over half of their funds on direct mailings to residents.  On the other hand, SOS candidates spent about forty percent of their donations to pay two campaign committee members for consulting fees.

SOS committee member Dan Lundmark was paid $12,500 for his consulting services, and Steve Knoop’s firm, First Chicago Advisors, Inc., was also paid $12,500 for consulting in the campaign.  It’s unclear from the reporting what the hourly consulting fees were for these committee members, but it is worth noting they were both compensated at an equal level.

In addition to consulting fees, the SOS committee spent $7,642.50 of their quarterly donations for legal services provided to their campaign from the Law Office of John Fogarty, Jr., a firm specializing in political and election laws.  Those fees equate to about 12.6% of SOS’s total financial intake for the quarter.

While first quarter campaign financial reports do provide a preliminary glimpse at campaign spending, we must remind readers they are by no means the final story regarding the overall campaign spending for the 2015 Barrington Hills Trustee election.  Those figures will likely be revealed in three months when the second quarter financials are reported to the Board of Elections.

In the meantime, a copy of the One Barrington Hills campaign committee’s 2015 Q-1 report filing can be downloaded here, and a copy of the Save Open Space committee’s Q-1 report can be downloaded here.

–     The Observer

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If there was only one word we could use to describe Tuesday’s election results, it would be “turnout.”

Though official reporting sites for Lake and McHenry county voting have not yet reported how many registered Barrington Hills voters headed to the polls, Cook and Kane counties have, and the results can be seen below:

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

These results are not yet certified due to uncounted late “vote by mail” arrivals, but those will only add to what will likely be among the highest turnout percentages for any suburban Chicago election this year.

Next week we’ll be sharing our observations on the respective 2015 Barrington Hills Trustee campaigns and the election results.

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A day after all three trustee candidates he supported won in Tuesday’s village board election, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said Wednesday he does not expect all of the issues that have divided the community the last two years to be resolved at the drop of a hat.

On Tuesday, Barrington Hills voters elected the slate of Brian Cecola, Bryan Croll and Michelle Maison to fill three trustee seats on the village board. A competing slate of McLaughlin critics — incumbents Karen Selman and Patti Meroni and challenger Mary Naumann — were defeated.

Read more here.

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