Archive for the ‘2021 Elections’ Category

From District 220:

“At the July 21 special Board of Education meeting, the Board and Dr. Robert Hunt, Superintendent of Schools, thanked the many community members who have reached out through emails, phone calls and public comment at Board meetings to share their perspective on COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year. In addition, Dr. Hunt expressed the importance of continuing to work together in order to move forward, and presented the Board with a plan that prioritizes in-person learning and layered mitigations.

To listen to Dr. Hunt’s presentation, click the video link above. You can also click here to view the presentation in PDF format.

The Board did not take any action at the meeting, however based on the discussion, it is anticipated that students in grades PreK-5 will begin the school year wearing masks indoors. The district will add Shield testing to obtain school based data, and develop a matrix which will inform decision making on mitigation strategies throughout the school year. The Board plans to continue the discussion at its next regularly scheduled meeting on August 10.

To date, the following decisions have been made regarding masks for the 2021-22 school year:

  • The district recommends that all students who are not fully vaccinated wear masks indoors, however students in grades 6-12 will not be required to do so.
  • ALL students will not be required to wear masks outdoors.
  • Masks will be required on buses for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status (per the Centers for Disease Control Order for Public Transportation).
  • Staff who submit proof of vaccination will not be required to wear masks indoors.

In addition, the district will have many mitigation strategies in place at all schools for the 2021-22 school year.

Click hereto view the 2021-2022 mitigation strategies

It is important to note that the CDC, IDPH and Lake County Health Department are leaving mitigation decisions up to local school districts. However, IDPH and the Lake County Health Department fully endorse the recent CDC school guidance and collectively support universal masking. Barrington 220 will continue to receive support and input from the Lake County Health Department, but the health department will not formally approve any Lake County school district plans. In addition, the district anticipates that IDPH will be releasing updated guidance for schools in the near future, which may impact these decisions. Barrington 220 continues to recognize the importance of flexibility, as guidance can quickly change based on public health data.”

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The 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 6:30 PM at Barrington High School located at 616 W Main St.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Please note the agenda states the following:

“Public Comment can be made in one of two ways:

  • By 12:00 pm (noon) on July 21st leave a voicemail message at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the January 21st board meeting.
  • By making a public comment in person at the meeting.

This meeting will also be transmitted virtually at bit.ly/220schoolboardlive. Please click on the July 21st meeting, which will appear on the site when the meeting actually begins.”

As “public comment averse” as some on the board are, it should not be assumed comments communicated by email or print will be accepted by this board.

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The District 220 Board met last week, and we are here to report that the wheels are coming off the Ficke-Bradford, Collister-Lazzari, Altshuler and Chan Ding, Covid “Fear Mongering Foursome” cart.

If you didn’t attend or watch the meeting(video can be viewed here), it was primarily centered on discussions on Covid Protocols for the upcoming school year. Discussions that D220 parents have anxiously been awaiting so they can decide whether they will leave their kids in the tax funded District or pull them in favor of private, charter or home schooling.

Following are our takeaways from the meeting. We are focusing on the discussions surrounding the masking of your K-5 students, as a majority of the Board gave direction to the Superintendent to come up with a Mask Optional approach for the 6-12 students.

Most disturbing was Chan Dings’ reasoning behind denying parents of grade school students the right to choose whether their children should wear a mask, citing her own fears for her unvaccinated grade school child and wanting her to have an approved vaccine prior to sending her to school without a mask:

“Those parents with kids like me, who are 11 and under, I have one who is in the process of getting vaccinated, I have one who cannot yet get vaccinated, I would like to eventually vaccinate her, but until she is vaccinated, I’m not comfortable with her not wearing a mask while she’s indoors…”

Wang clarified Chan Ding’s comments, stating your daughter can still wear a mask. Chan Ding responded:

“She can still wear a mask but she’s extra vulnerable if unvaccinated kids are around her…”

Putting aside the fact that Chan Ding promised throughout her campaign that she would be an independent voice (…and we all know how long that lasted the minute she showed obvious collusion with Ficke-Bradford, Altshuler, and Collister-Lazzari within seconds of being sworn into office to destroy the decades old tradition and sided with the 3 of them to vote Wilcox out of any officer position on the board despite her 6 years of dedicated and impeccable service to Collister-Lazzari & Altshuler’s 2 years), last we checked, one is sworn to put aside personal motivations when acting on behalf of a community while serving on a school board. Ignoring the voices of in excess of 500 for ones self-serving interests is reason alone to call for a recall of Chan Ding.

We will have to keep a very close eye on Chan Ding moving forward as it appears she is in deep doo-doo with her campaign supporters. Some communications between Chan Ding and a person named Kyla were shared by Kyla on social media and it is apparent that Chan Ding is in major back pedal mode as a result of her position at the last meeting, assuring Kyla that:

“It has been a huge help to receive emails from people with your perspective, as we were getting crushed by emails from anti-maskers… we still need to know there’s a segment of the community that’s behind us doing responsible things… The anti-maskers are incredibly well-organized… This Wednesday, there will be the opportunity to call in a voicemail or show up in person to show the Board and the media who cover the meeting that the other side is just as passionate (and I hope, more respectful).”

It’s obvious now that Chan Ding is not the independent voice she promised to be. She believes there are sides, and she has taken one. She believes that those who asked her for mask choice are “anti-maskers”. She believes that those who came before her last week to advocate on behalf of their children are disrespectful. And she has also advised Kyla that “volume matters” and to encourage people to email and show up to address the Board on a mask mandate.

Graphic 1

Graphic 2

Perhaps most disturbing was the very palpable orchestration by Ficke-Bradford to manipulate the votes of Altshuler, Chan Ding, and Collister-Lazzari, when they failed to be able to closely adhere to what was obviously discussed by the four of them prior to meeting.

The pre-meeting discussions were as much admitted to by Chan Ding and reinforced by her jumping in at the very beginning of the discussion to seek a “compromise”. For those not familiar with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), discussions by board members are to be held in front of the public that they represent. Any discussion outside of the public by more than 3 members is a violation of the OMA. While there are ways around this, we doubt that these members are savvy enough to adhere to them.

So, how else could Chan Ding be seeking a compromise at the beginning of the meeting unless she’d already determined that there were members who weren’t in agreement with her? It seems the “Fear Mongering Foursome” was thrown off when the Board was provided four different options to pursue:

  1. Universal Masking
  2. Non-Vaccinated Masking
  3. Phased Masking, and
  4. Mask Optional

Ficke-Bradford reinforced the coercion of the Fear Mongering Foursome, re-directing the opinions of Altshuler and Collister-Lazzari who clearly desired Non-Vaccinated Masking, repeatedly saying each time after they voiced their opinion: “…it sounds to me like you are leaning towards phased masking…” which Chan Ding was in favor of for K-5 students.

“I’m for non-vaccinated masking for 6 to 12 and for masking for elementary, and then for phased masking for all of them…” Collister-Lazzari repeatedly stated, with Ficke-Bradford re-directing, because they had already lost the 6 to 12 discussions when Chan Ding agreed to Mask Optional for those grades with Karam, Wang and Wilcox. While the crowd did become boisterous on occasion, Collister-Lazzari showed herself to be completely incapable of living in reality:

“I don’t think it’s fair to blame the school board for closing school last year… for having kids be at home… I think there was a pandemic and school was closed all over the world…”

So, the inability to open D220 schools is our fault due to Covid and not the school board that she was a member of and that voted to keep schools closed? Yet the new Superintendent came from a school district that remained open during the spring semester, so it can’t be Covid, can it?

According to Collister-Lazzari, we should be rejoicing those kids are going back to school. But she fails to mention that the decision to do so came amidst a mandate from the Illinois State Board of Education that schools return to in-person learning this fall. I think we all know where Collister-Lazzari’s vote would have been on the issue absent the mandate.

Altshuler “shared his heart…” admitting there were hundreds of emails and he was not capable of responding to all of them, in favor of Mask Optional. We know that any insinuation that there was a vocal pro-mask population out there before the meeting was false when Karam responded to Collister-Lazzari’s claim that people in favor of masking may have stayed home to attend the meeting online (as Collister-Lazzari commanded all critics of her and her band of maskers should) sharing that the BOE members had received only seven (7) communications advocating for masks compared to the countless ones requesting the BOE to make masks optional.

Altshuler, further sharing his heart, stated

“… if we say no masking, or mask optional, then I feel like we are prejudiced against the people who want to mask…”

What?! Offering a choice is a sign of prejudice? When questioned by the crowd that it was clearly not prejudicial since people would have the option, pointing out that Altshuler himself was wearing a mask at his own discretion, he responded:

“I have a mask on because I’m not feeling well and I don’t want to get everyone else sick. I’m trying to be a good citizen…”

Yet we know this ‘good citizen’ was not wearing a mask before the public meeting, having seen him walking around inside the building prior to the meeting without one. Rumor has it he didn’t have one on in closed session either.

Perhaps Altshuler was suddenly overcome with sickness when he saw that hundreds of parents and children of D220 had shown up to speak their voice on allowing mask choice to the students of D220? Whatever the cause, we know from Alshuler’s public comments during meetings and on his social media pages that he admonished people to “Stay home if unwell” and “Stay home when we are not feeling well,” so the ‘good citizen’ doc should have followed his own advice and removed himself from the meeting as soon as he was not feeling well. (See Facebook posts of Barry Altshuler – 220 School Board on January 9 and March 5, 2021).

After all, what was the point of his presence when there was no formal vote on the agenda and everyone on the Board seemed to already know that he is in favor of keeping the District, possibly the world, in masks? At one point in discussing a future meeting on the subject, the new Superintendent leaned over to Altshuler and said to him:

“Well let’s be honest, your vote is not going to change… your vote is not going to change to vote unmasked…” and our resident pediatrician responded, “I cannot get to unmasking…”

So, finally some honesty from the ‘good citizen’.

It appears that Ficke-Bradford has lost more than just control of the room (has anyone ever banged a gavel more), she has also lost control of the Fear Mongering Foursome, despite her constant attempts to re-phrase their opinions and to direct their ‘votes’ … “it sounds to me like you are leaning towards…”

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Q2 Refunds

The Village campaign committees have reported their second quarter 2021 finances to the Illinois State Board of Elections.  Click on any link to view their reports:

Once again, it’s interesting reading in some cases, especially when it comes to itemized campaign donations refunded.

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Barrington School District 220 board members, most not wearing masks as they met in person June 15, heard calls from four parents and a student to drop requirement for students to wear masks when school resumes for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Monika Casey was the first of nine speakers during the public comment portion of the meeting. The speakers, including four parents and one student, called on board members to lift what most called the “mask mandate,” which is the requirement that has been in place for all students, vaccinated or not, to wear masks in school, including during the present summer school term.

The use of face coverings – or masks – became a public health requirement as part of addressing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It’s a critical topic among several with respect to the negative and permanent impacts on our children,” according to Casey, who said she has been district parent for 15 years. “I urge lifting the mask mandate…at today’s meeting.”

Board members didn’t take any action on the mask question at this week’s meeting but did agree to take it up at the July 13 one, although there was no clear agreement on whether the issue would be on the agenda then for discussion or as an action item.

Board members are hopeful that by then the district will have received updated guidance on mask usage from the Illinois State Board of Education. Outgoing Superintendent Brian Harris has said that, as school chief, he is bound to follow ISBE guidance on the matter, as well as guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Lake County Health Department – unless a majority of school board members direct him otherwise.

Read more here.

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Alex Stroble (seated at center) seen submitting his public comments to District 220 Board of Education members at Tuesday night’s meeting.

By way of setup, you may recall Alex Strobl, who was introduced to Observer readers during the April Board of Education election. Alex had been a candidate for the BOE but pulled his name from the ballot after some unfortunate interactions with sitting BOE members (Kazmier, Bradford and  Altshuler) attempting to groom candidates for the upcoming election. Strobl spoke out against the hypocrisy of those members in criticizing Suburban Action candidates, Karam, McGonigal and Wang for running in a PAC where sitting member and candidate Bradford was running with an agenda endorsed by the BEA teacher’s union and had been part of a selection committee for candidates, along with Kazmier and Altshuler, that included interviews of candidates Strobl and Ding. Following some public personal attacks on his character and misstatements by those sitting members, Strobl came out with his own public statements explaining the actions of Kazmier, Bradford and Altshuler during the candidate selection process. Thereafter, these three BOE members have on multiple occasions, without notice to Strobl or to the public via the posted agenda, taken the opportunity to discuss Strobl at great length in front of the public during BOE meetings, and without providing Strobl an opportunity to respond or defend himself. Altshuler took another such moment to publicly criticize Strobl following the swearing in of the new BOE on May 4th. This past Tuesday, May 18th, Strobl appeared at the meeting of the District 220 Board of Education, and attempted to read a response into the record. The following was spoken by him during his 3 minute allotted time for public comment:

“Hello my name is Alex Strobl and I am here today in person to respond to the multiple times my name, motives, perspective and character have been discussed, unannounced, in this forum, the last of which was May 4th. I am requesting the exact same time that Barry Altshuler used during the May 4th Board meeting. The nine minutes Barry spent reading his prepared statement was not on the agenda nor was I informed that I would again be discussed. The exactly nine minutes I am requesting mirrors the time Barry was provided but does not include the time that was spent discussing me during the April 6th board meeting; together that would total over thirty minutes. Over thirty minutes our elected school board spent discussing a community member who was not present nor given the opportunity to be present. I am requesting that time be provided now, and only a third of it.

I ask that you hold a vote to allow me the nine minutes requested.”

After this request, the BOE members looked mutely upon Strobl, providing no response to his request, so he proceeded:

“I am requesting that my full response statement be put into the Board notes public comment section. I apologize for speaking quickly, but some of the members of this Board seem to want to silence me. To anyone interested, I will submit the full response in the area papers as well as several Barrington Facebook groups. I am here to again share with our Barrington 220 Community that I stepped forward, sharing my letter, because of the hypocrisy I witnessed during a non-partisan school board election. As I have stated, Barry Altshuler, a board member, put me in touch with a group that acted in a capacity to vet, select and prepare candidates along ideological lines. On that call, was the School Board President at the time (Penny Kazmier) and the School Board Vice President (now President Sandra Bradford). During that meeting Sandra was never asked any questions, was introduced as a Board member, and then at the end of my interview several members stayed on to provide additional help for the group. Sandra was one of those people… here is the Zoom Call photo (holding up a paper). Candidates don’t stay on to help! Again, this was a call that I was directed to by Barry and where Penny was present. Any reasonable person can see what’s going on here and what has transpired. This hypocrisy was my motivation. The rules can’t be different for some. No school board members, which are non-partisan positions, should be a part of such things. It violates the Board’s own Code of Conduct. Barry, to compare this behavior to putting up lawn signs is disingenuous and laughable.

Members of this board have questioned the legality of what some board members have done. They have also questioned my integrity, my intention, my character, my timing, and my ability. And they won’t even give me the same time to respond. All of these things are meant to distract from the unethical behavior they engaged in. For example, much to my surprise during the May 4th meeting, Barry Altshuler decided to use the Board’s platform to distance himself and talk about me without ever letting me know. Barry posited that I must be upset with him. I was never upset. I was disappointed. And I continue to be disappointed. Just at the last meeting the Board disregarded their own written policy that encourages participation of community members in the decision-making process when at that meeting they rushed to fill Board positions which do not reflect the diversity of this community and did this without community input. They held public comment until after those positions.

(Bell rings)

Sounds like my time is up. I want to again thank those who stood up for me, Mike Shackleton, Angel Wilcox and Katie Karam. I’ll be sticking up for myself from hereon out. Do not mention my name again without calling me first.”

Whereupon Strobl provided the remaining script of his comments (see below) to the BOE secretary. Member Wang asked President Bradford if the Board was permitted to give Strobl more time, which she glossed over saying the Board would need to vote on it and that they needed to take the comments of the remaining public first. Two other residents spoke and without entertaining a vote on Member Wang’s request to allow Strobl more time, President Bradford called public comment closed.

Now, Strobl’s written comments submitted to the BOE on May 18:

“I am here to again share with our Barrington 220 Community that I stepped forward, sharing my letter, because of the hypocrisy I witnessed during a non-partisan school board election. Specifically, a Daily Herald article published on March 27th decrying party politics in Barrington’s local elections, when through experience, those pointing the finger were actively engaged in partisan politics, with the power of three board members (to include the president and vice president) and in secret. This hypocrisy was my motivation. The rules can’t be different for some.

As I have stated, Barry Alstshuler, a board member, put me in touch with a group that acted in a capacity to vet, select and prepare candidates along ideological lines. On that call, was the School Board President at the time (Penny Kazmier) and the School Board Vice President (now President Sandra Bradford). Both were there in their board member capacity.

Members of this board have questioned the legality of what some board members have done. They have also questioned my integrity, my intention, my character, my timing, and my ability. All of these arguments are meant to distract from the unethical behavior they engaged in.

I did not want to distract from this core point, namely the unethical and hypocritical behavior. As a result, I did not attend the April 6th meeting. I had made public my experience and felt that was enough. I want this unethical behavior to stop – or at the very least the hypocrisy of it to stop – and for the people of this community to be aware of what is going on in Barrington 220. The April 6th board meeting was an embarrassment. I want everyone to know that I called Penny several times during that meeting and sent her a text at 9:25PM that read “Hi Penny, I’m happy to come down right now and talk to you. This is not right.” I never received a response or a follow up. Everyone who was watching the meeting that night got to see, on full display, some of what I encountered in my interactions. The brazenness and victimization of some of the members was both shocking and sad. That said, in my mind there was a new board elected, people knew what happened, and it was time to move on.

Apparently that sentiment was not shared. And truly, to my surprise, during the May 4th meeting, Barry Altshuler decided to use the Board’s platform to continue to again have an open discussion, but not about the issue at hand, rather about me. It was a thinly veiled attempt to clear himself from any responsibility by shifting focus, and trying to close everything up. This is reprehensible and one of the many glaring hypocrisies of some of the members of the board. The same man who minutes prior lectures others on “no surprises – we have to avoid blindsiding each other” and “you should have come to hear my side – nobody asked me” uses the power of his platform and tax payer time to read a prepared and disparaging character statement about a community member. This was not on the agenda and I was not informed that I would again be discussed by the board. What Barry, Sandra, and Penny did was wrong and people have a right to know what their elected members are doing.

Barry, in the statement you read on May 4th, you questioned how I felt about you. You posited that I must be upset with you. I was never upset. I was disappointed. I was disappointed that the man who took care of my children – who reached out to me to ask me to run – never had the common decency to follow up with me because I was not part of his, or his group’s, agenda. I was disappointed that after my call with Penny – when I got to see behind the curtain – I got to see that all those people who felt their voices didn’t matter – were right. I was disappointed to see the meeting on April 6th and the brazenness of unethical members. I was disappointed that at no time did those three board members reach out to me – except for Penny – and then only to compel me to write a follow-up statement to free her of responsibility from her own actions.

I continue to be disappointed while watching the board meeting on May 4th as the board disregarded their own policy manual which (in section 3:10) states that the board values “participation by students, staff, parents and community members in the decision making process.” Yet at that meeting the four of you rushed to fill board leadership positions which do not reflect the diversity of this community. You did this without community input, holding public comment until after you filled those positions. And then I was further disappointed – but not at all surprised at this point – to watch the positions be filled straight down the 4-3 vote to include removing Angela Wilcox, a respected board member, from her current position without any discussion. Again, no discussion, no community input, just straight down the line.

Finally, I was disappointed that after this power grab Barry felt it was appropriate to use his position and time to once again speak about me – to speak at me – without ever having the common decency to inform me – a community member – that this was going to happen. These are the people that are writing Diversity and Inclusion statements – people who don’t want real diversity or inclusion. These are the people that claim to want the community to come together and then vote a straight line without any discussion that, once again, not only removes an experienced and respected member of the board from her previous position but selects a president who misrepresented her role in all of this.

Sandra has written that she was invited as a candidate to this group meeting. During that meeting, she was never asked any questions, was introduced as a board member and then at the end of my interview and after I was asked all of the ideological questions I previously referenced, several members stayed on to provide additional help. Sandra was one of those people – here is the Zoom call photo. Candidates don’t stay on to help. A call again that I was directed to by Barry and where Penny was present. Any reasonable person can see what’s going on here and what has transpired.

Attack and belittle me all you want. It does not erase what happened or what is going on in this community. Barry Altshuler put me in touch with what he called a “progressive” group that he said would help get me elected. On that call both the President (Penny Kazmier) and Vice President (and now president Sandra Bradford) were present in their board capacity. This was a meeting where a single candidate was being vetted/chosen/selected/prepared along partisan lines. At no time did the board members recuse themselves or distance themselves from what was happening – during or after.

No school board members, which are non-partisan positions, should be a part of such things. It violates your own Code of Conduct (2:80:1 & 2:80:2). It’s at best poor form and at worse an overstepping of power. Barry, to compare this behavior to putting up lawns signs is disingenuous and laughable.

The board members I mentioned – to include Barry – talk about the fact that there was 11 candidates and that I could have run with any other group. But the fact is that at least three of those 11 candidates never had a chance – they just didn’t know it. They were up against your machine and a group of parents forming in response to it. You can see that clearly by who actually got elected. And let’s think through that election. Even if I won, I did not want to lose time with my family and work so that I could show up to meetings where four members would railroad an agenda – like you just did in filling those new positions – and then put me behind a banner so I didn’t even show up on camera like what happened to Katie Karam. I am thankful there are people to fight the good fight on this board but I could see the writing on the wall.

I wanted to work with community members from all walks and all perspectives to try to solve problems for our children and community, not spend four years bearing witness to hard lined agendas. Barry and Sandra talk about unity and seemingly take every action to further divide the community. They didn’t start this polarization but they further stoked it – as evidenced by past actions and now Sandra as president and Angela removed. You seem to have no interest in uniting this community and your actions demonstrate that at every step.

I agree that it is in everyone’s best interest for the board to unify. That said, teams are built on trust not retreats. And the foundation of trust is honesty. It was never about good candidates or diverse perspectives; it was about the right agenda. It is this hypocrisy that I am here to highlight. Community members attacked other current members on this board for working with groups in the community while they were themselves doing it, in secret, and with the power of three members of the board to include the president and vice president.

I own my ignorance. I thought non-paid, non-partisan, board positions would attract a different kind of attention. In talking with people across this community I think many others suffer from that same naiveté. No one should have any misgivings about what’s going on here moving forward.

I want to again thank Mike Shackleton and Angela Wilcox for sticking up for me on April 6th and I want to thank Katie Karam for sticking up for me again on May 4th.

I will be sticking up for myself from here on out.

Do not mention my name again without calling me first. Thank you for your time.”

To watch the portion of the video queued to the comments, click here.

Related:So you wanna run for Barrington CUSD 220 Board?

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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening via Zoom at 7:00 PM. Some of the topics for discussion include:

  • Swearing in New Commissioner Drew McMahon
  • Planting new trees for outdoor arena area
  • Review of outdoor arena options and next steps
  • Review Draft of FRVH Cooperative Agreement insurance requirements
  • Hanover Park Youth Tennis Club use of tennis courts at Countryside School

Some may recall the April 14th agenda included, “Swearing in New Commissioners,” which we found odd since the Cook County Clerk had not yet certified the April 6th Consolidated General Election results yet. The Clerk’s April 27th certification of the election results can be viewed here.

Knowing what absolute sticklers our Park Board is when it comes to policies, procedures and the law, we have every confidence this was just (another) oversight or typo on their part.  We’ll see tonight.

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

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BCR Cecola

Newly elected Village President Brian Cecola pictured with State Representative Martin McLaughlin

Newly elected village presidents and trustees are taking their seats this month in Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington or South Barrington and they have a vision for their respective village’s future.

The race for village president in Barrington Hills, Trustee Brian D. Cecola got over 60% of the vote versus Dennis Kelly who picked up just over 39%, according to official April 6 election results from the clerk’s offices in Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties.

“I ran a clean, honest campaign, one with transparency and one that was factually substantiated and proven by my performance as village trustee over the past six years,” Cecola said in an email to Pioneer Press. “I believe all the candidates had goals for what they thought was best for our village. My platform seemed to resonate with our voters and I am excited to serve our residents as village president.

He said he and fellow One Barrington Hills slate of candidates ran on a platform that included preserving the village’s open spaces, reducing expenses, and “protecting our borders and preserving our village’s heritage.”

Two incumbents on the Barrington Hills Village Board lost reelection to newcomers Laura Ekstrom, who got 19.25% of the vote, David Riff with 18.34% and Thomas W. Strauss, who picked up 17.5% of the vote, according to election results from the clerk’s offices in Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties.

They ran with Cecola on the slate, promoting “lower tax levies, land conservation and equestrian values.”  The new trustees, along with Cecola, were sworn in at the May 3 board meeting.

The incumbents unsuccessful in their election bids include Paula Jacobsen, Robert Zubak and Brent Joseph Burral.

“It is important that our platform priorities are kept front and center, as this is why the residents elected us,” Cecola said.

Read the full Barrington Courier-Review article here.

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BC Pres

New Barrington Hills President Brian Cecola, left, recites the oath of office with help from Judge Samuel J. Betar III. (Courtesy of Village of Barrington Hills)

With state Rep. Martin McLaughlin making good on a promise to step down as Barrington Hills’ village president, his successor took office this week.

Brian D. Cecola was sworn in as the new village president during Monday’s board meeting. A former trustee, Cecola defeated Dennis Kelly for the president’s chair in last month’s election.

Newly elected trustees Laura S. Ekstrom, David Riff and Thomas W. Strauss recited their oaths Monday, too. All newcomers to the board, they topped a field of six candidates running for three seats last month.

Cook County circuit court Judge Samuel J. Betar III administered the oaths of office.

Incumbent trustees Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak lost their reelection bids, so Monday’s meeting was their last.

Cecola’s win as village president left a vacancy on the six-member board, as his latest trustee term wasn’t yet complete.

Colleen Konicek Hanigan, a veteran trustee who didn’t run for reelection this year, was appointed to succeed Cecola until the term expires in 2023.

Read more here.

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“At the May 4 meeting, Board members listened to a presentation that shared the results of the questionnaire regarding the proposed Virtual/Blended Program for the 2021-22 school year.

About 60% of Barrington 220 families responded to the questionnaire and families were told that if they didn’t respond they would be counted as not interested in participating in the program. The results show that 4.8% of respondents said they were interested in participating in the proposed program for the entire 2021-22 school year.

The Board will be discussing the options for the proposed program at its next meeting on May 18.”

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