Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category

1.24.22 Agenda

Our Village Board of Trustees meets tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit to Allow an Addition to Countryside Elementary School, 205 W. County Line Road Ordinance 22 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Adopting an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Cook County Assessor’s Office to Facilitate Access to GIS Data Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Plan Commission Appointment: Maggie Topping, term expires 2024

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

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Wasted Contributions

Brian Cecola, David Riff, Laura Ekstrom and Tom Strauss

For the second quarter in a row, the One Barrington Hills (OBH) Committee comprised of Brian Cecola, David Riff, Laura Ekstrom and Tom Strauss, failed to meet the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) deadline for filing quarterly financial reports due this week. The committee’s 4th quarterly report was due on Tuesday, January 18th, but instead was filed just yesterday afternoon.

Their 3rd quarter report was filed a week late on October 22nd, 2021, and that was likely due only to The Observer bumping them with our friendly reminder post that day.

In their latest filing, OBH reported it had $4,432.86 in donor cash available.  A copy of that report can be viewed here, however this is before the ISBE assesses any civil penalties as they no doubt will now.

We spoke with a representative of the ISBE earlier this week, and they indicated sometimes first committee violations are stayed.  However, if a second violation occurs, they will assess the fees for both violations. Noteworthy is the ISBE has increasing penalties for multiple committee violations, which will now be in play. A copy of, “Section 125.425 Civil Penalty Assessments,” may be viewed and downloaded here.

Current Village President, Brian D. Cecola, is listed as chair of the OBH committee, and David Riff is listed as treasurer according to the ISBE website. It’s likely both will have some penalty paperwork to fill out, some checks to write, and they’ll likely have to appear at a ISBE hearing to account for their negligence.

However, we submit all four members of the OBH committee bear some responsibility, and we believe their missteps go deeper than that we’ve just reported.  Starting next week, we’ll begin revealing why based on FOIA files we’ve obtained in the last year and audio recordings.

Meantime, any concerned donors to the OBH 2021 campaign can always seek refunds by contacting them at Team@barrington-hills.com. While it may seem premature to some now, perhaps what’s reported next week may change that thinking.

Related:(Most) Village candidate committees report Q-3 financials

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“After being crowned Mrs. Illinois America in 2021, local resident, Darby Hills, is moving into local government after being sworn in as a new Village of Barrington Hills – Government Trustee on January 13th.

Hills will fill the unexpired term of Trustee Debra Buettner, whose death created a vacancy, with a term expiring April 2023. Hills was appointed by President Brian D. Cecola at a special Board Meeting in early January.

Hills brings her legal knowledge to the Village Board from her experiences as an arbitrator, mediator, and a Cook County State’s attorney concentrating on child welfare, and from her days as a labor and employment attorney with Jackson Lewis, LLP, working on behalf of corporations. ‘I am humbled and honored to accept this responsibility and excited to represent such an exceptional group of people, our residents, in the governance of the Village of Barrington Hills,’ said Hills.”

View the full Barrington Scoop Facebook post here.

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“The winter heating season is now in full swing. As temperatures drop, our level of commitment to provide superior service continues.

As a nation, our daily lives have been affected due to a global pandemic that also has increased the demand for natural gas, which affects supply and ultimately cost. As a regulated utility, Nicor Gas does not profit from the sale of natural gas; the price we pay for gas is passed on to our customers without markup.

We understand that the increasing market price for natural gas is higher than those historically, which is why we continue to offer multiple ways to support our customers now and into the future.

This year, we will remain extremely focused on customer education to ensure awareness of available resources. Energy saving tips, programs and services are just a few ways we can help.

Visit nicorgas.com/residential/ways-to-save for more information.

Thank you for being a valued customer.”

Related:Check your natural gas bill lately? Why they’re soaring this winter

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BHPD New Masthead

The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their, “Annual Budget and Appropriation Hearing,” via Zoom and in person this evening at 6:45 PM. A copy of their agenda absent of any financial information can be viewed here.

At 7:00 PM, the District will be conducting their regular monthly meeting. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The Park District is located at 361 Bateman Road. Information on how to join the Zoom meetings tonight can be found here.

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Darby Hills

At a special meeting Friday, the Barrington Hills village board approved President Brian D. Cecola’s appointment of Darby Hills to fill the unexpired term of Trustee Debra Buettner, which ends in 2023.

Buettner died unexpectedly in November at age 60.

The motion passed with a 5-1 vote.

Hills’ background includes experience as an arbitrator, mediator and Cook County assistant state’s attorney. With the state’s attorney’s office, she focused on child welfare.

She also worked as a labor and employment attorney at Jackson Lewis LLP working on behalf of corporations.

In 2010, Hills and her husband. Thomas, co-founded Barrington Children’s Charities to help local children living in food-insecure homes.

Read more here.

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Chicago Teachers Rally For A Safe Return To Schools

Government unions in Illinois have tremendous power. Most are allowed to go on strike and can bargain over virtually anything.1 It creates an uneven playing field, with unions able to demand costly provisions in their contracts and threaten to strike – denying Illinoisans needed services – to get what they want.2

Until recently, the potential monetary influence of unions3 over lawmakers and the legislative process hadn’t been adequately investigated.

Using records from the Illinois State Board of Elections, the Illinois Policy Institute performed an in-depth study of the contributions received by current members of the state’s General Assembly during 2019-2020.4

Read this in-depth Illinois Policy article here.

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BOT 12.14.21

Our Village Board of Trustees meets this evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] An Ordinance for the Levy and Assessment of Taxes for the Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2021 and Ending December 31, 2021 Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Driveway Permit and Design Regulations as set Forth in Title 10 of the Village’s Municipal Code Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Sections 5-2-1, 5-3-9, 5-3-13, 5-5-2 and 5-5-11 of the Village’s Zoning Regulations Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit to Allow an Addition to Countryside Elementary School, 205 W. County Line Road Ordinance 21 – (72 Hours after the ZBA approved it)
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Adding Requirements for Road Access Permits Amending Title 4, Building Regulations of the Village’s Municipal Code Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Approving a Final Plat of Re-subdivision: Shah Consolidation: 41 & 45 Hawthorne Lane Ordinance 21- (48 Hours after the PC approved it)
  • [Vote] A Resolution Approving the Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for Maintenance with Cuba Township Road District
    Resolution 21 –

It bears mentioning that two of the items the BOT may be voting on tonight were approved just this week by the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Plan Commission.  Since audio recordings and minutes are not yet available from these two meetings, the board members will not have the support of that documentation if votes occur.

The complete 179-page agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Il Lotto

Holiday scratch-off tickets are great stocking stuffers that should come with the moral gift of funding schools, but Illinois’ rampant spending prevents most lottery money from ever reaching classrooms.

When lawmakers first debated the Illinois Lottery in 1973, one key argument made in favor of it was helping fund education. They promised “the state share [of lottery revenues] would be used entirely for public schools,” according to The Associated Press at the time.

They broke that promise from Day 1.

The first 10 years of lottery profits went to the state general revenue fund, paying for many things on top of schools. But in 1985, then-Gov. Jim Thompson signed legislation redirecting lottery money to the Common School Fund, the main source of education funding.

Today, lawmakers boast the lottery “funds education,” and they’re technically right. In Illinois, 25% of lottery proceeds “goes to fund public education, infrastructure projects, and other special causes.”

The details tell a different story. In 2019, WBEZ referred to lottery funds for education as a “shell game.”

Christopher Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, explains the disingenuous nature of lottery funds.

“If the lottery provides $10 to the school fund, state officials have two choices: they can either spend that much more money on schools than their intended $50 dollars, or they can lower the contribution from the general fund by $10. Illinois officials have taken the second approach,” Mooney said.

Read more here.

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“At the Dec. 7th Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed options moving forward with regards to universal masking in schools, once Governor Pritzker’s mask order is lifted. At its next meeting on Dec. 21, the Board will continue the conversation on the criteria that will be used to develop a matrix which would guide the district in reducing mitigation efforts in schools, such as universal masking. Examples of criteria under consideration might include: student positivity rate, vaccination rate, and/or community spread. Once the criteria have been decided, the district will work with local health officials for additional input.

It is important to note that this matrix will only be used once Governor Pritzker lifts Executive Order 87, which requires universal masking in all IL schools.

The goal of the Board of Education is to keep as many students in school buildings as possible during this school year. Test to Stay, which provides an opportunity for students who have been identified as close contacts to test so that they do not have to quarantine, is currently only available if both the positive case and the close contact were wearing masks. Therefore, if universal masking is lifted, the number of students in quarantine would greatly increase.

Dr. Robert Hunt, Superintendent of Schools, plans to reach out to leaders from other school districts to advocate that Test to Stay be available to students even if both the positive case and the close contact were not universally masked. You can listen to the Board’s entire discussion beginning at 1:26:36 and again at 3:07:22.”

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