Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

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

Read Full Post »

FP Tax Hike

Cook County property owners would be asked to pay about “$1.50 more a month in taxes” toward the preserves, which became a haven during the pandemic

A referendum on the ballot this November will ask Cook County voters for a property tax hike to support and grow the county’s vast forest preserves.

The referendum in the Nov. 8 general election would ask property owners to contribute on average about $1.50 more in property taxes per month toward the preserves, or around $20 a year. About $3 to $4 of a homeowner’s current property tax already goes to the forest preserves each month.

The question before voters comes as the forest preserves became a haven of green space during the pandemic. The number of visitors skyrocketed as people sought a respite from sickness, isolation and boredom. The county’s forest preserves are one of the largest in the U.S., with nearly 70,000 acres of natural areas where people can hike, fish, bike, camp and even zipline. There are nature centers, and a massive set of stairs where exercisers flock that take your breath away.

“If there is a silver lining in a really difficult time for everybody, it’s that people were able to get out and rediscover nature,” said Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

County officials and more than 150 organizations also tout the environmental benefits of the preserves, such as absorbing rainwater during storms and creating cleaner air.

Jean Franczyk, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, which sits on forest preserve district land, lays out what’s at stake: “A set of green lungs for the region.”

If approved, officials estimate the tax increase would generate just over $40 million in additional funding a year. They say the extra cash would help the county address ambitious goals, like acquiring nearly 3,000 additional acres to protect it from development, restoring some 20,000 more acres over the next 20 years and paying for workers’ pensions.

Read more here.

Read Full Post »

52

State Representative Martin McLaughlin and Mary Morgan

The League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area will host the first in a series of upcoming nonpartisan candidate forums for Illinois House District 52 at 7 PM Monday, October 3rd.

The newly drawn 52nd District includes Algonquin, the Barrington area, Fox River Grove, Inverness, Island Lake, Volo, Wauconda, and western portions of Libertyville and Mundelein.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Martin McLaughlin faces Democratic challenger Mary Morgan in the November 8th election.

To register in advance for Zoom link to view the forum, visit https://balibrary.librarycalendar.com/event/candidate-forum-illinois-house-52nd-district.

All candidate forums are run by trained moderators, who are members of the league and do not live or vote in the districts for which they are moderating the forum. 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. All LWPA Candidate Forums will be recorded and made available on its website for voters to view later.

Read Full Post »

220 Books

Just last week in Barrington, the school board voted to keep “Flame” and “This Book Is Gay,” two books about gender and sexuality. In a 4-3 vote, the board ultimately accepted a recommendation by a school advisory committee of experts to keep the books after determining they didn’t meet the standard for obscenity and pornography.

A glass shelf displaying some of the most notable challenged books in the country adorns the entryway of the Chicago Public Library’s Lincoln Belmont branch. The books are surrounded by yellow tape and red signs that inevitably steer the attention of those who walk inside to the titles that have been banned, or attempted to be banned, in other libraries across the country.

But instead of taking the books off the shelves, visitors at the library were invited — in celebration of Banned Book Week 2022 — to learn about each one of them and encourage discussions about the topics for which they were banned. City Lit Theater Company joined the efforts by presenting a theatrical display of iconic banned and challenged books, allowing people to make their own decision on whether to read them.

Last week, city and Chicago Public Library officials declared Chicago a sanctuary city for those stories, by establishing “Book Sanctuaries” across the city’s 77 distinct community areas and 81 library branches. That entails a commitment to expand local access to banned or challenged books through library programming.

Meanwhile, attempts to ban books across the country — including in suburban Illinois — are escalating at a rate never seen since the American Library Association began tracking data more than 20 years ago, according its most recent report.

Just last week in Barrington, the school board voted to keep “Flame” and “This Book Is Gay,” two books about gender and sexuality.

In a 4-3 vote, the board ultimately accepted a recommendation by a school advisory committee of experts to keep the books after determining they didn’t meet the standard for obscenity and pornography.

Erin Chan Ding, a board member, said the removal of the books could potentially impact young people that could identify as LGBTQ students. And though the books may have strong imagery and words, it should be up to parents if their children read them.

In August, Barrington school board members also voted to keep “Gender Queer” in the Barrington High School library.

“We’re making these books available, but we’re not actively incorporating the books that were challenged into the curriculum,” said Chan Ding, a mother to an eight and a fourth grader.

As a mother, she said, she understands that some parents question the books and want to prevent access to them. “I have empathy for parents who disagree with our decision and I acknowledge and fully recognize that there’s a full spectrum of opinions. … It is a parent’s responsibility and role to do what is best for their own child but that doesn’t mean restricting access to other people.”

Read more here.

Related: District 220 posts April 2023 Election Candidate’s Guide,District 220 Board of Education meets tonight

Read Full Post »

2023 Seats Up For Reelection

Angela Wilcox, Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler

District 220 has posted an Election Guide on their website for those considering running for three seats on the Board of Education in April, 2023.  Current board members whose terms end in April are Angela Wilcox, Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler.

Angela Wilcox was elected to the Board of Education in 2015, and has provided exemplary service to the 220 community.  Should she run for a third term, there is absolutely no question she would have our endorsement.  However, as a Barrington Hills resident, we would like her to consider running for our Board of Trustees instead.

Wilcox has always provided well considered reasoning and discourse in her role on the Board of Education, which would be a welcome addition to the BOT. Further, it’s always been helpful to have an actively practicing attorney on the Board of Trustees.

Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler were elected in 2019.

The 2023 Election Guide can be viewed and downloaded here.

Read Full Post »

220 Books

The 220 Board of Education will consider upholding the recommendation of these two books tonight.

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics for discussion in their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve the Adoption of the 2022-23 Budget
  • Consideration to Uphold the Recommendation of the District Level Review of Materials – Flamer
  • Consideration to Uphold the Recommendation of the District Level Review of Materials – This Book Is Gay

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

Read Full Post »

RepMclaughlin

State Representative Martin McLaughlin

While Illinois Democrats successfully passed legislation that updated sex education standards in schools, state test scores show that less than half of students can read at grade level.

Under Senate Bill 818, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law in August 2021, K-12 schools that teach sex education must meet National Sex Education standards, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“Modernizing our sex education standards will help keep our children safe and ensure important lessons, like consent and internet safety, are taught in classrooms,” Pritzker said in the release.

But, GOP lawmakers have mostly opposed the law. State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, recentky spoke out about what he believes needs to happen.

“When I drop my child off at the front door of her school, my parental rights don’t end there, it’s where they just begin,” McLaughlin said in an Aug. 31 Facebook post. “School boards need to exert control and local authority representing their communities and the local property taxpayers who they serve, not capitulating to national ‘standards.'”

Under modernized standards, students in grades K-2 will learn about how to define gender, gender identity, gender-role stereotypes and medically accurate names for body parts, according to a report from Break Through. Third through fifth graders will learn about masturbation, hormone blockers, and the differences between cisgender, transgender and nonbinary. Sixth through eighth graders will learn to define oral, anal and vaginal sex, and non-prescription contraception.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the most recent Illinois Assessment of Readiness test scores show that less than 20% of Chicago third graders could read or do math at grade level.

About 38% of students statewide can read at grade level, according to Wirepoints.

Source

Related:Resident tells 220 Board of Education what they needed to hear (but did they listen?)

Read Full Post »

Rebate

Must be election season

Called an election-year gimmick by some, tax rebate checks start going out to Illinois taxpayers Monday. Critics say permanent tax relief is needed in one of the highest taxes states in the country.

The money is being given back as part of the Illinois Relief Plan, a $1.8 billion aid package Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law in the spring.

To qualify, a person must have been an Illinois resident in 2021 with an adjusted gross income under $200,000 for individual tax filers and under $400,000 for those who filed as couples. 

Taxpayers who filed as a single person on their returns will be eligible to receive $50, and those who filed joint returns will receive $100. If you claimed dependents, you will receive an additional $100 per dependent with a maximum of $300.  

“Whether you had to pay or you got money back, it doesn’t matter,” Illinois Comptroller Susanna Mendoza said. “Everyone who filed will be getting a tax rebate.” 

Illinois residents who paid state property taxes last year on a primary residence will be getting rebates as well. Adjusted gross income must be under $250,000 for single filers and under $500,000 for those who filed as couples. The amount of this rebate depends on the amount of property taxes paid.

State officials said the distribution of the checks should take about two months. 

State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Woods, thinks the rebates are all about election year posturing.

“The plan has checks arrive just before the election and then tax reductions expire right after the election,” McConchie said.   

More here.

Read Full Post »

220mm

Martin McLaughlin’s public comments to the District 220 Board of Education Tuesday night were followed by applause from attendees.

Speaking as a parent of five children, Martin McLaughlin voiced the following Tuesday evening during public comment at the District 220 Board of Education meeting:

“My name is Martin McLaughlin

I am here tonight as a parent. I live in Barrington Hills. I have had four children go through District 220 school system I have a current sophomore in high school. My family has a 50 year history with this school district.

We have chosen to live here because the District has been a leader in academic excellence for many years.

In the past four to six years, I have been astonished at the level of outside influence that has been allowed to infiltrate our local school district and have impact on policies and curricula, all with the blessing and tacit approval of the majority of this and prior school boards.  And the results have not been good. 

Letters and requests by local blogs and special interest groups arrive every day to each of you, pushing their narrow agendas.  And believe me I get it.  I’ve been in your position, serving as an unpaid elected official for 8 years. I can’t tell you how many special interest groups I have had to say no to.

Allowing Non-Profits out of New York and DC lobbyists and unelected social justice and cultural change agents have an impact on our children’s education and development is what we expect you to protect against, not to embrace.

As a community member, I’d like to see the old 3Rs come back— Reading Writing and Arithmetic. Today unfortunately, our children are being taught a New 3Rs – Radicalization, Revisionist history and Racial divides and IT NEEDS TO STOP.

As far as the academic performance at District 220 in mathematics and reading, the failure rate has increased over 20% since 2019 —a direct result of the policies that kept our children remote and kept them out of the classrooms.

The use of our public education system or Misuse to forward and mandate moral and sociological standards is just wrong. How about we get proficient in math, reading and writing first?

There are places for these discussions to occur, but it’s not in chemistry, math or during PE. And it certainly shouldn’t be presented to minor children, particularly those in the lower grade levels.

We all agree it is not appropriate in public schools to discuss or push religious beliefs upon others, so why should it not be as equally inappropriate to discuss political leanings and further, to discuss age-inappropriate related materials to minor children?

Finally, as it relates to public safety and the public good, in my day public school safety meant putting mulch under the monkey bars in the playground, adding padded seats on the bus and making sure that bullying and physical harm did not occur to any students. 

Never in our wildest imaginations did we believe under the guise of public safety that our parental rights and obligations would be taken away by elected or appointed officials when it comes to the best decisions on children’s behalf regarding personal health decisions, cultural or social guidance, morality, traditional curricula or age-inappropriate content.

As a parent I ask that we please begin to focus once again on what’s most important for our community. Traditional academic-based performance standards which is why we all moved here in the first place and is why we all pay incredibly high taxes to support.

Thank you for your dedicated service.”

The video of McLaughlin’s comments can be found here. You decide which Board members listened.

Read Full Post »

JB Teachers

There are fewer students and more teachers in Illinois today than a decade ago, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Teachers unions push the shortage myth to gain power.

Students and teachers are back in school across Illinois, but teachers unions keep claiming there are not enough teachers to run classrooms.

That’s wrong. State data proves it.

Teachers’ unions have perpetuated the teacher shortage myth. The Illinois Education Association claimed Aug. 28, 2022, the “teacher and education employee shortage [is] getting worse.”

But according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education, there are fewer students and more teachers in Illinois today compared to a decade ago.

Teacher Shortage Graphic

Public school enrollment in Illinois has decreased by nearly 9% in the past decade with just under 1.9 million students enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year. That represents a loss of nearly 180,000 since 2011-2012. Nearly 70,000 of those students have left the public school system since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of teachers in the state has simultaneously been rising during this 10-year period. Illinois had over 4,500 more teachers in 2020-2021, the most recent year with fully available data, than in the 2011-2012 school year. Teacher numbers have climbed by 3.5% while the number of students has dipped by nearly 9%.

Read more here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: