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VBH__LogoThe Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Tuesday May 2nd at 6:30 PM to swear in the recently elected village officials.  Trustee committee appointments will also be made.  The full agenda can be viewed here.

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Announced on the Village of Barrington Hills website today:

“All 4 counties have now released certified results for the April 4, 2017 election. We can now officially announce that President Martin J. McLaughlin has been elected to another term as Village President.

Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan was also reelected to another term as Trustee.
The election for the remaining two Trustee positions came down to three Trustees separated by only 4 votes.

The Village congratulates our new Trustees Robert M. Zubak and Paula Jacobsen.
We hope you’ll attend the Special Board Meeting Tuesday May 2nd at 6:30 pm where the elected will take their oath of office.”

The final vote totals for Village President by county are as follows.

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The final vote totals for Village Trustee by county are as follows.

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Seeing a victory on election day, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said his new term will build on past initiatives in the village.

But the future is less clear in the race for trustee spots on the Barrington Hills Village Board with only one apparent winner — incumbent Colleen Konicek Hannigan — emerging among a crowded field of seven candidates. Hannigan campaigned alongside McLaughlin this year, who faced a challenge from first-time candidate Louis Iacovelli for the seat of village president.

McLaughlin captured 53.1 percent of vote in the race, based on unofficial results from Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. Iacovelli captured 46.9 percent of the vote.

In a twist, the slate of trustee candidates that campaigned with Iacovelli appeared to capture the two other trustee seats that were open this election year, although less than five votes separate apparent winners Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak with independent trustee candidate Matt Vondra, who appears to have finished fourth in the trustee race, based on unofficial results.

To read the full story in the Barrington Courier-Review, click here.

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Colleen Konicek-Hannigan

 The Barrington Hills village board race remained too close to call Wednesday, according to the unofficial vote count.

Even after a handful of additional ballots were counted in Cook County, just four votes separate challengers Paula Jacobsen, Robert M. Zubak and Matthew Vondra for second through fourth place.

Six candidates vied for three open seats on the board, and so far the only clear winner is incumbent Colleen Konicek Hannigan, who received 537 votes.

Rounding out the race were challenger Ralph Sesso, with 403 votes, and incumbent Elaine M. Ramesh, with 398.

All of the precincts in Lake, Cook, Kane and McHenry counties are accounted for but there still could be votes left from early voting, mail-in ballots and provisional ballots.

To read the story in the Daily Herald, click here.

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Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 7.44.14 PM Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin defeated challenger Louis Iacovelli Tuesday and earned a second term in office by a margin of 68 votes, according to unofficial totals.

The results in the race to fill three spots on the village board were even tighter. Incumbent Colleen Konicek Hannigan, who got 537 votes, is the only sure winner. Just four votes separate challengers Robert M. Zubak, Paula Jacobsen and Matthew Vondra for second through fourth place. Zubak has 488 votes, Jacobsen 487 and Vondra 484.

Rounding out the board race were challenger Ralph Sesso with 401 votes and incumbent Elaine M. Ramesh with 397.

McLaughlin got 556 votes, 53.2 percent of the total, and Iacovelli got 488, around 46.8 percent.

All of the precincts in Lake, Cook, Kane and McHenry counties are accounted for but there still could be votes left to count from early voting, mail-in ballots.

To read the entire Daily Herald article, click here.

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2017VBHBallotTuesday, April 4th marks yet another turning point in the history of the village of Barrington Hills. Residents will go to the polls again faced with a choice of continuing to advance the positive trends of the last four years, or backsliding into the mired legacy of the last administration. Three trustee positions and the office of village president are being contested.

The achievements of President Martin McLaughlin and Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan over their first term have been nothing short of amazing, even more so, when you consider that for their first two years they had to work with a five person opposition bloc on the Board who were blindly loyal to the old regime, and who fought against change on nearly every front. We won’t waste space here again repeating all of Marty and Colleen’s fulfilled campaign promises here, but instead refer you to the words of the Daily Herald Editorial Board when it said, “Barrington Hills has recorded some notable accomplishments and is on a constructive course for maintaining the town’s prosperity and rural charm, led by a village board whose members are dedicated and independent”, in endorsing both McLaughlin and Hannigan. We concur with their very enthusiastic endorsement.

Six candidates are vying for the two other open trustee positions. The two individuals running under the “Your Barrington Hills” (YBH) banner, along with former trustee Elaine Ramesh, despite rather desperate attempts to minimize and criticize the notable achievements of the last four years, are nothing more than “Save 5 Acres” version 3.0.

The YBH campaign has been marked by negative mailings flooding our mailboxes, attempting to create crises where none exist. Not only do they fail to acknowledge the positive accomplishments of the McLaughlin administration, they ridiculously try to imply that the village has not been prudently managed and that services have suffered. Even the specter of the phantom developer has been raised again.

As detailed in Meet the Candidates Part One and Part Two, Jacobsen, Zubak and Ramesh are distancing themselves from their extremist equestrian bias, in what we see as a deliberate attempt to mislead voters from their true agenda.  We believe that the ultimate goal of these Trojan Horsemen candidates is to reinstate ordinances permitting unbridled, large-scale commercial boarding and unimpeded related commercial equestrian activities in the Village to the benefit of their friends, at the expense of the rights of the rest of us to the peaceful enjoyment of our homes.  Electing any of these individuals will be a setback to the reforms of the past four years and will be a danger to all of our residential rights.  They have shown themselves to be completely uninformed on the true state of village affairs, and will be little more than puppets for the former regime.

That is why we are endorsing the two other independent candidates on the ballot – Matt Vondra and Ralph Sesso.

Matt Vondra, a resident since 2012, is a consultant in logistics and business development, who works for contractors in heavy and highway construction. Matt volunteers on the Executive Committee of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust and recently won the Audubon Society’s Grassroots Conservation Leadership Award for his work on the restoration plan of the Bluff Spring Fen in Elgin, Illinois.

Ralph Sesso has lived in Barrington Hills for 23 years and is an investment fund manager and a certified financial planner. He and his wife raised their four children in the village. He is running to help preserve the long standing tradition of open space and the rural nature of our community. He is also personally interested in residents finding ways to live peaceably with each other, despite differences on political issues.

Vondra and Sesso possess unique professional skills, and both are supportive of the reforms and results that Marty and Colleen have instituted over the last four years. The Observer feels strongly that these two independent candidates would work well with the current board in continuing the positive trends of fiscal responsibility and creative approaches that have become hallmarks of our village government today.

We urge you to make your voices heard again as you go to the polls on Tuesday April 4th to support McLaughlin for President, and Hannigan, Vondra and Sesso for Trustees.

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Less than a week remains until the election, and predictably, a flurry of 11th hour campaign mailings are landing in mailboxes, proclaiming breaking news and urgent bulletins, all carefully timed to prevent rebuttal by their targets, Martin McLaughlin and Colleen Konicek Hannigan.

This time, the mailings, which are highly critical of Marty and Colleen, are coming from a private citizen, rather than a candidate’s campaign committee, so we will not name the person in question.  But the individual is well known as a key member of the polo club,  as one of the most extreme equestrians in the village and as a bosom buddy of the former village president. Readers should be familiar with his notorious 2005 White Paper.

In his first mailing, he basically repeated many of the fabricated claims that have been raised by the Your Barrington Hills candidates Iacovelli, Jacobsen and Zubak, whom he supports, along with Equestrienne Ramesh.  Our feature Meet the Candidates Part Two: YBH — the Trojan Horsemen, published yesterday, set the record straight on many of those issues.

The second letter received today alleges a lawsuit recently filed against the village concerning commercial horse boarding is being hidden from residents.  The writer attempts rile up the electorate with false outrage and cries of lack of transparency.  Funny thing is, he fails to mention that one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is the very same owner/operator of the commercial boarding operation on Bateman Road that has already cost our village taxpayers hundreds of thousands in legal fees in numerous lawsuits over the last decade.  Oh, and the letter writer’s polo club has an arrangement with that plaintiff to use the polo field at that very boarding facility.

So what about the assertion that the trustees and the public have not been made aware of the lawsuit?  Untrue. We direct you to the recently released recording of the Village Board meeting held on March 21st, 2017 when the lawsuit was IN FACT discussed in open session in the first board meeting held after the case was filed.  Click here to hear Village Attorney Patrick Bond’s statement that the Board was emailed a litigation update regarding the amended complaint in connection with that case.  It is apparent that both the Board and the public have been made aware of the filings.

[We wonder where the letter writer’s outrage was when the Sears litigation went on for 13 YEARS without mention to the public until President McLaughlin took it upon himself to work with South Barrington to settle that suit, which could have meant a $20 million dollar judgment against the two villages if Sears had prevailed.]

The March 21st recordings also include the Chief of Police Rich Semelsberger describing the village’s continuing use of the CTY Community Alert System.  His discussion not only makes it clear that the alert system has not been abandoned, but actually has been used, in his words, ” very liberally” for announcements of road closures, chemical spills, missing persons, etc.  He further clarified that the Police Department makes the decision to issue an alert, not the president or the board, and that the Department balances the public’s need to know with the timeliness of the message.  Semelsberger’s comments about the CTY alerts, including a mention of a FOIA request having been filed and fulfilled on the topic, can be heard here.

The Chief also responded to a Board question about police staffing here, and explained that in the 28 years that he has been with the department, there have always been a minimum of two officers on patrol at any given time.  Currently there are two officers out on extended injury, and as a result, other personnel have been reassigned to ensure adequate coverage.  Additionally, there are two new officers scheduled to begin training at the Illinois State Police Academy on April 9th, as a result of a screening process that began last year.

So, the claims about the “hidden lawsuit” are false. Claims about the abandonment of the CTY Alert System are false. Claims about insufficient police staffing are false. Claims about FOIA expenses are false. Claims about rebranding are false. Claims about 911 dispatch outsourcing are false. And on, and on, and on.

Four days remain until the election, and we see the same pitiful pattern of deception that we’ve seen in previous campaigns. Outrageous claims are made, lawsuits and FOIA requests filed, and last minute grenades are launched — all by the same bad actors.  It’s the same small vocal group, inextricably tied to the former president, that spews misinformation and attempts to bully and intimidate the regular folks in the village.  In 2013, voters said “Enough!” In 2015, they shouted “ENOUGH!”  In 2017, let’s get the big hook out and finally drag those bad actors off of the village stage once and for all.

We encourage our readers to stay informed and to share our posts with their friends and neighbors as this critical campaign draws to a conclusion on Tuesday.

[NOTE: The Observer itself is mentioned in both of the aforementioned mailings, and we have to say that free advertising is always appreciated, although not needed, as our readership is booming.]

 

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