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Archive for the ‘Unite Barrington Hills’ Category

Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 2.45.14 PMOnce again, supporters of former Village President Bob Abboud have taken to the social media networks to begin creating a false controversy to stir the pot prior to the 2019 Village Board Elections.

Recently, some Facebook pages have started publishing information about the proposed Plum Farms Development in Hoffman Estates. One of these pages is purportedly run by the same individual who publicly cast aspersions upon the character of the Village President and members of the Board of Trustees in April of 2017 (but was unwilling and unable to provide any corroboration of her ridiculous accusations). See April 24th Board meeting recordings released.

Long-time readers of the Observer will recognize the same tired tactics of the Abboud-o-philes: create a false controversy, then stir up resident sentiment against current leadership and against those whom they may support in the upcoming elections. Save 5 Acres! Save Horse Boarding! Ban the Bikes! Save Open Space! Save Polo!

The Plum Farms Development in Hoffman Estates was used as a major 2017 campaign issue by Trustees Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak, but both have been eerily silent on the issue for well over a year. As candidates, Jacobsen and Zubak were so adamant about the Village having legal standing, authority and ability to impact this development, and they vowed to be the voices to vigorously “oppose harmful development”.

Today, as it was then, they chose to remain ignorant to the simple fact that this issue was over in 2004 when Bob Abboud and former administrator Bob Kosin botched the chance to work with the landowner to come to a development compromise that would have kept the property within the village, and would have protected our community from the dangers of deannexation of the parcel into an adjacent town with an insatiable hunger for more tax dollars.

But in fact, the current administration has been working in concert with South Barrington and District 220 to slow the progress of this development.  Strange that this hasn’t been reported by any of the social media outlets managed by those folks who enjoy stirring the pot.  Accusations of inaction and mismanagement by President McLaughlin and others on the Board will be aired, but nary a word of criticism of Jacobsen or Zubak.

And speaking of Jacobsen, the more vocal of the less-than-dynamic duo, what has she personally done with regard to Plum Farms as a Trustee? Nothing.  She bemoaned the Longmeadow Parkway project as a candidate, but did she volunteer to be on the IDOT advisory board for Route 62?  Nope.

Does anyone remember the laundry list of issues that she & Zubak used as their campaign platform? We do.

YBH_issues

The only issue they are truly interested in is commercial horse boarding, which wasn’t in their campaign platform at all.  Strange…

And back to that lengthy list of issues — what have they accomplished from that list? Nothing. And why?  Because none of those “problems” actually existed.

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Paula Jacobsen with former trustee Fritz Gohl

However, Jacobsen, who has been absent from more than 26% of the fifteen Board Meetings held since she was elected as trustee, has had the opportunity to advocate for some other interesting issues.  As stated in our previous articles, May and June 2017 Board meeting recordings released  and July Board Meeting recordings released , she has found time to question the meeting minutes which characterized her friend’s public comments at the April 24thboard meeting as slanderous.  She has questioned why the Village couldn’t have employed a warmer and fuzzier process to inform a property owner of their violation of a cease and desist order with regard to illegal demolition of a residence and violation of the tree ordinance. It should be noted that the property owner in that case was a prominent donor to her trustee campaign.

Jacobsen has pondered the complexity of the Exterior Lighting Ordinance and wondered if it shouldn’t be revisited and revised, oblivious to the divisive history of the ordinance.  Coincidentally, her interest in lighting ordinance enforcement occurred only when another friend of hers had filed a complaint against a neighbor.

Paula has also suggested giving landmark status to historical homes in the village.  When asked to explain who would be the arbiter of this distinction and the mechanics of implementation or enforcement, she had no suggestion.

She also has given detailed reports of Arbor Day plans by the Heritage & Environs Committee at no fewer than three meetings. Let’s hear it for the oak sapling giveaway!!

And there has been advocacy for costly live video-streaming of Village Board meetings, which are only attended by a handful of the same residents each month.

It is not surprising that NONE of these issues were in the Jacobsen/Zubak campaign platform and that NONE of the issues in the platform have been pursued by the duo in any meaningful way in the past fifteen months.

And why is that? Because a quiet village operating harmoniously is not something the Abboud-o-philes can tolerate.  They must have controversy and they will create controversy were none exists. And when faced with the reality that President McLaughlin & this Administration have delivered on each and every promise they have made to the community, they pivot back to the old worn-out talking points. The village is operating better than it ever has, spending has been slashed and services are more efficient.  And that makes some embittered people very unhappy.  Change is not easy for some. And they are desperate to regain control.

So the pot stirring will continue.  With a little eye of newt and toe of frog mixed in for good measure.  Here’s hoping that this bad spell will be broken soon.

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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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McLElection

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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