Archive for the ‘District 220 referendum’ Category

Brian Battle

Two veteran Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members who didn’t seek re-election last month said farewell Tuesday night.

District 220 board President Brian Battle wrapped up a 16-year career as an elected official there, while Joseph Ruffolo ended an eight-year tenure.

At 12 years, Battle was the longest-serving board president in District 220 history, Superintendent Brian Harris said. In recognition of Battle’s record, a new board room will be named in his honor and a plaque hung in the soon-to-open district headquarters in a renovated office building across the street from Barrington High School.

“It’s been an honor to serve the Barrington community as a board member,” said Battle, a Barrington resident who is managing partner at Great Lakes Capital. “It’s often been said, right, the community gives the school board responsibility for two things that are pretty important to them, right: their money and their kids.”

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris says school board members will decide how to proceed after voters rejected a request to borrow $185 million for building projects.

Unofficial totals from Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties show voters downed the ballot measure by 4,077 votes to 3,909 on Tuesday. Cook County voters themselves barely supported the measure, with 1,696 in favor and 1,691 against the request that would have added about $100 to the annual property tax bill for an owner of a $500,000 median value home.

Harris said Wednesday the proposed upgrades for the schools are significant and costly enough that the district will need voter approval to finance them, but the soonest a ballot request can return is March 2020.

Rooted in a community process called Blueprint 220, which began in 2017, the plan called for all 12 of the district’s schools to receive basic building improvements and upgraded security. Bathroom repairs, new roofs and improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were among the proposed projects.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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Dear Barrington 220 Community,

On Tuesday, April 2 registered voters in the Barrington 220 community narrowly opposed a $185 million bond referendum, which would have provided significant improvements to our schools, identified in our master facility plan. According to preliminary results, the question was voted down with 4,077 (51.05%) NO votes and 3,909 (48.95%) YES votes.

Thank you to the parents, students, teachers, district administrators, Board members and community members who participated in the two year community engagement process leading up to this vote.

Congratulations to Angela Wilcox on her re-election to the Board of Education. I also want to welcome newly-elected Board members Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler. They will replace longtime Board members Brian Battle and Joe Ruffolo. The new Board will take their seats at a special meeting planned for Tuesday, April 30 at 7PM.

It will now be up to the new Board of Education to decide how to proceed, in order to address our facility needs. 

Dr. Brian Harris

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C.U.S.D.  220 placed on the April 2nd ballot a $185 million referendum proposal

Representatives of the district have recently conducted information sessions in person or via social media, and we at The Observer have concerns as follows:

  • 220 wants to borrow $185 Million: That’s just shy of $13 million per school, not for any new construction, but just upgrades and maintenance to existing facilities.
  • $60 Million for maintenance alone: 220 proposes to spend a third of the money to be borrowed on heating, air conditioning, plumbing and window repairs or replacement, as well as new roofing. 220 admittedly deferred maintenance over the last 10 to 20 years to the extent that one must ask, “how are some of the buildings are still operating?”
  • The 220 Advisory Committee recommended a lower amount:   220 solicited advisory input from, “…more than 50 community organizations.” Apparently the Board felt such a large and diverse group (a list of the participants can be seen here) would presumably approve the desired referendum amount the Board of Education members wanted ($185 million), but went on to overrule the $158 million amount recommended by the Committee.
  • Pepper Construction provided 220 with budgetary guidance: Rather than insulting the intelligence of our readers by expounding on our obvious concerns on this point, we’ll move on….
  • Turnover on the Board of Education: Three spots are open in this election and a new Board President will be installed. With the many line items on the $185M wish list, we wonder if new members will be completely on board with the expenditures.

Speaking of 220’s wish list, a line item listing of all plans with budget amounts can be viewed here. We wonder, given that kitchen remodeling is included in their expansive list, does that include new kitchen sinks for $185 million?

The big question is, “will the tax weary voters in Barrington Hills approve 220’s proposed referendum?” Some have their doubts, but ultimately it is up to our readers to decide though their votes.

Please take the few minutes it takes to exercise your right to vote. Whichever side the referendum finally lands, at least you will have the peace of mind that comes with having voiced your opinion at the Ballot Box! 

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This is in response to the letter to the editor you published recently from retired public school teacher and former Barrington Hills village trustee Karen Selman.

I would like to correct the record. Ms. Selman’s inclusion of me and my family members in a letter to the editor is inappropriate, wrong and uninformed.

First, I have five incredible daughters, not two. The first four have attended TCU, Villanova, USC and yes, Northwestern due to their determination and hard work. My wife deserves all the credit, for her dedication working with our children on rigorous nightly homework routines over many years.

Interestingly, each of my children and many others in our great schools were able to succeed during a period without this proposed referendum.

I have not publicly stated a position in opposition or in favor of the District 220 referendum.

I was, however, part of the District 220 Referendum Advisory Committee, which — after more than 500 hours of volunteer community input — gave direction to the school board for the lowest amount presented, $158 million, which was quickly amended to $185 million by the school board.

I have publicly endorsed Deb Buettner, Brian Cecola and Brian Croll for Barrington Hills Village Trustee in the upcoming election. Your publication also has endorsed these three qualified volunteers. Thank you in advance for accepting my corrections.

Martin J. McLaughlin

Barrington Hills village president

The link to McLaughlin’s letter to the Daily Herald editor can be found here. The link to the former Trustee who McLaughlin refers to can be found here.


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An active shooter drill, which will not involve students who are on spring break, is set from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, at Barrington High School, officials announced.

Barrington police and fire personnel will conduct the drill in conjunction with Barrington Area Unit District 220 employees. Officials said passers-by should not be alarmed if they see significant police and fire activity, including helicopters near and around Barrington High.

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Come and prepare yourself for the upcoming April 2, 2019 election by attending a candidate forum for Barrington Hills and Barrington Village Trustees. Information about the School District 220 referendum will also be provided.

Presented by the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area.

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