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Archive for the ‘FUBAR’ Category

Big Red 6

The Barrington Hills Chronicle (a Riding Club of Barrington Hills splinter group), posted what follows on Wednesday:

“The Riding Club of Barrington Hills is inviting all volunteers this Saturday, May 14th, to a roadside clean-up campaign on Route 62 (Algonquin Road). A meeting at the the Riding Center on Bateman Road will start at 8:30am (this Saturday, May 14th), or feel free to join whenever it is convenient for you. Every Saturday in May is the clean-up plan.”

In addition, three additional events are taking place tomorrow:

These activities are occurring at the same time tomorrow morning, primarily along Bateman, Algonquin, Brinker, and County Line Roads.

Readers are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when driving in these areas. On any given day, the Village has two patrol people covering the entire Village, and even with additional resources allocated, they hopefully will not be overwhelmed.

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OBH

Readers may recall we twice bumped the One Barrington Hills (OBH) committee (Brian Cecola, David Riff, Laura Ekstrom and Tom Strauss) pretty hard when they were delinquent in two consecutive filings required be the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE):

We decided to check in on the committee’s 2022 first quarter reporting (or lack thereof in recent history), and we discovered some very hurried fillings by OBH occurred after our second delinquency post.  The last of those ISBE postings was a long overdue final report submitted and filed by OBH on January 26th, thereby closing their account.

From the time OBH filed their Statement of Organization on February 9th, 2021, to when they submitted their Final Report on January 26th, 2022, they had posted:

  • Two A-1 reports of contributions of $1,000 or more
  • Two D-2 Quarterly reports submitted on time
  • Two D-2 Quarterly reports submitted after the deadline
  • Eight (8) D-2 Quarterly reports submitted with corrections

To view and print a copy of these reports, click here.

Having closed that error fraught chapter in their 2021 campaign, the One Barrington Hills committee expunged all records on their campaign website.  When visiting the former OBH website (click here to attempt), a message appears, either “Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead” or “This connection is untrusted”.  To view the report, the user must tap, “Accept the Risk and Continue” or “Proceed to (unsafe) site.” Is stonewalling now their new norm?

And just last month, residents reported they couldn’t hear April’s Board of Trustees meeting due to low or no volume when they phoned in, so what are they to make of this?

If the OBH party is sending a less than subtle message to residents, consider it received, Brian, David, Laura, and Tom.  But you’re in for a LONG three (3) more years in office.

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hereBHPD New Masthead

The Advisory Committee to the Barrington Hills Park District Board meets this evening at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • New At Large Alternate/Representatives/Election of new AC Chair
  • Open Meetings Act Training
  • Installation of fencing and gates between Riding Center and Bateman Road

A copy on the agenda can be viewed here.  Residents are invited to participate via Zoom, and the instructions can be found here.

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Cuba Road

Cuba Road east of Rte. 14 is plowed by Cuba Township

Cuba BH

Cuba Road west of Rte. 14 in our village is currently plowed by Mac’s

For nearly fifteen years, our Village benefitted from the snow plowing services provided by the Cuba Township Road District.  Inexplicably, in September of last year, Trustees Ekstrom, Croll, Riff and Strauss awarded our snow plowing services contract to Mac’s Property Management Services of Wauconda. The results have been abysmal.

The images above best illustrate the new service experienced by our residents this Winter. After a recent snow event, Cuba Township plowed Cuba Road east of Route 14 Lake Barrington, and the photo at top shows the results of their work.  A photo was then taken of Cuba Road in our Village within minutes of the first photo capture, and it was plowed by Mac’s.  The difference is significant and concerning.

At best, Mac’s snow plowing services have been consistently shoddy, with slow (or sometimes no) service being the experience of many residents.  Lack of deicing is an oft heard complaint, and as recent as Friday’s afternoon snowfall, many witnessed their own driveways being plowed before Mac’s employees bothered to show up.

We cannot allow substandard service on our Village roads. The modest decrease in expense does not justify the liability our Board of Trustees has exposed our residents to.

Our Village does have an “out” clause with Mac’s, but Roads & Bridges Chair, Laura Ekstrom, couldn’t recall if it was 30 or 60 days.  The point is moot, however, since by the time our Village Attorney sorts it out, Mac’s will be mowing lawns.

The decision to discontinue Cuba Township’s services has been a huge error in judgement, and we’re being generous in that assessment.  We’re just fortunate we don’t have to call it a tragic one (yet).

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OBH Capture

Our gratitude goes to those who’ve followed our four-part journey thus far. Hopefully, it may lead you to the same conclusions we now share.

Obvious to all, there is no way that the current Board of Trustees (BOT), especially President Cecola, would ever consider seating Robin VanCastle next to them in the MacArthur Room. She has shown the unwavering honesty that causes many to avert their eyes, for fear that eye contact would reveal truths some, such as President Cecola, cannot hide.

No one will ever know if Trustee Buettner contemplated this in her discussions with Pro-Tem Konicek. The question is, do we owe her a debt of gratitude for setting the bar so high as to cause the BOT themselves to raise theirs?  Only time will tell.

As we’ve stated, our Village President nominates appointees of his (or is it his household’s) choosing.  At the very least he should have reached out to Ms. VanCastle as he did to other prospective nominees to express Trustee Buettner’s desires.  That is just common courtesy, which apparently he and most trustees have forgotten. It’s that change which can lead to moral turpitude that prompted this series.

The Observer was founded over twelve years ago, since many residents at the time recognized the ethical erosion in our Village government, not only at the Board level, but Commission levels as well. We like to think our communications had some influence in correcting that situation beginning in 2013.

Unfortunately, last year we witnessed our Village government heading in a downward path, and the speed at which it is continuing has us concerned.

Last year we elected four people to our BOT, one being an incumbent Trustee escalated to Village President.  For six years, then Trustee Brian Cecola relied almost exclusively on the guidance provided by former Village President Marty McLaughlin and Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan. Their education, experience and long hours studying the many issues facing our Village proved immensely beneficial to Cecola and were arguably the reason for his election to President.

Sadly, President Cecola did not retain enough of what he should have learned from his previous mentors to be effective in his new responsibilities, which has become glaringly evident to residents. And it appears that the three newer Trustees are following Cecola’s lead, but the question is, who is setting his leadership path? From our observations, not him, and in fairness, we need to explain why.

President Cecola is a hard worker when it comes to performing tasks he derives income from.  However, in his volunteer roles he seems to prefer to relegate research and decision making to others in his duties at Village Hall.

He appears to lean heavily (some say exclusively) on the former Building Permit Coordinator and the current (inexperienced) Village Administrator for guidance (and decisions).  The has led to the three new Trustees relying on often biased counsel from non-elected sources.

Examples include the former Permit Coordinator’s well documented advocating for aboveground swimming pools for a neighbor, now permitted for the first time in our Village of estate properties’ history. This in Cecola’s first month in office, dutifully approved to his wife’s delight.

There are other examples of Cecola’s self-interest voting that have occurred, not the least of which is convincing the BOT to terminate a longstanding snow plowing and salting relationship with Cuba Township in favor of awarding business to a private landscaping company he socializes with. Without providing a reason when asked, Cecola conveniently abstained on voting on that one.

Before our newer Trustees continue in this trend, governed by two non-elected people planning Cecola’s course in our Village, we implore them to pause and take stock of where they’re at now and how they’re perceived in the community.

President Cecola is no longer credible and has lost the support of many former supporters, apparently including President McLaughlin, who now can be heard opining that Cecola is not the same today as the person he and others supported and voted for last April.

If Cecola continues to be disinterested, we sincerely ask Trustees Ekstrom, Riff, Strauss and now Hills, to pay much closer attention to what is happening in our community and to the management of our Village.

Related: “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 3),” and “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 4).”

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MWA SWAT team (for gosh sake) was called to a car dealership in Barrington Tuesday after police interrupted a burglary in progress, authorities said.

The incident happened Tuesday morning at Motor Werks of Barrington, 1475 South Barrington Road.

Barrington Assistant Police Chief John Burke said there was a burglary attempt at the business.

The offenders fled the location as police officers interrupted the burglary, Burke said.

The Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) Emergency Services Team was called to the scene.

The tactical team assisted to safely clear the building, Burke said. No one was located inside.

It is unknown if any of the suspects have been identified yet and the department has not released any additional details.

Source

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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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Darch

Barrington Village President Karen Darch is pictured here at the intersection of Main and Hough Streets in the center of downtown Barrington. Restaurants behind her, such as Egg Harbor, Shakou, Neoteca, etc., are now required to ask patrons for written proof of vaccination since they are in Cook County. In Lake County, where she is pictured standing, eateries such as Chessie’s, Ciao Baby, PL8, etc., have no such requirement.

Waukegan, North Chicago, Buffalo Grove and Barrington have no plans to join Highland Park as Lake County’s only municipality so far to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to dine in restaurants, while Deerfield takes a wait-and-see attitude.

The five municipalities reached their conclusions by Monday after their legislative governing bodies achieved a consensus on a course of action, either through formal or informal means, in the wake of Highland Park’s decision Wednesday to implement a mandate effective this Friday.

Highland Park acted after the city of Chicago and Cook County required restaurants, bars and fitness centers in late December to limit service to patrons who are fully vaccinated. The Chicago and Cook County mandates were effective Monday.

Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor and North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham, Jr., talked to their cities’ aldermen before scheduled meetings Monday and received a consensus there was little or no interest in a mandate requiring diners to show proof of vaccination.

Taylor said after Waukegan’s City Council meeting Monday she talked to the city’s aldermen and heard little interest in imposing a mandate on bars and restaurants. The feeling was it would be too much of a burden on those who have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Barrington Village Manager Scott Anderson said in an email, throughout the pandemic the village has assumed the role of lead communicator sharing information with its residents about ways to remain safe during the pandemic and assure a continuity of services. That will not change.

“The village will not be shifting its primary objectives to the community nor will it seek additional authority to intervene in the operation of local businesses,” he said in the email.

Read more here.

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JB

Illinois scores poorly in a report on the state’s tax climate.

The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index compares state’s tax systems using several categories, including personal income tax, corporate income tax, sales and property taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes.

The authors note that while there are many ways to show how much is collected in taxes by state governments, the Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems and provides a road map for improvement.

Policy analyst Janelle Cammenga said Illinois ranked 36th overall in the country, and was hurt by the state’s corporate business tax.

“The state did enact new [tax break] treatment of temporary operating losses,” Cammenga said. “Now when it comes to net operating losses it does cap those at $100,000 for tax years 2021 through 2024, so that will really make a difference to businesses especially in a time right now of economic downturn where they might be seeing more losses than in other years.”

Cammenga said the only category that kept Illinois from ranking lower is the personal income tax.

“The individual income tax is what is really bringing Illinois’ score up right now because it has a flat income tax of 4.95% where as the rest of the tax code is not as competitive,” Cammenga said.

Read more here.

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TP

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

 

Cook County issued new rules effective Jan. 3 requiring people to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter county restaurants, fitness centers, and bars or entertainment and recreational venues serving food to reduce spiraling cases.

“Earlier this year, we had hoped that we were on a path to finally put the pandemic behind us,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Thursday.

“But unfortunately, with the dual threat presented by the Delta and Omicron variants, and with cases, hospitalizations and deaths rising to new heights across Cook County, we must once again reassess and realign our strategies with what the science is telling us.”

On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 16,581 new COVID-19 cases. It’s the second highest daily count since the pandemic began.

Contributing to the latest virus surge is the omicron variant, which is extremely contagious and causing about 73% of new infections in the U.S., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot instituted similar rules.

Read more here.

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