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The Finance Committee meets at 2:30 this afternoon.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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Audio recordings from the August 29th Village Board of Trustees meeting have been posted to the Village website.  To access the menu of edited recordings by agenda topic, click here.

Three residents made public comments at the beginning of the meeting.  The comments ranged from a complaint regarding an abandoned home at Braeburn and Spring Creek Roads (heard here), to the Village Tree Ordinance (heard here), and the upcoming hearing on the environmental study of the Longmeadow Parkway project (heard here).

Alice Runvik was then presented an award for 25 years of service to the Barrington Hills Police Department, and the presentation can be heard here.  Alice was unable to attend the previous month’s meeting when awards were presented, and we congratulate her on her milestone of service to our community.

Unfortunately, after this high note of recognition and applause, Trustee Mike Harrington found it necessary to interrupt the proceedings with a point of order regarding the evening’s agenda.  It seems he and Trustee Gohl (or more likely their handlers outside of the boardroom) had requested the agenda to include, “a discussion and vote on whether we should have a public hearing to consider removing Jan Goss from the ZBA.”  He cited a petition including only 102 signatures as the basis for their request.

In the thirteen-minute discussion that ensued, Harrington’s best efforts to create more of the political theater residents are weary of fell flat.

President McLaughlin had asked Gohl (who made the first request) if he had contacted the chairman of the Zoning Board to discuss the matter, and Gohl had not.  McLaughlin explained that it is the Zoning Board chairman’s position to bring forth any issues, and since neither Gohl nor Harrington had afforded the chair the courtesy of input, rather than usurp the chair’s authority, McLaughlin decided not to place the matter on the agenda.

Attorney Patrick Bond then explained it is within the president’s authority to set the agendas of the Board of Trustee meetings per our Village Code, but he also told Harrington he could make a motion to discuss, but not vote on, the matter if he wished.  Harrington declined take advantage of this opportunity for discussion (since Gohl was absent from yet another meeting), instead choosing to protest and waste taxpayer’s money by demanding a written opinion from Bond.

What was not discussed is the fact that Village employee personnel matters are never discussed in public session.  They are always conducted in executive session.  Yet Harrington and Gohl did not want to afford a private citizen the same courtesy, clearly looking to grill a volunteer resident in their proposed public forum.  We find this disgraceful and ill-considered —  no matter whose idea it was.

The recording of this discussion can be heard here, and for the record, we’re told Mr. Goss was in attendance at the meeting.  It’s unknown if any political “handlers” made an appearance, however, but we doubt it.

When the business before the board resumed, the meeting became more productive.

The Village Treasurer reported during the finance report that expenditures are below budget.  She also reported that building permit revenue is “way up” from last year, perhaps indicating the slow housing economy that has dogged Barrington Hills is finally showing some promise.

On the downside, however, she stated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) expenses are “way over” budget for this year, to the tune of 140%, including $23,000 for the prior month alone in legal fees. 

When asked for some explanation during the review of the bills for the expense increase, Patrick Bond reported, “We have received a number of FOIA’s and voluminous requests from Barrington Hills Farm, ah, J.R. Davis was the requestor (see “Barrington Hills Farm”) and also from, ah, Dr. LeCompte (Oakwood Farm).”  That recording can be heard here.

Later in the meeting, the board approved amended and restated code related to the Tree Preservation Ordinance as proposed by the Plan Commission after nearly a year’s worth of work by that body.  The new code has not yet been posted to the Village website, but those interested can check back at a later date by accessing this link.

During the Administration report, trustees were informed that the necessary updates to Village Hall, such as paint, carpeting and bringing bathrooms up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards is estimated to cost approximately $68,000.  After some discussion, the board voted to begin “refreshing” the interior of Village Hall.

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for September 26th.

Editor’s Note:  This review of these recordings marks the 2,000th article published in the Barrington Hills Observer.  We would like to express our thanks to our readers for their continued support, and look forward to providing timely news services to the residents of Barrington Hills in the future.

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The Village Board will hold their regular monthly meeting Monday evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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Audio recordings from the March 30th meeting of the Board of Trustees have been posted to the Village Website. 

The meeting began with a public hearing for residents to have the opportunity to comment on the 2016 Appropriations Ordinance.  One resident commented, and the ordinance was later passed.   

The regular meeting began with the financial reports, and reviews or approvals by the board.  Peggy Hirsch, who is now the village treasurer, was invited to speak during this topic on the board’s agenda, and it appears she had things well in hand after a few short weeks on the job as can be heard here.

During the Roads and Bridges discussion, the board approved the replacement of all Village streetlights with energy-saving LED units by ComEd.  They also discussed new names for the Cuba Road Bridge once reconstruction is completed and agreed to decide on one at their April meeting.

During the Building & Zoning report, Trustee Konicek questioned why approval of the 2016 Zoning Map was placed on the agenda, since she apparently had not received all of the information from the Zoning Board she had requested of Bob Kosin at the February board meeting.  Due to this lack of follow up and the absence of time sensitivity for approval of the map, she did not make a motion for approval.

Trustee Harrington apparently did have some motivation to get the map approved, and he motioned to approved it which was seconded by Trustee Gohl.  After some brief discussion, Harrington then attempted to call the matter for a vote before all the trustees had an opportunity to fully participate in the dialog. 

When a vote was finally called by the president, Harrington’s motion didn’t pass.  The link to this discussion and vote can be accessed here.         

To access the menu of edited recordings by agenda topic, click here.

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The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting this Wednesday evening beginning at 6:30 PM.

The meeting will begin with a public hearing regarding the proposed 2016 Appropriation Ordinance.  Appropriations amounts are set higher than the budget figures already approved for 2016, and represent the maximum dollars the board may spend in a given year.   A copy of the ordinance can be viewed and downloaded here.

The agenda for the regular meeting beginning immediately following the hearing can be viewed here.

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The Village Board will hold their regular monthly meeting Monday at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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Audio recordings from the January 25th regular monthly meeting of the Village Board have been posted to the Village website.  President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan chaired most of the two-hour meeting which, for the second month in a row, had no comments from the public.

Trustee Bryan Croll’s finance report was the longest of those covered, and his item regarding pension obligation bonds was deferred until later in the meeting so that President McLaughlin could be present for the discussion.

During the Bills For Approval report, Trustee Gohl had a list of rather obscure questions on certain invoices, which Village Clerk Anna Paul addressed quite well.  At one point, he asked even the police chief for an explanation of a bill related to a zoning inspection.

We must compliment Ms. Paul, since she seemed to be extremely prepared to provide answers regarding Bills For Approval, as well as detailed background for most other items on the agenda that evening.  This is a refreshing change since Bob Kosin, Village Administrator, seems to always need to be coaxed so speak up on such matters.

Trustee Croll also reviewed expenses for 2015, compared to those of the prior fiscal year, and mentioned reductions in many areas.  It should be noted that many of these cost reductions can be attributed to measures taken by the Board prior to his election, but his summary can be heard here.

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During the Attorney’s Report, it was learned that Barrington District 220 is seeking amendments to zoning restrictions set forth in an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) from 2004 for their recently acquired property in Barrington Hills, between Hart and Old Hart Roads (a map can be viewed here).  This, despite the fact that the district was aware of the zoning limits when they acquired the property, and they have no near-term plans for its use.

According to Village Attorney Patrick Bond’s report, the district wishes to have the ability to use the property for, “school purposes and elementary and high school use, related facilities. Elementary, middle and high school parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, athletic facilities, school related parking for school uses (not to include the storage of busses, trucks, maintenance vehicles or commercial vehicles) and administrative offices.”

Bond went on to say that such changes to the IGA would require changes to our existing Village Code, and that the district asked if Barrington Hills would consider the annexation of the property into the Village of Barrington.  As one might expect, our board members were not receptive to any changes to the IGA without any input first from adjacent property owners on Old Hart Road.

The link to the full District 220 land use discussion recording can be accessed here.

President McLaughlin joined the meeting shortly after the attorney’s report, and discussion began on the deferred topic of the Police Pension Obligation Bond (PPOB) from the finance section of the meeting. 

(It should be noted that last year the PPOB initiative was all but dismissed as an option, due to rising interest rates, but Trustee Croll had requested it be included on the January agenda so that he could make a statement on the matter.)

Croll began the discussion by reading a long prepared statement (heard here) that included the word “I” dozens of times, thus underscoring the fact he is the only member of the Finance Committee he was reporting on.  Given the considerable number of financial professionals we have living in the Village, perhaps this committee should be expanded to three members in the future in order to provide discussion and consensus. 

Additionally, his statement included many references to detailed financials, and was somewhat difficult to follow without a copy, which was not provided to his fellow board members for review in advance, nor even distributed before he read it at the meeting.

When, at one point during his discourse, President McLaughlin courteously asked him to repeat a statement, Croll indignantly retorted, “It can wait.”  Thinking better of it, Croll repeated the sentence.  When he was finished, McLaughlin thanked Croll for his accommodation, explaining he didn’t have a copy of the report to follow along with, to which Croll responded, “You can take notes.”

McLaughlin then provided a very candid perspective on the missed opportunity for residents to fully fund pensions for our police officers over two years ago at extremely favorable bond rates, as can be heard here.  The Board then unanimously voted down pursuing bonds to fund the police pension. 

Later, during the administration report, McLaughlin reviewed some of the recent activities of other taxing bodies, including the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District which is looking at switching its 911 dispatch services and possibly considering a third fire station.  McLaughlin encouraged residents to get involved in these issues, or at least stay informed on developments, as can be heard here.

To access the full menu of edited recordings by topic from the entire meeting, click here.

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ELECTION-2016-logoStemming the exodus of taxpayers and jobs from Illinois and lightening the state’s heavy property tax burden is paramount to the three Republican candidates running for the 26th Senate District seat.

Dan McConchie, Casey Urlacher and Martin McLaughlin are running to succeed Republican Sen. Dan Duffy, who is limiting himself to two terms.

The 26th District covers southeastern McHenry and southwestern Lake counties and slivers of Kane and Cook counties.

Read more here.

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The ePacket agenda containing links to most documents to be discussed during this evening’s Village Board meeting has been posted.  To access the ePacket link, click here.

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Three meetings will take place at Village Hall on Monday, January 25th.

The Police Pension Board meets at 7:30 AM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The Heritage & Environs meets mid-morning at 10:00 AM, and a copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The Village Board will then be holding their regular monthly meeting beginning at 6:30 PM.  The agenda for the meeting can be viewed here.

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