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Archive for the ‘Transparency’ Category

ethics

Last Winter, the Village of Lake Barrington published the following in their seasonal newsletter:

Lake Barrington’s Ethics Commission

Did you know that the Village has an Ethics Commission? The independent commission adds to the overall transparency of our government and serves to investigate complaints alleging violations of the Ethics Chapter of the Village Code. We are proud to report that this 3-member Commission has never once had to meet regarding a violation!”

Their Municipal Code actually devotes a chapter to ethics, and the main page of their website contains a link to, “Report a Concern.”

As previously chronicled in this publication, if one searches our Village Code, keying in the word “ethics,” the result reads, “No Matches Found.”

Our Village needs an Ethics Commission.  How else could parties involved in complaints present their respective cases to determine if ethics violations did, or did not, occur? Listed below are typical practices that might arise in our Village, and in our opinion, may warrant investigation, understanding that there are no implications as to guilt or innocence of any on the list:

  • Should expensive legal battles, possibly precipitated by actions of elected and appointed Village officials, be investigated?
  • Should the hiring and retention of Village paid staff positions by elected family members be investigated?
  • Should contracts with vendors who maintain personal and professional relationships with elected Village officials and their families be investigated?
  • Should the solicitations of funds and hand selection of vendors by family members or close friends of elected Village officials, absent oversight by appointed Village committees, be investigated?

For these and other reasons, our Village needs to appoint an Ethics Commission to act as ombudsmen, when any question of potential maladministration or ethics violations is considered or occurs.

Candidates for this proposed commission could come from existing appointed Village bodies, ones whose objectivity would be unquestioned.

The perfect candidates for this roll are the incumbent members of the Board of Heath.  They are highly qualified, underutilized, and would prove to be an effective force in maintaining ethical governance of the Village of Barrington Hills.

Related:Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Better Government Association Commends Passage of Chicago Ethics Ordinance–Sees More to Do,” “What happened to ethics reform in Illinois government? Why watchdogs have some hope,” “Meanwhile, One Barrington Hills makes amends, extinguishes website and turns the volume down,” “Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom,” “Agreed

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9.22 BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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RCBHEC

The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Instructions accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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Can you Hear Me

Nope!

It’s been some time since we posted recordings from Board if Trustee meetings.  But considering it’s been some time since residents could phone in to meetings and actually hear anything remotely audible, we thought we’d go “old school” again.

Since it’s been nearly impossible to dial in to meetings to participate for months, the only conclusion we can arrive at is the Cecola admiration would rather we didn’t. As a result, no effort has been made to remedy the documented technology issues.  None.

The recording of the July 25th Board of Trustees meeting can be accessed here.

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Red

Barrington Hills First Lady and Village of Lakemoor Building Permit Coordinator, Stephanie Cecola, was seen running at the start of the 2nd annual, “The Land We Love Run,” earlier this month.

The Summer 2022 edition of the Village Newsletter was recently released. Topics covered include:

  • President’s letter
  • 2nd Annual “The Land We Love Run” recap*
  • Horizon Farm public meeting
  • Tornado preparation tips
  • Donlea Road drainage update
  • Crime prevention, and
  • Pointers on whether permits are required for landscaping or earth moving

A copy can be viewed and downloaded here.

* Event participant results (no First Lady listed??), by category, can be found here.

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BACT Officers

Barrington Area Conservation Trust officers

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] Appointment: Matthew Vondra, Plan Commission Chairman Term as Chair expires 04/2023
  • [Vote] A Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Doctor Pamela Cools for Years of Dedicated Service Resolution 22 –
  • The Land We Love Run Summary

A brief statement of Matthew Vondra’s qualifications for consideration can be viewed here. Without too much detail, we’ll expound on his experience a bit.

Matt is currently Vice President of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT).  Their President is Brian Croll, who is also a Trustee of the Village of Barrington Hills. The BACT Treasurer is Loren Ekstrom, the husband of Village of Barrington Hills Trustee Laura Ekstrom.

The BACT is responsible for, “…creating the largest permanent land preservation easement in the state of Illinois,” known as Horizon Farm, which is now owned and managed under that easement by the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

Note: For the third month in a row, it’s unknown if the telephony issues that have plagued recent meetings have been remedied yet, so callers might encounter issues again.

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BGA_Logo_WithTag_typeUnder_Final-10

City Council passage of improvements to Chicago’s government ethics ordinance is a welcome step toward reform–with more work yet ahead, the Better Government Association said Wednesday. The research and policy arm of the 99-year old civic watchdog organization assisted Ald. Michele Smith and the city’s Board of Ethics in drafting the reform measure.

Among other changes, the new ordinance:

  • Broadens campaign finance restrictions on city contractors to include contractors for sister agencies such as the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools
  • Strengthens conflict of interest provisions to prohibit city employees from exercising official powers on behalf of a relative, spouse, or domestic partner
  • Prohibits lobbying on the floor of City Council, including by prior members of Council
  • Requires specific and complete disclosure of the conflict of interest in cases where members of City Council recuse themselves from a vote due to conflict of interest
  • Expands conflict of interest provisions to cover all city officers.
  • Requires independent contractors who work for City Council or its committees to complete required ethics training and file annual financial interest statements, including a record of which committees or other bodies they contract with.
  • Strengthens fines for ethics violations, including granting the Board of Ethics the ability to levy fines equal to the value of any monetary gain from wrongdoing.

“Passage of this ordinance is important for the city, and it’s important for voters and other residents who have a right to expect honest, transparent government,” said David Greising, president of the Better Government Association.

Read the full statement here.

Note: A keyword search for “ethics” on our Village Code web page resulted in “No Matching Records” as seen below:

Capture

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BCFPD Hummer

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Board meets at  6:30 PM at 22222 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

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BCFPD Photo

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) Board of Trustees usually meets on the third Monday of the month. However, no agenda is posted on the District’s website, nor is a notice of cancellation of the meeting.

If the meeting goes forward this evening, the Board should note:

“Public bodies that have a website must post the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body (i.e. County Board, Board of Trustees, Board of Commissioners, School Board, etc) at least 48 hours prior to said meeting. Any agenda of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body’s website shall remain posted until the regular meeting is concluded.”

For the recorded, this is not the first time we’ve noticed the BCFPD has neglected to post required notifications.  If an agenda appears later today, we’ll notify readers.

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RCBH

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their April newsletter.  Topics covered this month include:

  • State of the trails
  • Saturday morning trail rides
  • 4th of July parade
  • What’s happening at the Park District, and
  • Forest Preserve

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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