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Barrington Township Trustee Fritz Gohl

There’s new hope in Springfield for putting power into the hands of voters when it comes to controlling and trimming their governments.

At nearly 6,963 units, Illinois has more governmental bodies and bureaucracies than any other state in the nation. Texas and Pennsylvania are next, according to the website Governing and they have only 5,147 and 4,897, respectively.

And while there’s been some momentum in recent years around merging governments, streamlining and setting up processes for dissolving bodies like sanitary and mosquito abatement districts in Illinois, the processes largely have been complicated or left in the control of public officials — some of whom, obviously, have a self-interest in keeping governments operating and themselves employed.

Read more from the Chicago Sun-Times here.

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Local officials expressed general support for the redevelopment of the former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates Monday at a public hearing on a proposed tax incentive, but Barrington Unit District 220 officials restated their desire for more details to be sure the number of students living there wouldn’t outweigh additional tax revenue.

District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris stated his appreciation for this but said other questions remain.

“Based on published concepts and comments, we can estimate by using the methodology used by the village of Hoffman Estates that the development will generate approximately 100 new students,” Harris said. “These new students will overwhelm the capacity of our nearest elementary school in the area. These new students will increase our annual operating expenses by almost $2 million to cover the cost of their education.”

Read more here.

 

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Officials at Barrington School District 220 recently approved an increase in the district’s property tax levy that is projected to primarily cover general expenses.

During a meeting in late December, board members approved a total request of $125.1 million in property tax revenue for those expenses. Officials also are seeking an additional $13.4 million to cover debt service and building leases.

The projected increase to the district’s levy covering general expenses is estimated to cost the owner of a $500,000 home about $163 more in district property taxes next year, said Dave Bein, assistant superintendent of business services.

Read more here.

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Season’s Greetings

This time of year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the annual frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, door buster sales, and expedited shipping.  There are end-of-year work deadlines to meet, airline flights to schedule, Christmas cookies to bake, and school concerts and office parties to attend.  Mix in sore throats, sniffling noses, traffic snarls, winter storm warnings and black ice, and it might seem as though you have the perfect recipe for a holiday headache.

That’s why it is so important to stop and feel the wonder of the season.  Look all around and drink it in with all of your senses. There is the special soft glow of lights on the tree, the cat pawing at a low hanging ornament, the whistling winds outside and the sight of crisscrossing deer tracks in the snow.  The kids making a mess of the kitchen as they build a gingerbread house.  The family dog dozing by the fire. The crimson bows, the smell of evergreen boughs.  The warmth of family, the laughter of friends.  Remembering those who are gone.  Missing those who couldn’t be here.  The soaring voices of the church choir. The wide smiles on Christmas morning.

These are the simple joys. This is what makes memories.

Merry Christmas from the Observer!

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The Village of Barrington Hills has issued the following announcement:

“DUNDEE LANE WILL BE CLOSED beginning Monday, December 17th to replace a culvert under the road. If all goes as planned, the road is anticipated to open Thursday, December 20th.

No through traffic will be allowed. Residents may access their drives via the Dundee Lane entrance closest to their homes. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.”

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Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 2.37.10 PMFrom the Village of Barrington:

ROUTE 14 CONSTRUCTION UPDATE –  November 20, 2018

“As you begin your Thanksgiving travels, keep in mind that construction and paving still continues on Route 14 through Barrington.

We just received an update from IDOT, which still has two full days of paving left to do. Cold temperatures stopped work for today, but they are anticipating working tomorrow and then early next week in order to complete the paving portion of the project. Final striping of the road will follow.

The Village thanks you for your patience; as this is an IDOT project we have not had control over the timing and completion.

Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!”

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vote McHenry County officials failed to include tens of thousands of ballots in Election Day results that were posted Tuesday, officials have disclosed.

The discovery has affected the outcome in one County Board race, where a Democratic challenger has now pulled ahead of a Republican incumbent.

The revised totals also mean that Democratic U.S. Rep.-elect Lauren Underwoodwon McHenry County after all, by a tiny margin of 169 votes, in still-unofficial results. On election night it appeared that McHenry was the only county in the 14th Congressional District that went to Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren.

The updated totals extend the margin of Underwood’s stunning defeat of Hultgren, a four-term incumbent, in an area that has traditionally gone Republican.

And a state representative from the area is asking the Illinois State Board of Elections to look into what happened.

A news release from McHenry County officials Thursday said it took until Wednesday evening for officials to notice what the release called an “anomaly” in the posted results in which a number of races had a “significant undervote.”

On Thursday afternoon, County Clerk Mary McClellan discovered that the website where the vote totals were displayed “had not updated with early voting numbers,” the release said.

County Board Chairman Jack Franks aid it appeared that about 24,000 votes were affected by the undercount.

…State Rep. David McSweeney, a Republican from Barrington Hills, said he called the Illinois State Board of Elections on Thursday to request an investigation into how the error occurred.

McSweeney referenced widespread problems that occurred in McHenry County in the 2016 primary election, when a court ordered polling places to remain open an extra 90 minutes because of issues with a new computerized registration system and other problems. Those led McClellan to issue an apology at the time.

“The state of play right now, at least it (the updated count) looks statistically reasonable, but I have no idea whether these are correct based on the history here,” McSweeney said.

The lawmaker noted that with McClellan not seeking re-election this year, “she’s no longer going to be the clerk after this election, which I think is good news.”

The full Chicago Tribune article can be found here.

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