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BCR Cecola

Newly elected Village President Brian Cecola pictured with State Representative Martin McLaughlin

Newly elected village presidents and trustees are taking their seats this month in Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington or South Barrington and they have a vision for their respective village’s future.

The race for village president in Barrington Hills, Trustee Brian D. Cecola got over 60% of the vote versus Dennis Kelly who picked up just over 39%, according to official April 6 election results from the clerk’s offices in Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties.

“I ran a clean, honest campaign, one with transparency and one that was factually substantiated and proven by my performance as village trustee over the past six years,” Cecola said in an email to Pioneer Press. “I believe all the candidates had goals for what they thought was best for our village. My platform seemed to resonate with our voters and I am excited to serve our residents as village president.

He said he and fellow One Barrington Hills slate of candidates ran on a platform that included preserving the village’s open spaces, reducing expenses, and “protecting our borders and preserving our village’s heritage.”

Two incumbents on the Barrington Hills Village Board lost reelection to newcomers Laura Ekstrom, who got 19.25% of the vote, David Riff with 18.34% and Thomas W. Strauss, who picked up 17.5% of the vote, according to election results from the clerk’s offices in Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties.

They ran with Cecola on the slate, promoting “lower tax levies, land conservation and equestrian values.”  The new trustees, along with Cecola, were sworn in at the May 3 board meeting.

The incumbents unsuccessful in their election bids include Paula Jacobsen, Robert Zubak and Brent Joseph Burral.

“It is important that our platform priorities are kept front and center, as this is why the residents elected us,” Cecola said.

Read the full Barrington Courier-Review article here.

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DD

32W939 Algonquin Road

The Zoning Board of Appeals will be meeting remotely this evening at 6:30 PM to hold a public hearing followed by a public meeting regarding a text amendment petition for a, “Canine Daycare and/or Doggy Daycare with Grooming, Training and Boarding,” facility at 32W939 Algonquin Road.

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

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BC Pres

New Barrington Hills President Brian Cecola, left, recites the oath of office with help from Judge Samuel J. Betar III. (Courtesy of Village of Barrington Hills)

With state Rep. Martin McLaughlin making good on a promise to step down as Barrington Hills’ village president, his successor took office this week.

Brian D. Cecola was sworn in as the new village president during Monday’s board meeting. A former trustee, Cecola defeated Dennis Kelly for the president’s chair in last month’s election.

Newly elected trustees Laura S. Ekstrom, David Riff and Thomas W. Strauss recited their oaths Monday, too. All newcomers to the board, they topped a field of six candidates running for three seats last month.

Cook County circuit court Judge Samuel J. Betar III administered the oaths of office.

Incumbent trustees Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak lost their reelection bids, so Monday’s meeting was their last.

Cecola’s win as village president left a vacancy on the six-member board, as his latest trustee term wasn’t yet complete.

Colleen Konicek Hanigan, a veteran trustee who didn’t run for reelection this year, was appointed to succeed Cecola until the term expires in 2023.

Read more here.

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The following was posted yesterday to the Village website:

Mclaughlin-2018-Levy-Signature-400x300

Tonight will be President Martin J. McLaughlin’s last Board of Trustees meeting.  It is a special Board of Trustees meeting in that President McLaughlin will be handing over the gavel to President-Elect Brian D. Cecola.

President McLaughlin has accomplished much in his eight-year tenure as Village President, for which many are truly grateful: residents, staff, officials, neighboring municipalities…. the list goes on.

In his modest way, he set the course for Village financial responsibility, transparency in government, ensuring the protection of its residents through public safety and property protection initiatives, all while adding a sense of community to our Village.

He took pride in Barrington Hills and wanted everyone living in it and traversing through it to know how great our community is.  He never missed an opportunity to share this in his conversations with governmental leaders at all levels, with prospective home buyers or with anyone who would listen.

 “Marty” was always behind the scenes “getting things done.” He put his heart and soul into matters concerning the Village. No task was too small or too great—be it on a ladder hanging garland, using “Black Beauty” to help set up the Hills Are Alive Festival or answering the tough questions that only he could answer. 

Marty isn’t far away and is still available to hear from our residents, but as a State Rep of the 52nd District. The President’s Farewell Letter was published in the last newsletter. If you missed it, follow this link: barringtonhills-il.gov/village-newsletter-winter-2021/

As a small token of appreciation, this Proclamation is a way to say #THANKYOU President McLaughlin for everything that you have done for all of us associated with the Village of Barrington Hills…for the stories, for the joviality, for getting involved, and for making those tough decisions.

We look forward to your continued success at a state level and the Baggo boards will be waiting for you at the next Hills Are Alive Festival!

Cake and coffee will be served in appreciation of President McLaughlin’s service at the conclusion of the special Board of Trustees meeting.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Click here to download the proclamation 

Click here to view the Village posting

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VBHPD Car

A couple from Woodstock was seriously injured after the motorcycle they were riding on crashed in Barrington Hills on Sunday.

The Fox River Grove Fire Protection District and Barrington Hills Police Department responded around 4:41 p.m. Sunday to Wolf Road and Algonquin Road for a report of a vehicle crash with injuries.

Emergency crews arrived to find a motorcycle that crashed into a guardrail with two people injured, according to Barrington Hills Police Department Spokesman William Walsh.

The Fox River Grove Police Department and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene to assist with traffic control by closing the road, Fox River Grove Police Chief Eric Waitrovich said.

Paramedics transported the male driver of the motorcycle by ambulance to a landing zone near the Algonquin Road School, 975 Algonquin Road in Fox River Grove.

Read more here.

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Village Hall

There will be a special Board of Trustees meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the items to be covered include:

  • Closing Address And Volunteer/Staff Recognition – President Martin J. McLaughlin
  • Certified Results: April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election 2021
  • Oath of Office: President Brian D. Cecola, Trustee Laura S. Ekstrom, Trustee David Riff and Trustee Thomas W. Strauss
  • [Vote] Trustee Appointment (Cecola vacancy): Colleen Konicek Hannigan, term expires 04/2023
  • [Vote] A Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Martin J. McLaughlin forEight (8) Years of Dedicated Service to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 21 –
  • [Vote] President Pro Tem Appointment: Colleen Konicek Hannigan

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here. The meeting is open to those wishing to attend, or residents can listen in by calling 508-924-1464.

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Islamic Center of Naperville

The Islamic Center of Naperville has proposed constructing a more than 26,000-square-foot mosque in the first phase of its 40-year plan for a new religious, educational and community center. (Courtesy of the Islamic Center of Naperville)

The parking layout has been tweaked and a crossing guard was added to the Islamic Center of Naperville’s plans for a new religious facility on the southwest side of town.

The adjustments aim to address a few of the concerns raised by residents — in a flood of messages — who live near the site of the proposed mosque and multipurpose center, which is expected to be built out in five phases over the next 40 years along 248th Avenue, attorney Len Monson said.

By relocating 53 parking spaces, project leaders have proposed increasing the distance between the Islamic Center’s parcel and the south property line to 28 feet from 10 feet, with no parking available within 54 feet of the residences to the south. In addition to adding green space, the change orients cars away from those adjacent houses, mitigating the potential impact of headlights, Monson said during a public hearing last week.

While the proposal has received an abundance of support from the community, others have voiced strong opposition, citing concerns over traffic, crowds and the potential impact on nearby subdivisions.

The proposal has garnered what city staff members have called an “unprecedented” volume of public interest, with roughly 500 people signed up to speak during an ongoing public hearing that has now spanned five planning and zoning commission meetings. Thousands have also sent in written comments or submitted their position through an online form.

Before the April 21 meeting, 71 speakers had been heard — a rate that would require at least 18 more public hearings to complete testimony on the case, according to a staff memo. Commissioners, in turn, instituted a six-minute time limit for individuals and 20 minutes for group presentations in hopes of moving the process along.

Read more of this somewhat timely article for some here.

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Mulch Fire

A mulch pile continued to burn Tuesday at Down To Earth Landscaping along Old Sutton Road near South Barrington. The wind carried embers from the fire started Monday and charred an estimated 30 acres at Spring Creek Forest Preserve, across the road from the landscaping company. – Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Firefighters doused smoldering ashes Tuesday at the source of a fire from the previous day at a South Barrington-area landscaping company that also charred about 30 acres of nearby Spring Creek Forest Preserve.

Firefighters responded at 3:42 p.m. Monday to a fire started by spontaneous combustion of mulch piles at Down to Earth landscaping in unincorporated Cook County on Old Sutton Road, East Dundee Fire Protection District Chief Jason Parthun said. The wind carried the embers and spread the fire northeast, he said.

“The fire spread to neighboring house part of their property, got more things going in that property, and then moved into the brush and field and forest preserve,” he said.

More than 20 agencies from northern Illinois helped in the firefighting effort, and a large command area was created with three separate operations, Parthun said. A tender shuttle brought in about 200 gallons of water and the fire was brought under control at 11:22 p.m., he said.

Firefighters ensured the fire didn’t jump over Route 59 or Penny Road in South Barrington, he said.

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District firefighters arrived about 5 p.m. and used Route 59 as a fire break, Chief Jim Kreher said. The fire in that area was under control in roughly two hours, Kreher said.

Read more here.

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April BOTThe Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Presentation of appreciation for their dedicated service as Trustees Paula Jacobsen and Robert M. Zubak
  • Donlea Road Drainage Investigation – Engineer’s Memo
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Section 5-5-3 of the Village’s Zoning Regulations to Include, in the Allowed List of Special Uses, Non-commercial Event Facility Ordinance 21 –

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here. The meeting is open to those wishing to attend or readers can listen in by calling 508-924-1464.

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Editorial note: Monday’s monthly Village Board of Trustees meeting will be the last regular one for President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan and President Martin McLaughlin.  Here’s what the Daily Herald wrote when the two first won office eight years ago:

DH CM

Barrington Hills Village President-elect Martin McLaughlin looks over results Tuesday at his election night party with Trustee-elect Colleen Konicek Hannigan. Both won election and will be sworn into office next month. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

McLaughlin looks ahead to Barrington Hills presidency

Posted 4/10/2013 5:15 PM

A day after his upset victory over two-term Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud, president-elect Martin McLaughlin said his intentions remain the same as during his campaign — to return the village to the normal business of providing services cost-effectively.

McLaughlin said he’d considered divisive debates over outdoor lighting regulations and commercial horse boarding to be manufactured and unnecessary, and believes voters ultimately agreed.

“There were a lot of exhausted, weary residents who were just looking for someone to represent them,” McLaughlin said. “We need someone to actively heal the divisions. I don’t think we need to do anything great here. We just need a deep breath.”

McLaughlin said he never considered the race to be personal and hopes he can turn to Abboud as a resource in the future.

Given the perceived strength of Abboud’s campaign, McLaughlin said he never counted on more than being a messenger.

“I thought I would define issues,” McLaughlin said. “The outcome was a pleasant surprise.”

While McLaughlin would like to give the village a fresh start, he realizes there’s few times when that’s entirely possible. The village remains in the midst of addressing important issues such as the proposed Insurance Auto Auction site in neighboring East Dundee, the long lingering lawsuit over covenants governing the Sears property in Hoffman Estates and mediated negotiations toward a police contract.

McLaughlin believes the fact East Dundee voters also elected a new village president — Lael Miller — provides opportunity for a fresh start for talks about the auto auction proposal, which he considers a threat to the aquifer Barrington Hills residents use.

McLaughlin disagreed with his predecessor’s aggressive approach to East Dundee.

“Shaking hands isn’t a bad way to start, instead of shaking fists,” McLaughlin said.

He also hopes to reach a settlement on the Sears lawsuit and examine the police department’s pension system, which broke away from the state’s several years ago.

Senior Village Trustee Fritz Gohl, who won re-election Tuesday, said he’s keeping an open mind on working with the new president, whom he’s not yet met.

McLaughlin will be joined on the board by two new trustees, Gohl’s running mate, Michael Harrington, and McLaughlin’s running mate, Colleen Konicek Hannigan. Though he’s unfamiliar with McLaughlin, Gohl knows Konicek Hannigan very well.

“I know where she’s coming from because she’s a Barrington Hills lifer like me,” he said.

Having worked with both Abboud and the late Jim Kempe, Gohl said he knows the approach to the village president job has a lot to do with each president’s personality. He agrees with McLaughlin’s assessment that new leadership in East Dundee offers new opportunities for negotiation over Insurance Auto Auction.

Gohl is less certain McLaughlin will find any obvious places to cut the village budget short of laying off workers, and said he welcomes professional insight of the new president and Harrington on managing the village’s police pension fund.

More challenging will be the village’s change of leadership in the midst of police contract talks, Gohl said. The new contract will be one of many areas in which the new president will likely experience a baptism by fire.

“It’ll be interesting to see what happens,” he added. “He’ll be learning as he goes.”

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