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Archive for the ‘Building Department’ Category

May BOT

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

  • [Vote] An Ordinance Providing for Regulations Against the Disturbance of Public Meetings Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to an Existing Special Use Permit for the Expansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorn Road Ordinance21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting a Special Use to Dundee Township Park District for a Recreational Facility along Longmeadow Parkway near Algonquin Road Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending the Zoning Code list of uses permitted in theB3 Business District a Canine Day Care Ordinance 21 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Amending Section 4-2-2(D) Temporary Swimming Pools Ordinance 21 – (?)
  • [Vote] Appointments: Equestrian Commission

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

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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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The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote include:

  • An Ordinance Granting A Special Use Permit to Christ the Rock Churchfor Operation of a Religious Institution at 195 S. Sutton Road Ordinance 21-
  • A Resolution Renewing a Boundary Agreement with the Village of AlgonquinResolution 21 –

A copy of the agenda can be viewed hereThose wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

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Recordings have been released from last month’s Board of Trustee’s meeting (12.17.2020), and the Village Attorney’s report contained the following update:

“Just really quickly, the Drury litigation versus the Village discovery is now closed. It’s moving in to motion practice, so we’ll hopefully get some kind of ruling in February, March-ish.”

To listen to the recording of the December 17th BOT meeting, click here.

Related:Things may get very interesting after Thanksgiving…

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The recordings from October 26th Board of Trustees meeting have been released. Click here to access the link from the Village website.

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Our Village Board of Trustees meets this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda, including instructions on participating remotely, may be viewed and downloaded here.

Tonight’s agenda is relatively routine. However, the board will be discussing the 2019 Annual Audit Report, and two of trustees won’t be deprived of an opportunity to ask inane questions given the opportunity, so the meeting will likely be longer than usual.

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Recordings from the remotely orchestrated Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night have been posted and can be accessed for your listening pleasure by clicking here.

At the beginning of Trustee Brian Cecola’s Public Safety report, he read a letter he entered in to the record that we felt we should post now in light of the events on Old Sutton Road three weeks ago today.

His letter reads as follows:

“I want take this opportunity as public safety chair to personally thank our officers for the fine work they did with this recent incident. I also want to thank our surrounding communities police tasks force without their assistance and support it would be impossible tb investigate and handle situations like this.

As the public may or may not be aware when we have incidents, we rely upon intergovernmental agreements with surrounding communities to support each other in investigations.

In a recent meeting with the village president and administrator and in conjunction with the treasurer and the Police Chief I am advocating to move forward with presenting the· costs associated with this investigation for immediate reimbursement from the property owner the rental company agencies and the responsible party who rented this property.

As you may all be aware this village board tasked our Village attorney with notifying the owner of their non-compliance which they did promptly days prior to this incident.

It appears the property owner and rental agencies ignored our Instructions even after they agreed days prior that they were in violation.

They did so at their peril and if we do not recover our taxpayer’s costs then I suggest we take immediate legal action to do so.”

Hopefully Police Chief Joseph Colditz will have much more to report on this incident very soon.

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Paula Jacobsen

The latest Village newsletter came out recently, and it mentions the results of the latest Village annual audit among other things. The sound financial position of our Village is noted, but what is absent of any narrative is how earlier this year, first term trustee Paula Jacobsen caused a potentially damaging accusation that caused the auditor to investigate that accusation.

One question Jacobson was asked to answer during the audit was:

“In your opinion, are there any areas of operation of the Village that do not receive enough oversight of management or board, or any particular weaknesses in internal controls?” 

Jacobsen checked off “Yes.” As a Trustee, she could have taken the opportunity beforehand to gather specific information and to offer a detailed explanation or perhaps even actual facts, but instead submitted her vague audit questionnaire on March 17, 2019 (perhaps hoping to disrupt the April 2 election?).

Jacobson had a wealth of resources at her disposal for weeks before if she had any questions whatsoever on completing her forms from the audit firm. She could have easily gathered information from the Village Treasurer, Director of Administration, Clerk or even the Trustee assigned to Finance, but she did not avail herself of those ample opportunities according to recordings. She could have provided an answer to the question she was asked instead of repeating an anonymous rumor told to her by some residents.

Instead, when asked why she answered “Yes” to the audit question, her initial answer was:

“While I don’t know that it is considered fraud, but some residents have claimed that contracts are being given to certain members of family of the Board, however, that is not evidence of guilt. I don’t know that we have a clear process to evaluate this if in fact this is happening.   I’m not aware of any contract awarded to a Board member.” 

The first thought that came to our minds upon hearing this was that of an immature four-year-old who answers the question “why did you eat those cookies?” with, “Someone said I could.”

Though asked repeatedly, Jacobson would not, or more probably could not offer any specificity to her unsubstantiated allegation, and at times her answers to Trustees questions on her inexplicable answer changed from one minute or meeting month to another.

For example, before the auditor was asked to read back her answer to the question in the presence of the Board, Jacobsen denied checking the “Yes” box repeatedly. She also denied making any claim or charge of process or fraud issues, and she only began to recant her statements once the village president asked the auditor to read them into the record.

Jacobson also stated on more than one occasion that she understood that her responses to all audit questions were private and would be kept anonymous.   Those wishing to listen to the recording of this exchange can do so by clicking here.

She followed up at the June Board of Trustees meeting by reading a written statement that actually reversed her position in May. She stated she believes that fraud and processes have been violated at the Village, and further she made a secondary allegation that the auditing firm was not independent thereby impugning the reputation of the village treasurer, the independent auditor and the finance chairman Mr. Croll and the Village board.

If this sounds pathetic, it is, and it goes on (and on). Rather than continue with what is basically transcribing her lunacy from recordings, we have a better solution for all involved.

The solution to this problem will be for the village to spend further taxpayer dollars to “investigate” the rumor that someone repeated to Jacobson, and then hopefully follow that by providing educational information to Jacobson on the importance and serious nature of the annual financial audit so that in the future she may confidently answer the audit questionnaire with facts instead of vague, unfounded rumor.

-The Observer

Related: Flip, Flop: What changed your minds Trustees Messer, Meroni, and Selman?  (August 30, 2011)

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VBH__LogoThe Village Board will meet on Monday August 28th at 6:30 PM. The agenda can be viewed here and the e-Packet can be found here.

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audio_tape_revox_pr99-203Audio recordings from the July 24th, 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees have been posted. To access the menu of recordings edited by agenda item, click here.

Most of the brief meeting consisted of routine business, but, again, property owned by Barrington Hills Farm LLC (BHFarm) provided the most interesting fodder for discussion.  As we mentioned previously, the owner(s) of the unoccupied property at 2400 Spring Creek Road had been cited for demolition of a residence without a building permit and for removal of two posted Stop Work Order signs. Additionally, many trees and much vegetation had been removed without a permit required under the village’s Heritage Tree Ordinance.

Trustee Colleen Konicek asked Administrator Bob Kosin for an update on the situation.  The issue of the removal of the Stop Work Order signs is currently in the hands of the village prosecutor, and the courts will be left to determine if the violation did take place, and what fines, if any, should be imposed.  Kosin went on to state that the necessary demolition permit had now been obtained, albeit AFTER the fact, and that according to the demolition contractor, none of the work to remove the debris from the demolition of the 2900 sq. ft. home had required an overweight permit.  Trustee Brian Cecola strongly questioned the notion that a residence of that size could be taken down without the need for an overweight permit.  Konicek pressed the issue further, asking Kosin what evidence had been provided that an overweight permit had not been required? Kosin was forced to admit there was no evidence, just the word of the contractor. We wonder how many other residents would be afforded this same benefit of the doubt.

On the issue of the trees that had been removed, Kosin stated that the Village’s tree contractor had been sent out, and he determined that no heritage trees had been lost or jeopardized on the site, again AFTER the fact, and that the property owner had been appropriately billed (and paid ) for the arborist’s inspection fee. Kosin expressed supreme confidence in the arborist’s psychic abilities to determine the species of trees which had been removed, without ever having seen them.  We don’t quite understand how this was possible — perhaps he conducted a DNA analysis of the sawdust residue?

President Martin McLaughlin expressed concern about the objectivity of the arborist, Chuck Stewart, who had performed the study of the property, because Stewart rents office space in a building owned by one of the members of the board of Barrington Hills Farm. Trustee Michelle Maison was also troubled by this perceived conflict of interest and inquired if another independent tree analysis should be conducted.

McLaughlin then brought up the issue of the deannexation request (dated July 17, 2017) for 2400 Spring Creek Road. Back in the fall, the trust controlling BHFarm had expressed interest in annexing ALL of the former Duda property back into the Village during a friendly 2 1/2 hour staff meeting during which the village outlined two timelines to complete the annexation petition process. He found it odd that first they wanted to annex into the village, and now they want to annex out of the village. He also reminded the new Board members about the trust’s previous request for an easement for its proposed HARPS facility (which still has not broken ground).  The trust had wanted an easement, requested it, constructed the legal documents for it, and when the Board agreed to it, the trust wanted the easement out.

McLaughlin described how the Village has gone out of its way to say “yes” numerous times to requests by BHFarm, and explained how the Village has tried to work with the individuals representing BHFarm, only to have the trust change their minds about things that they themselves had asked for.  He likened dealing with the BHFarm trust as doing the Hokey Pokey — they want the easement in, they want the easement out, they want to annex in, they want to annex out. All of it, he said, amounted to much silliness, and in our opinion, wasting of board and staff time, not to mention taxpayer dollars.

minion-hokeypokey-o

Doing the annexation hokey pokey

Trustee Paula Jacobsen wondered why the village couldn’t have employed a warmer and fuzzier process to inform the property owner of their violation of the cease and desist order, perhaps by placing a personal phone call. Jacobsen was either playing dumb in thinking that property owners’ phone numbers are listed on property deeds, or perhaps she was pandering to BHFarm’s board which is headed by a prominent donor to her recent trustee campaign. Her point seemed to be that the property owner was not being treated in a neighborly manner, despite the fact that the only publicly available contact information is an street address in Chicago. Never did she place any onus on the property owner who apparently assumed that it was okay to knock down a house without consulting the municipal authorities in advance. Maybe she has never heard of the expression “ignorance of the law is no excuse”?

And, if the village had gone to extreme lengths to track down a telephone number in this particular instance, wouldn’t that create a dangerous precedent for the village’s future contacts with other property owners?  AND, does Jacobsen really believe that the contractor(s) who removed the trees and demolished the residence didn’t inform their employer of the Stop Work Order?

Those conversations can be heard here.

Later in the meeting, during discussion of the disconnection petition itself, Village Attorney Mary Dickson described the legal requirements for disconnection and confirmed that the subject property meets all of them. However, the village cannot act on such a petition sooner than 30 days after receiving it, and, as a result, the attorney will prepare an ordinance for possible action at the next Board meeting in August.

Dickson cautioned that any penalties regarding the cease and desist order violation pending in court should be resolved and that any other monies due to the Village should be paid PRIOR to the Board of Trustees taking final action on BHFarm’s petition.

Jacobsen continued to puzzle over the reason for the disconnection request into unincorporated McHenry County, and asked if the petitioner would be making a presentation to the Board explaining the reasons for the disconnection.  Dickson explained that no such presentation is legally necessary.  (We suggest that Jacobsen pick up the telephone a place a neighborly phone call if she wants to quench her curiosity.) Attorney Dickson opined that maybe developmental rights are the reason, and perhaps the best prospects for the owner’s desired development of the property may lie with the county rather than the village. We’d say that Ms. Dickson hit the nail on the head with that assessment.

The disconnection discussion can be heard here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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