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Archive for the ‘Communications Committee’ Category

The Village recently released audio recordings from the July Village Board meeting.

Four residents made public comments before the board.  The first speaker provided some ideas on how Barrington Hills might better recognize veterans who participate in the upcoming annual Barrington Honor Ride & Run scheduled for August 16th, and we believe his perspectives warrant listening to by clicking here.

The public session business before the board was covered in about an hour.  This is the second month in a row where our trustees have effectively and efficiently addressed many items on their agenda in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the executive session, since we’re told it lasted about two hours.  When the public session was reopened sometime after 9:30 PM, President McLaughlin summarized three actions agreed upon during the closed session, including one matter in particular pertaining to the potential settlement of a suit filed against the Village related to the Commercial Horse Boarding (Anderson/LeCompte) text amendment passed in February of this year.

The Village Board has directed the village attorney, Patrick Bond, to explore settlement options in the case before incurring any unnecessary legal fees in defending the Village in the case.  McLaughlin’s comments on the matter can be heard here.

Before the meeting adjourned, President McLaughlin announced the decision by the Deer Park Village Board to withdraw from BACOG, and his perspective can be heard here.

The complete menu of edited audio recordings, by agenda topic, from the meeting can be accessed here.

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The Village Communications Committee is scheduled to meet this evening at 6:00 PM at Village Hall in the training room.  A copy of their ePacket agenda can be viewed here.

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The Finance Committee will be holding a special meeting tomorrow, October 23, beginning at 3:30 PM at Village Hall. A link to the ePacket agenda, including proposed 2015 budgets by department, can be accessed here.

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In his WTTW documentary “Northwest of Chicago,” Geoffrey Baer quoted a local source who declared Barrington Hills, Barrington and South Barrington to be “North shore communities without the shore.”  This may have been true when the show first aired, but this is far from accurate today.

Read any recent real estate report on the average time on the market for homes in our area and you’ll find our Village bests all others for the wrong reasons.  Barrington Hills homes consistently have the longest time on the market and lead at the lowest sale price compared to the original asking price.  Home and lot values have plunged to prices not seen in over a decade.

It doesn’t take a WTTW documentary to conclude that recent political unrest and unnecessary drama are making us the pariah of the Chicago suburbs, which clearly is not helping, and probably is hurting, property values.

This includes the false recent drama over bike lanes; the real and potentially character changing debate over commercial horse boarding; and the embarrassing fiasco over the exterior lighting ordinance in our recent history.  Outsiders can reasonably question whether they want to have any part of this madness.

For example, one vacant five-acre lot in our Village is now going for $119,900.  Another breathtaking estate on Hawthorne Rd has had its price slashed by more than fifty-percent of the original eight-figure asking price.

While the housing market across the country is generally picking up after years of decline, this is not the case in Barrington Hills.  True, there are a number of factors beyond our control, but there is one major factor we can clearly change for the better, and that’s to stop making our Village look arrogant, dysfunctional elitists time and time again.

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Since 2005, some of our elected politicians and residents have made some local issues very public.  Residents do have every right to voice their concerns loudly, but it’s usually a few politicians that make our Village look bad.

First, there was a proposal for sky-high cell towers in our picturesque Village by some on our Village board.  Then, there was the ill-conceived exterior lighting ordinance proposal from a small group of “dark sky” zealots on our board and in the community, which outraged residents enough that the issue was covered in the Wall Street Journal (seeEverything is Diluminated”).

One of this year’s topics of resident concern is bike lanes.  While The Observer shares many resident concerns on this hot-button issue, all of this would have been alleviated back in 2012, if the administration at the time actually communicated with residents about the plan before pursuing it.

Two newspapers recently took  Barrington Hills’ residents to the woodshed in editorials over objections to bikers in our Village.  And even though residents were assured over a month ago that there will be no bike lanes in our Village, the group “Don’t Change Barrington Hills” (apparently assisted  by the former Village President) persists in encouraging their supporters to keep protest signs up along our roadways and continues to disseminate rumor and innuendo on their website.

Do you think that helps our property values?  Do you think that encourages people to seriously consider Barrington Hills as a place to make their home?

Additionally, we have commercial horse boarding amendments back on the table — for the third time since 2005.  Calling itself “Save Horse Boarding in Barrington Hills,” one group circulated an online petition based on a false mission statement that has garnered electronic signatures from as far away as southern Yemen.

Really?  After all, we were “branded” by the former administration as an “equestrian community” years ago, so why do we still not have effective codes to address commercial horse boarding?  Perhaps we are waiting for advice from southern Yemen!

Sadly, the Village Board meeting held earlier this week provided even more fodder for the press.  We find it a very interesting coincidence that this was the very first meeting reporters have attended since President McLaughlin was sworn in.

It certainly was convenient, considering the clearly rehearsed barrage by four trustees against the chair due to the dismissal of the law firm that has cost our Village millions of taxpayers’ money.

Regular readers of The Observer are familiar with our monthly “Flashbacks” column, and each month it pains us to review what our Village reputation has endured in the press for many years.  Yet there is still a dwindling faction among residents who get pleasure it seems  by fueling misinformation and innuendo.

It’s time for us to stop being a sideshow for the entertainment of surrounding communities.  Instead of “Don’t Change Barrington Hills,” a more productive goal is “Let’s Change Barrington Hills.”

After all, didn’t most residents vote for that goal in the last election?

–     The Observer

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Barrington Hills board assured residents at a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night that there are no plans to build bike lanes or widen any of the village’s roads.

In fact, Trustee Patty Meroni asked the village staff to help craft a resolution preventing future bike lane proposals.

“We will have a resolution on the September agenda on restricting the building or development of bike lanes, bike paths on village roads within the village,” Meroni said.

Read more here.

Editorial note: As chronicled in The Observer’s release of the July 28, 2014, Village Board meeting recordings, it was Trustee Meroni’s Roads and Bridges Committee that first sought outside funding from McHenry County in exchange for the widening of Haegers Bend Rd back in 2012.

Since her committee does not announce meetings or agendas via the Village website calendar, it wasn’t until the Plan Commission was asked to look into this matter earlier this year that residents became aware of the plan.

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BOT RecordingsThe Village has released edited audio recordings from the April 30 Village Board meeting.  To access the menu of the meeting’s topical audio recording segments, click here.

Nine residents provided public comments during the meeting.  However one resident stood out with an incredibly honest and necessary message to some members of our Village Board pertaining to the   ethics of them even considering amending Village Code as it pertains to commercial horse boarding.

A direct link to those comments can be found here.

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The Communications Committee meets Monday evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here or a copy can be downloaded here.

The Zoning Board of Appeals was scheduled to meet at 7:30 PM, however that meeting has been cancelled.  Their next scheduled meeting is May 19.

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Friday FlashbackFollowing are some of the articles published by The Observer for the month of February since 2009. These articles, gathered from various publications and editorials, are noteworthy for residents in that they remind us of where we’ve been as a community. Readers can view additional publishings from those or any other prior months by utilizing the “Archives By Month” dropdown menu found on the right sidebar of any page view of this website.

Barrington Hills agrees to house BACOG – 2012

The Barrington Hills village board voted 6-1 this week in favor of a $1 per year lease for the Barrington Area Council of Governments to move its offices into village hall.

Read the full Daily Herald story here.

Improving Village communications with less effort – 2012

This 2012 editorial suggested better transparency in the publication of the e-Packet agenda materials used by the Board of Trustees at their monthly meetings.

Read the original editorial here.

Long-sought Kane parkway moves into engineering, design – 2013

This February 2013 story from the Northwest Herald provided an update from the Kane County Department of Transportation on the progress of the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge, stating that the project was at least 18 months to two years away from being ready for bids.

The full story can be read here.

Barrington Hills president race all about budget – 2013

This Daily Herald article featured its village presidential candidate interviews with then incumbent village president and challenger Martin McLaughlin.

Read their full story here.

–     The Observer

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A copy of the approved January 27 Village Board meeting minutes can be downloaded here.

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The Communications Committee meets Wednesday at 6:30 PM.  Their agenda can be viewed here, or a PDF copy can be downloaded here for those who do not have a Google account.

The Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 7:30 PM.  Their agenda can be viewed here, or a copy can be downloaded here.

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