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Archive for the ‘Conflict of interest’ Category

With so many candidates running for various offices, we’d like to remind readers of the candidates The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses:

Pres VBHTrustee VBH220 VBH 1HC VBHBAL VBHBHPD VBH

If you haven’t already, Please Vote tomorrow! 

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OBH 1

Spring just sprung, and many find ourselves in the biennial rite of Village elections season. It is recognizable from campaign signs dotting the countryside to complete strangers ringing the door or gate bell of our five-acre sanctuaries from masked humanity saying, “Howdy Neighbor,” causing you to wonder what unannounced circumstances you’re in for.

For the uninitiated, it will be an opportunity to meet a neighbor.  For others it represents something akin to an unsolicited sales pitch trying to convince you to vote a certain way.  If it’s the latter, you’re likely encountering a “special interest club” member.

Some of these club members can be the nicest people you’ll ever meet.  Others, however, might say anything to sway your vote, and we’ve heard a lot of the classics.  Either way, these club members manage to get eighty to ninety percent of their membership roster to the polls; thus, the reason for our request for all residents to take the time to vote. Here are our reasons:

  • Four years ago, at the height of the special interest club’s campaign frenzy, current Village President Marty McLaughlin tied for McHenry County votes against his competitor. His winning margin was only 65 votes.
  • In this same election, two special interest club members won by just three and four votes, and they’re both running again as a ticket, despite the fact one has missed a quarter of Board of Trustees meetings (a years’ worth).

Currently, the special interest club is fronting four of their Cook County members as candidates who would represent a majority of seats on our Village Board of Trustees.  We believe it important the county be mentioned since most of their interests in running is county centric, such as the revival of commercial horse boarding conflict and wanting to have more control of the Forest Preserve of Cook County’s Horizon Farms on top of the extensive trail system.

Leading this group is the current president of the Barrington Hills Park District who is running for Village President.  Transparency is not in his vocabulary, nor is fiscal responsibility or expense reduction.  In fact, our Park District has seen a 17% increase in levies under his watch, and three month ago he asked what the legal limit was for raising the 2021 levy prior to the required formal hearing – and he then approved that maximum raise.

Contrast that with the repeated seven levy decreases we’ve experienced along with many other financial benefits our village has experienced in eight years.  Benefits such as lower taxes, vastly improved roads, legal expenses that are a small fraction of what they were under the prior village president, just to name a few.

The way to continue the positive progress Barrington Hills has benefited from is to elect candidates with the values instilled by Martin McLaughlin and Colleen KonicekHannigan when they first took office eight years ago.

To accomplish that, all residents reading this need to make every effort possible to vote. We’re confident Brian Cecola is up for the challenge to serve as President as are David Riff, Tom Strauss and Laura Ekstrom to serve as Trustees. They not only have our endorsement, but also the endorsements of those with the highest regard of most residents; Marty McLaughlin and Colleen Konicek Hannigan.

So yes, if you want to continue the positive momentum we’ve enjoyed for eight years, please take the time to vote!

Early voting times and locations can be found here.

Related: We’ve Been Clubbed by Commercial Horse Boarding

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There are a number of exceptionally qualified candidates running for office in the upcoming Consolidated Elections April 6th.    

Following is a summary of candidates running for various offices in the order they appear on the ballots for those offices. The Observer has noted those candidates we endorse with a check mark.

Early voting is available to registered voters now through Election Day.

Pres VBH

Trustee VBH

220 VBH 1

HC VBH

BAL VBH

BHPD VBH

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OBH 1

The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses Brian Cecola for Village of Barrington Hills President, as well as David Riff, Tom Strauss and Laura Ekstrom for Village Trustees in the April 6th Consolidated Election.

Early voting starts this morning for the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Elections.  For information on where to cast your ballot between now and Election Day, click on your county below:

We’ll be publishing our official endorsements soon. In the meantime, feel free to use and share the sample ballot below noting our recommendations:

Sample Better

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Fast Tines 1

Political committees must abide by Illinois State Board of Elections transparency rules.

Earlier this week, we posted some helpful reminders to area political candidates of their campaign reporting responsibilities with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE).  This will be our second (in what may become a series) posting of helpful hints on campaign transparency due to one (apparent) repeat offender.

The ISBE rules clearly state:

“Any committee that makes an expenditure for any kind of communication directed at voters and mentioning the name of a candidate in the next upcoming election must ensure that the communication clearly identifies the committee as having paid for it. This applies to any committee that pays for any part of the advertisement, including its production and distribution.” 

Well, residents are now receiving a mailing from a candidate committee (a portion pictured below) that does not appear to adhere to these rules. We previously noted that this candidate’s campaign committee signs display no state mandated committee identification either.  

DK Violation

A campaign mailers sent to residents recently does not disclose the campaign committee that paid for it.

Common sense dictates that if one is running for elected office that every opportunity for campaign advertising with the candidate’s name on it would be maximized, especially when it comes to taking credit for who paid for it (at least one would think that).

This particular candidate, however, either fancies himself as a rebel, or perhaps isn’t taking this election as seriously as he should considering the high office he’s seeking.  Another possibility is much more troubling, however, and that is he may not wish to disclose who is actually paying for his advertisements.

Related:Some helpful campaign tips for area candidates

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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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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their, “Annual Budget and Appropriation Hearing,” via video conferencing this evening at 6:45 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed herebut don’t expect to see any more than that.

You will not find a, “budget and appropriation,” because clearly, the District doesn’t feel it important for taxpayers to review such trivial information prior to the public meeting. If you MUST review them, it is assumed one can obtain a copy from the District office (but there are no guarantees).

At 7:00 PM, the District will be conducting their regular monthly meeting. A copy of their typically boilerplate agenda can be viewed here.

Once again, minutes from the prior District meeting are not available for public review. If they were, residents might have questions, and the last thing commissioners want are questions.

The person responsible for this blatant lack of transparency is Dennis Kelly, President of the Barrington Hills Park Board. Word has it he is now running for President of Barrington Hills.

Given the way Kelly treats his responsibilities at the Park District, in the unlikely event he were elected Village President, the Village would likely return to what most residents remember as “The Dark Ages” we experienced prior to 2013.

Information on how to join the Zoom meetings tonight can be found here.

Related:Barrington Hills Park Board meeting tonight

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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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At their July 21st monthly meeting, after extended discussion our Board of Trustees approved an amended burning ordinance. The key components established with the new ordinance are:

  • The location for any open burning shall not be less than 100 feet from any structure and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 100 feet of any structure.
  • No open burn shall be more than 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet in dimension.
  • No open burn shall burn in excess of six (6) hours in any calendar day.
  • Landscape burns shall be limited to the hours of 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
  • Any open burn shall be constantly attended by an individual at least 18 years of age until the fire is completely extinguished.

The ordnance was approved by a partisan vote of 5-2. Trustee Jacobsen inexplicably voted against the ordinance at the last minute despite the fact that she verbally agreed with most if not all of the changes made by a majority of fellow trustees prior to the vote.

A copy of the ordinance can be viewed here.

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The Barrington 220 school board has scheduled five community “information” meetings and three open houses in coming weeks to inform the community about the school district referendum question on the March 17 primary election ballot. 

The district is seeking voter approval to borrow $147 million for improvements at all schools in areas such as safety and security, plumbing, electrical, roofing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Proposed work also includes construction of a physical education and wellness center at Barrington High School, additional classrooms at the district’s two middle schools, and new classroom space at all elementary buildings for science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes, as well as students with special needs.

The community information meetings are scheduled for:

Open houses are set for:

We will be publishing copies of their draft presentations when they become available once the paid consultants (seeDistrict 220 hires former state lawmaker’s firm to help with referendum”) finish honing their spin. 

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