Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

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:


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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160 Hawthorne Road

The regular monthly Zoning Board of Appeals meeting will be available for remote participation only Monday, April 19th, beginning at 6:30 PM.  Items on the agenda include public hearings and meetings on the following:

  • Amendment to Existing Special Use (parking lot expansion): Al Azhar Islamic Foundation – 160 Hawthorne Road
  • Special Use Application (recreational facility): Dundee Township Park District -South and Parallel to the Longmeadow Parkway near Algonquin Road

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

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220 4.6

The District 220 Board of Education spent the last forty-five minutes of their regular meeting last night discussing the information shared by Alex Strobl (See, “So you wanna run for Barrington CUSD 220 Board?” and “220 Gate, part two?”) on this and other websites.

To view the YouTube recording, click here.

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OBH Capture

As previously reported, Brian Cecola has likely won the race for Village President (See “Cecola headed for victory in Barrington Hills president race”).

Here are the unofficial results for Village Board of Trustees:

  • David Riff  445
  • Thomas W. Strauss 428
  • Laura S. Ekstrom 467
  • Robert M Zubak 366
  • Brent Joseph Burval 349
  • Paula Jacobsen 389

County totals are seen below:


Cook County


Kane County

Lake Results

Lake County

McHenry Resilts

McHenry County

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


If you haven’t already, Please Vote tomorrow! 

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Penny Kazmier – President CUSD 220 Board of Education (And winner of the 2011 Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge)

From a friend of The Observer…

“Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I have served on the Barrington 220 School Board for the past 16 years and am not seeking re-election on Tuesday.  My friend, and former board colleague, Brian Battle and I are concerned about the tone of the election and put together the letter below to express our thoughts.  if you have already voted, great, but if you haven’t, please be sure to vote this coming Tuesday, April 6.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!


# # #


We are both writing to share our thoughts on the current election for 4 seats to our Barrington 220 School Board this Tuesday, April 6.  After each having served 16 years on the Board, we remain committed to the success of 220, and have been closely following the candidates in this year’s election.  We know you still care about 220 also, but may not have had the time to invest in watching all 3 candidate forums.

COVID has certainly created an interesting backdrop for this election.  The constantly changing guidance has stressed School Boards, teachers, parents and students.  Districts across the suburbs have taken different approaches, however there is no single approach that has proven to make all stakeholders satisfied. One result of this universal frustration is the large numbers of candidates for School Boards across suburban Chicago.  Barrington 220 has 11 candidates that will appear on our ballots, confirmation of the vital role of our schools in our community.

Another result of the COVID response, is the increased presence of partisan support for candidates.  Again, this is a statewide trend, and Barrington 220 is no exception with PACs, partisan political organizations, and employee unions supporting different candidates.  We do not support partisan politics injected into School Board elections.  However, it is not in violation of any election laws.  We suggest you simply ignore this issue as unwanted noise, and focus on selecting the best candidates that will serve our community for the next 4 years.

Regarding the issue of COVID and schools, we have been listening for candidates that appear knowledgeable, take into account all stakeholders, and demonstrate a willingness to be flexible while recognizing the diverse needs of our community’s families and students.  However, we want to emphasize that in choosing which candidates to vote for, our experience has taught us that single issue candidates don’t make the most effective Board Members over the entire 4-year term.

We believe that the next Board will need to address significant issues in addition to re-opening.  These issues include working with a new superintendent, planning and executing the facility improvements approved in last year’s referendum, developing a new long-term strategic plan, negotiating both employee union contracts, addressing equity issues, and maintain our existing strong curriculum and strong financial position.  To accomplish these objectives, we need Board members committed to effective community communications.

After watching the 3 recorded forums involving all of the candidates, as well as discussions with many of the candidates, we believe there are 5 strong individuals worthy of your consideration.  Those five are Sandra Ficke-Bradford, Erin Chan Ding, Tom Mitoraj, Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, and Robert Windon.

We strongly recommend a vote for Sandra, Erin and Tom.

Sandra’s experience will be valuable on the Board with all the challenges we described during the next term.  Sandra is completing her third term on the board and has served on numerous Board committees including finance, policy, labor management. Sandra considers the impact of a decision from all sides and listens to other board members when they speak.

Erin demonstrates a depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and a commitment to engaging our community. During conversations, she has shown the desire to understand “why” something is the way it is, while thinking creatively about how it might be improved.  Erin is a good listener which comes from her background as a journalist. We believe she will bring thought-provoking ideas to the board, while also respecting the opinions of others.

Tom impressed us during the candidate forums.  Tom is thoughtful, creative, and thoroughly assesses a problem before trying to solve it.  He will be a strong school board member who takes his role seriously, and has financial management experience that will benefit the Board in budgeting and negotiations.  He has also demonstrated his commitment to serving his community through his many years of service to the U.S. Navy.  Tom is forthright and honest, and will do the hard work needed to become an active and involved board member.

For your fourth vote, we suggest you look closely at both Lauren and Robert.  Lauren appears to be genuinely interested in serving our community, and Robert has great community service experience as a trustee for the Village of Barrington.

If you are interested in learning more about these five candidates, here are links to their campaign websites:

Highly Recommended

Sandra Ficke-Bradford:           www.sandrafor220.com
Erin Chan Ding:                       www.erinfor220.com
Tom Mitoraj:                           www.tomfor220.com


Lauren Berkowitz Klauer:       www.facebook.com/lbkfor220
Robert Windon:                      https://www.windon220.com

We hope this helps you in deciding how to cast your votes. Please feel free to forward this email to your friends in our community and as always, contact us if you have any questions.

Please vote next Tuesday, April 6!

Penny Kazmier & Brian Battle”

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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




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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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