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Archive for the ‘Finance Committee’ Category

Audio recordings from the December 19th meeting of the Board of Trustees are available on the Village website.  To access the full menu of recordings, click here.

One resident, who also serves as chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, made remarks during public comment, seeking to set the record straight on a statement made by Trustee Fritz Gohl during the Board of Trustees Special Meeting on December 7th. Those remarks can be heard here.

During the Finance portion of the meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the tax levy for 2017.  Once again, the levy amount is down from the previous fiscal year, with a reduction of $972,000. (A tax levy is the total amount of property taxes that a village asks for from taxpayers in order to balance its budget, after taking in account other revenue sources.)

In addition, the Village Budget for 2017 is also lower than 2016, with projected expenditures of $7,580,000, down from $7,853,000.

The full Finance recording can be found here.

Discussion of  Building Enforcement activities revolved primarily around a residence on Tamarack Lane whose owner had created an unauthorized driveway onto Route 68, prompting complaints from IDOT and inspection by the Village. There were also concerns that the property owner may be using the property in violation of the Home Occupation Ordinance (HOO).  The homeowner had indicated that the excess vehicles and equipment on the property would be removed by the end of that week,  potentially remedying his HOO problem, but the issue of closure of the access onto Route 68 remains.  The village has requested a court date in January to enforce closure of the unauthorized driveway.

In the matter of the Saville Row residence which had been found to be in violation of the HOO, the village is still awaiting payment of the $25,000 fine, which has a January 7th deadline according to the settlement that was approved in October.

The recording of the Building and Zoning portion of the meeting can be found here.

The Board of Trustees also voted to approve expending staff resources and time to research re-authorization of an twenty year Intergovernmental Agreement with South Barrington when the current border agreement expires in approximately three years.  That discussion can be found here.

 

 

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The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The Finance Committee will meet tomorrow at 12:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The Finance Committee meets at 2:30 this afternoon.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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Audio recordings from the July 21st meeting of the Board of Trustees were recently posted to the Village website for review.  To access the main menu of recordings edited by agenda topic, click here.

The meeting began with awards presentations to members of the Barrington Hills Police Department for their length of service to our community.  JoAnne Gumprecht was recognized for 20 years of service, Alice Runvik for 25 years, and Dominic Caputo for 30 years.  Their awards are pictured below, and the recording of the presentations can be heard here.

VBHPD Awards

Five residents made remarks during public comment, three of which pertained to a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.  One person spoke about Barrington Hills Farm, and the last person referenced what we assume is a suggestion for the renaming of the Cuba Road Bridge.

The forty-five minute Finance report included the approval of the 2015 fiscal year audit.  A summary of the results will likely be communicated in the next newsletter, however it’s worth noting the Village general fund increased eight percent in 2015 primarily due to decreased expenses, even with one-time charges associated with migrating the Village 911 service to QuadCom.

During the Roads & Bridges report, Village Engineer Dan Strahan reported that the latest forecast for reopening the Cuba Road Bridge is August 13th.  We didn’t notice anyone working at the job site yesterday morning, but we’ll be guardedly optimistic that the bridge will be opening sometime soon.

The Plan Commission will be voting on a final draft of the amended Tree Preservation Ordinance on August 9th.  The agenda packet for this special meeting has been released and can be viewed here.

The Administration report included a recommendation from the Heritage & Environs Committee for updates to the overall décor of Village Hall, which has not been touched in decades, including painting, updating the public restrooms to adhere to ADA requirements and replacing worn carpeting and the quarry tile in the front entrance. 

Since the total estimated amounts for all that needs to be done is substantial, the board was asked to prioritize what should be done first and come up with a capital expenditure amount for this year not to be exceeded to allow work to begin.  After nearly twenty minutes of discussion, the matter was tabled to the August meeting.

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The Village Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting tomorrow night at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.  

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The Finance Committee will be meeting this evening at 6:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

At 7:30, the Zoning Board of Appeals will be holding a public hearing on a text amendment proposal regarding Village horse boarding codes.  Since we first posted this agenda on Friday (seen here), some Riding Club members, including a handful of “radicals” in the herd, have taken to social media with an “urgent” call to attend this meeting, so it would be in the best interest of fairness that those who objected to the passage of the LeCompte/Anderson amendment to attend and perhaps speak.

We have not fully reviewed the proposal which the Zoning Board will be considering tonight, however we would like to remind readers of our observations in our December 2014 editorial — “Our views on the latest horse boarding text amendment proposal” — regarding the amendment petition that was ultimately passed by the Village Board in early 2015 despite valid objections voiced by many residents and a presidential veto. Click here revisit that editorial.

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Audio recordings from the January 25th regular monthly meeting of the Village Board have been posted to the Village website.  President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan chaired most of the two-hour meeting which, for the second month in a row, had no comments from the public.

Trustee Bryan Croll’s finance report was the longest of those covered, and his item regarding pension obligation bonds was deferred until later in the meeting so that President McLaughlin could be present for the discussion.

During the Bills For Approval report, Trustee Gohl had a list of rather obscure questions on certain invoices, which Village Clerk Anna Paul addressed quite well.  At one point, he asked even the police chief for an explanation of a bill related to a zoning inspection.

We must compliment Ms. Paul, since she seemed to be extremely prepared to provide answers regarding Bills For Approval, as well as detailed background for most other items on the agenda that evening.  This is a refreshing change since Bob Kosin, Village Administrator, seems to always need to be coaxed so speak up on such matters.

Trustee Croll also reviewed expenses for 2015, compared to those of the prior fiscal year, and mentioned reductions in many areas.  It should be noted that many of these cost reductions can be attributed to measures taken by the Board prior to his election, but his summary can be heard here.

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During the Attorney’s Report, it was learned that Barrington District 220 is seeking amendments to zoning restrictions set forth in an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) from 2004 for their recently acquired property in Barrington Hills, between Hart and Old Hart Roads (a map can be viewed here).  This, despite the fact that the district was aware of the zoning limits when they acquired the property, and they have no near-term plans for its use.

According to Village Attorney Patrick Bond’s report, the district wishes to have the ability to use the property for, “school purposes and elementary and high school use, related facilities. Elementary, middle and high school parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, athletic facilities, school related parking for school uses (not to include the storage of busses, trucks, maintenance vehicles or commercial vehicles) and administrative offices.”

Bond went on to say that such changes to the IGA would require changes to our existing Village Code, and that the district asked if Barrington Hills would consider the annexation of the property into the Village of Barrington.  As one might expect, our board members were not receptive to any changes to the IGA without any input first from adjacent property owners on Old Hart Road.

The link to the full District 220 land use discussion recording can be accessed here.

President McLaughlin joined the meeting shortly after the attorney’s report, and discussion began on the deferred topic of the Police Pension Obligation Bond (PPOB) from the finance section of the meeting. 

(It should be noted that last year the PPOB initiative was all but dismissed as an option, due to rising interest rates, but Trustee Croll had requested it be included on the January agenda so that he could make a statement on the matter.)

Croll began the discussion by reading a long prepared statement (heard here) that included the word “I” dozens of times, thus underscoring the fact he is the only member of the Finance Committee he was reporting on.  Given the considerable number of financial professionals we have living in the Village, perhaps this committee should be expanded to three members in the future in order to provide discussion and consensus. 

Additionally, his statement included many references to detailed financials, and was somewhat difficult to follow without a copy, which was not provided to his fellow board members for review in advance, nor even distributed before he read it at the meeting.

When, at one point during his discourse, President McLaughlin courteously asked him to repeat a statement, Croll indignantly retorted, “It can wait.”  Thinking better of it, Croll repeated the sentence.  When he was finished, McLaughlin thanked Croll for his accommodation, explaining he didn’t have a copy of the report to follow along with, to which Croll responded, “You can take notes.”

McLaughlin then provided a very candid perspective on the missed opportunity for residents to fully fund pensions for our police officers over two years ago at extremely favorable bond rates, as can be heard here.  The Board then unanimously voted down pursuing bonds to fund the police pension. 

Later, during the administration report, McLaughlin reviewed some of the recent activities of other taxing bodies, including the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District which is looking at switching its 911 dispatch services and possibly considering a third fire station.  McLaughlin encouraged residents to get involved in these issues, or at least stay informed on developments, as can be heard here.

To access the full menu of edited recordings by topic from the entire meeting, click here.

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The Village has recently posted recordings from the November 19th meeting of the Board of Trustees. 

The entire public meeting lasted just under three and a half hours.  Those who attended the meeting or listen to the entire recordings will likely recognize the reason for the unnecessarily drawn-out discussions.

Six residents made public comments at the beginning of the meeting, with five of them speaking their minds on the topic of the Police Pension Obligation Bond that was on the agenda.  Unfortunately, they, and others in attendance, were in for an initial disappointment.

When the bond topic did come up on the agenda during Trustee Bryan Croll’s finance report, he refused to make a motion to consider it, stating he had no new information as can be heard here.  That seemed rather arrogant on Croll’s part considering other members of the board, including two who are full-time financial fund managers, have also been researching the topic and might have had information to add to the discussion. 

The Village Attorney was then asked if any member of the Board of Trustees could move for discussion of a topic, and not solely the Trustee assigned to the Finance Committee.  Attorney Mary Dickson began reviewing our codes, however it appears from the recordings, residents attending the meeting had already departed by the time a decision was made later during the evening. 

When it was confirmed that any board member could make the motion, Croll then decided he would make it after all, as can be heard here.

Forty-five minutes of discussion by the Trustees then followed, with Croll stating a number of times he had not been prepared to discuss the matter that evening, despite the fact that the issue has been before both the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees for months.  Ultimately, yet another motion to table consideration of the issue was approved.

Unfortunately, the matter may be moot at this point since interest rates have inched up since the concept was first floated before the board nearly two years ago. 

Considering that the Federal Reserve Chairman is likely to announce an interest rate hike soon, this proposition is not nearly as financially beneficial as it once was, and it is a shame some board members dragged this out, due to what seems like political reasons  and foregoing the financial interests of the taxpayers who voted for them.

Later in the meeting, there were more productive discussions, and in most cases, votes were taken to decide various issues.

For example, by a unanimous vote, the Village Code which had required residents to purchase and display vehicle stickers was abolished.  That  discussion and vote can be heard here.  Also repealed was the very old code language requiring each homeowner to have landline telephone services. 

Though many readers may be scratching their heads over this one, landline service was actually required by the Village by code up until this vote.  In fact, in order to obtain an occupancy permit for a newly constructed home, proof of a landline telephone account was required.  That discussion and vote can be heard here.

Trustees also approved a new agreement with our unionized police force, which brings added benefits to the Village, as well as to sworn officers.  Chief Semelsberger seemed pleased with the new agreement, as can be heard here

Semelsberger also reported his satisfaction with the consolidation of 911 services to QuadCom which occurred over a month ago.  He can be heard expressing his experiences thus far by clicking here.

It was reported during the administration portion of the meeting that the Village of Barrington has expressed an interest in annexing the property recently purchased by District 220 off Hart Road which is currently located in Barrington Hills (Lot 5 as depicted in a map seen here).  We have some reservations on this matter, as do some of our Trustees it would seem, and the link to that discussion can be accessed here.

To access the menu of the complete recordings from the meeting, click here.

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