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Archive for the ‘Legal Committee’ Category

To view their agenda which includes a presentation on proposed Village Code changes, click here.

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Topics for discussion include:

  • One Pass Garbage Removal
  • No turns East or South on Plum Tree/Ridge
  • — P. Denise Israel, Chair, Beautification Committee

To view their agenda, click here

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Topics for discussion include:

  • Ground Water Conservation Ordinance
  • Contractor Licensing
  • Sign Ordinance
  • ICC Property Maintenance Ordinance

For their complete agenda, click here

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Agenda topics for discussion include:

  • Open Meetings Act Certification
  • Ground Water Conservation Ordinance
  • Contractor Licensing
  • Sign Ordinance
  • Home Maintenance Ordinance

To view the full agenda, click here

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Last week our Village Board considered zoning code action items recommended via memo from our appointed Legal Committee.  This committee reports to Village President, Robert Abboud, and liaises with Trustee Fritz Gohl, according to published committee assignments and the organizational flow chart below:

Source: Barrington Hills FOIA website

This memo, authored by the Village Administrator Bob Kosin, included recommendations that would lead to groundwater conservation, contractor licensing requirement(s) and property maintenance codes – the last of which would presumably apply to vacant properties in the Village.

We can debate whether any of these recommendations are reasonable and necessary, particularly the contractor licensing requirement that will surely produce increased pass-through costs to Village residents who hire contractors to work on their homes and properties.  We will explore that issue further on another day.  But for now, the real bugaboo here is that the recommendations were not those of the Legal Committee, but those of the committee’s lone Chairman (see “Legal Committee Meeting Notes February 16 2012 memo).  The meeting of the Legal Committee on February 16th was attended only by the chair of that body along with Bob Kosin, and some concerned residents in the audience.

There is no reason this meeting should have occurred without a quorum, whether or not a quorum is required by law.  Mr. Kosin purports to be fully trained and certified in the Illinois Open Meeting Act (see completion certificate).  He knows (or should know) better.

But the real shame here is that, during the subsequent Board of Trustee meeting on February 22, the Board deliberated the proposed recommendations as if they were presented by the full Legal Committee.  Of course, Mr. Kosin or his boss Bob Abboud could have ended the charade by disclosing to the full Board that the “committee” was a party of one.  But, perhaps not surprisingly, they did not.

At the end of their meeting, when public comment was allowed, a patient resident informed the Board of what had transpired at the Legal Committee meeting.  After that, a revised memo by Bob Kosin was published for public view on the Village FOIA site.

The major lesson coming out of this gaffe:  Resident vigilance is necessary at all future meetings to ensure honesty and transparency in Village government, particularly when new ordinances and regulations are being proposed and discussed.  We simply cannot trust the current administration to act in the best interests of the community.

We owe a big thank you to the residents who attended the Legal “Committee” and Board of Trustee meetings last month.  Even more, though, we owe it to ourselves to begin planning for a change in our Village Administration.

– The Observer

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The February 22nd Village Board ePacket agenda link published by The Observer on February 25th led to a list of discussion items that excluded a download option for the “Legal Committee Recommendations” memo discussed during that meeting.  The link has now been activated.

To view the Legal Committee’s recommendations, click here 

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Topics for discussion include:

  • Ground Water Conservation Ordinance
  • Contractor Licensing
  • Payment for license
  • General Surety Bond
  • Home Maintenance Ordinance

To view the complete agenda, click here 

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“Cops, trees and 4G topped a marathon six-hour Barrington Hills board meeting which started Monday night and went past midnight.

The board wrestled with legal proceedings surrounding its pending police contract, a proposed 4G connection on the campus and complaints about a resident on the west side of Bateman Road south of Lake Cook cutting down 14 walnut trees without a permit.”

Learn much more at:  http://barrington.suntimes.com/10210378-417/barrington-hills-deals-with-tree-removal-issue.html

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“As government expands, liberty contracts.”  – Ronald Reagan

Since 2005, when Bob Abboud first took office, residents’ rights to use and enjoy their properties have diminished with each zoning ordinance that our village government has enacted.  President Abboud often refers to the “Barrington Hills brand,” but it seems he’s shaping the brand as he sees it through more and more restrictive laws.

Many of these ordinances might seem unimportant or even well-intentioned.  But when we examine them as a whole, we begin to see how they specifically direct and limit the way we live our lives.  For example, as of 2005, residents who wish to ride horses on Village trails must purchase a $10.00 license each year and display a tag issued in return for the fee (just the same as Village stickers for vehicles, except the trail tag requirement was never enforced).  And, in the past, private landowners voluntarily offered the use of equestrian trails on their land, but now trails are designated in new subdivisions wherever the Equestrian Commission desires, it seems.

To address the influx of competitive bike clubs into Barrington Hills, an ordinance, enforced by a new police bicycle patrol unit, was enacted.  But it means that now even residents and their children can no longer ride their bicycles side-by-side using Village roads. The burning of yard waste, which has been done for decades with a simple restriction of size, materials and hours of lawful conduct, is now illegal if any resulting soot is carried by unpredictable winds to adjoining properties.

In order to preserve old growth trees, the Village passed a Heritage Tree Ordinance,  which now requires consultation with a landscape professional and a Permit for removal of certain species of trees on private property depending on size and condition.  To regulate target shooting, the Village now restricts the discharge of any “missiles” from air guns, bows or similar devices on private property, to the point of including something as harmless as a dart.

Lastly, there was the proposed “Exterior Lighting Ordinance” that was eventually approved in 2011 in an impotent form after outcry by residents in opposition. Existing construction was spared, but the ordinance will restrict (and potentially diminish) new construction for years to come.

Now, Abboud has re-energized the relatively inactive Legal Committee. On the Committee’s agenda, apparently, is consideration of future ordinances that may restrict how much water residents can use; require private contractors to be licensed by the Village in order to work on our properties (making them more costly); and establish standards for home maintenance.  Discussion of mandatory annual septic inspections have already taken place.  And, don’t forget, our Village now has “whiz bang” optics (see Abboud to Barrington Hills residents: Keep your mouths shut and your window blinds open at all times!)) that can apparently assist in inspecting for code violations within our homes, so residents should hide their dartboards from view.

This raises an obvious question:  with our limited Village staff and no real department for Code Enforcement, who will be performing all the necessary inspections and how will these Ordinances be enforced?

The Observer does not question the need for thoughtful, sound laws.  But many recent ordinances, proposed or enacted, fly in the face of the freedom and privacy that brought many residents to Barrington Hills in the first place.  If President Abboud considers “branding” to be behavioral control ordinances, then he must believe he’s on the right track.  We hope most others will agree that it’s the wrong one.

     – The Observer

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Discussion items include:

  • Ground Water Conservation Ordinance
  • Contractor Licensing, License Payment & Surety Bonds
  • Home Maintenance Ordinance

Link to agenda: http://www.trumba.com/calendars/village-of-barrington-hills?trumbaEmbed=eventid%3D98316061%26view%3Devent%26-childview%3D&winClose=1

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