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Archive for the ‘Village Attorney’ Category

ethics

Last Winter, the Village of Lake Barrington published the following in their seasonal newsletter:

Lake Barrington’s Ethics Commission

Did you know that the Village has an Ethics Commission? The independent commission adds to the overall transparency of our government and serves to investigate complaints alleging violations of the Ethics Chapter of the Village Code. We are proud to report that this 3-member Commission has never once had to meet regarding a violation!”

Their Municipal Code actually devotes a chapter to ethics, and the main page of their website contains a link to, “Report a Concern.”

As previously chronicled in this publication, if one searches our Village Code, keying in the word “ethics,” the result reads, “No Matches Found.”

Our Village needs an Ethics Commission.  How else could parties involved in complaints present their respective cases to determine if ethics violations did, or did not, occur? Listed below are typical practices that might arise in our Village, and in our opinion, may warrant investigation, understanding that there are no implications as to guilt or innocence of any on the list:

  • Should expensive legal battles, possibly precipitated by actions of elected and appointed Village officials, be investigated?
  • Should the hiring and retention of Village paid staff positions by elected family members be investigated?
  • Should contracts with vendors who maintain personal and professional relationships with elected Village officials and their families be investigated?
  • Should the solicitations of funds and hand selection of vendors by family members or close friends of elected Village officials, absent oversight by appointed Village committees, be investigated?

For these and other reasons, our Village needs to appoint an Ethics Commission to act as ombudsmen, when any question of potential maladministration or ethics violations is considered or occurs.

Candidates for this proposed commission could come from existing appointed Village bodies, ones whose objectivity would be unquestioned.

The perfect candidates for this roll are the incumbent members of the Board of Heath.  They are highly qualified, underutilized, and would prove to be an effective force in maintaining ethical governance of the Village of Barrington Hills.

Related:Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Better Government Association Commends Passage of Chicago Ethics Ordinance–Sees More to Do,” “What happened to ethics reform in Illinois government? Why watchdogs have some hope,” “Meanwhile, One Barrington Hills makes amends, extinguishes website and turns the volume down,” “Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom,” “Agreed

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Aug 22 BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

It’s doubtful the telephony issues have been corrected by the Cecola administration, but readers are welcome to call in and try once again to listen to the meeting.

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Can you Hear Me

Nope!

It’s been some time since we posted recordings from Board if Trustee meetings.  But considering it’s been some time since residents could phone in to meetings and actually hear anything remotely audible, we thought we’d go “old school” again.

Since it’s been nearly impossible to dial in to meetings to participate for months, the only conclusion we can arrive at is the Cecola admiration would rather we didn’t. As a result, no effort has been made to remedy the documented technology issues.  None.

The recording of the July 25th Board of Trustees meeting can be accessed here.

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BACT Officers

Barrington Area Conservation Trust officers

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] Appointment: Matthew Vondra, Plan Commission Chairman Term as Chair expires 04/2023
  • [Vote] A Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Doctor Pamela Cools for Years of Dedicated Service Resolution 22 –
  • The Land We Love Run Summary

A brief statement of Matthew Vondra’s qualifications for consideration can be viewed here. Without too much detail, we’ll expound on his experience a bit.

Matt is currently Vice President of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT).  Their President is Brian Croll, who is also a Trustee of the Village of Barrington Hills. The BACT Treasurer is Loren Ekstrom, the husband of Village of Barrington Hills Trustee Laura Ekstrom.

The BACT is responsible for, “…creating the largest permanent land preservation easement in the state of Illinois,” known as Horizon Farm, which is now owned and managed under that easement by the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

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

Note: For the third month in a row, it’s unknown if the telephony issues that have plagued recent meetings have been remedied yet, so callers might encounter issues again.

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6.22 BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Accepting a Grant of Scenic Easement and Conservation Right (Mitchell) Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Approving an Adjustment to the Professional Services Rate for John Z. Toscas as Special Counsel for Administrative Adjudication Hearing Officer Services Resolution 22
  • 5K/10K The Land We Love Run – JULY 2
  • Barrington Hills Fall Festival 2022

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here. It’s unknown if the telephony issues that have plagued recent meetings have been remedied yet, so callers might encounter issues again.

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May BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Patrick Hennelly for 22 years of Dedicated Service to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Dr. Gwynne H. Johnston for 28 Years of Dedicated Service to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 22 –
  • 5K/10K The Land We Love Run

The two gentlemen being recognized for decades of service on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of Health have our utmost gratitude and respect for their commitment to the residents of our Village.

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

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madigan-bribery-768x576

Ethics reform advocates say they’re disappointed but not surprised little was done during the Illinois legislature’s spring session to curry the public’s trust, even as former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s indictment in March put public corruption back in the spotlight.

But they still hold out hope for the future.

“You would think after what we saw with former Speaker Mike Madigan, there would be a fire under legislators … especially with an election coming up,” Bryan Zarou, director of policy for the Better Government Association, said regarding the inaction on ethics reform.

The BGA plans a new push for ethics reform this summer, with a set of proposals to be considered for the 2023 legislative session.

The subject will soon be brought to the forefront of public attention again, with former state Sen. Thomas Cullerton’s sentencing scheduled for June 21 and Madigan’s next status hearing set for Aug. 2.

Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park, pleaded guilty March 8 to a federal embezzlement charge for receiving nearly $250,000 in pay and benefits from the Teamsters union without working for it.

Madigan, once the most powerful politician in Illinois, was indicted on charges of racketeering and bribery and accused of running a “criminal enterprise.” He has pleaded not guilty.

Read more here.

Related:Kane County officials at odds over hiring of IT director’s wife

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BOT

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Execution of a Contract with Corrective Asphalt Materials LLC (CAM) for Pavement Rejuvenation and CRF Application on Select Village Maintained Roads Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Board of Health Appointments (4)
  • [Vote] Equestrian Commission Appointments (4)
  • [Vote] Plan Commission Appointments (3)
  • [Vote] Zoning Board of Appeals Appointments (2)
  • [Vote] Police Pension Board Appointments (2)

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

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3.2022 BOT

The Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

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

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Flock

As Illinois police departments lobby city councils on the importance of cameras to combat crime, some are raising concerns about the right to privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Unions has released a report on Flock Safety, a company that sells license plate reading camera systems to taxing bodies. The ACLU report looks at how the technology is building a form of mass surveillance never seen before in American life.

Flock systems have been installed in 1,400 cities (including our Village) across the country and photograph more than a billion vehicles every month. Its ambition is to expand to “every single city in America.”

“We are concerned about all of this massive influx of technology over the last year or so and the question of what really happens to it and ultimately utilized,” said Ed Yohnka, director of communications and public policy with ACLU of Illinois.

Champaign and Peoria are using the technology.

In Springfield, taxpayers are paying $415,000 for 83 cameras to be installed in certain areas of the city.

Bloomington city leaders this month voted to install the license plate cameras despite opposition from the Central Illinois chapter of the ACLU.

Yohnka said company officials are using fear as a way to sell their products.

“The marketers of these systems are telling local leaders that they can adopt these systems in order to fight a recent spike in gun violence,” Yohnka said. “There’s actually no evidence that it works that way or that it will help in terms of that.”

Read more here.

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