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A private foundation supporting Barrington Area Unit District 220 has agreed to help fund a proposed outdoor education initiative and expansion of an entrepreneurship program into the middle schools.

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Mary Dale, executive director of the Barrington 220 Foundation, said the nonprofit will provide a to-be-determined donation for the district’s proposed outdoor science laboratory off Hart Road. The lab would be on part of an undeveloped 67 acres the district owns, and officials say it could cost up to $750,000 to build.

Dale said the foundation also will donate $27,000 to District 220 for creation of the business incubator for eighth-graders at the two middle schools, allowing those students to have a “bridge” between similar programs in fifth grade and high school.

She said the two major projects were recommended for the funding after a vetting process by a committee that included residents and foundation officials. Foundation board trustees gave the final approval, with the selections revealed at a recent soiree at Barrington’s White House.

Read more here.

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Three candidates running as “One Barrington Hills” won their bids to become Trustees on the Barrington Hills board Tuesday night. Brian Cecola and Bryan Croll won reelection as Trustees and Debra Buettner will fill a seat on the board.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election are as follows:

  • Bryan Croll 669
  • Brian Cecola 689
  • Debra Buettner 616
  • Linda Cools 271
  • Louis Iacovelli 374

We’ll be publishing more news on the 2019 Barrington Hills election as it becomes available.

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Four years ago we asked readers of The Observer to trust our judgment when voting for 3 new trustees to be on our Village Board of Trustees (see Croll, Maison and Cecola for Barrington Hills Trustees).

In what turned out to be a hard fought, oft times contentious campaign, some may have thought we were asking for a leap of faith from our readers, and we continue to appreciate the confidence bestowed upon us by our readers. Though this year’s campaign is the quietest we’ve witnessed in 10 years, the stakes are no less high than they were four years ago.

Five residents are running for three seats on our Board of Trustees. Two residents are incumbent Trustees, one is a current member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the other two ran unsuccessfully for village positions in 2017.   Here are our thoughts on these five candidates:

Louis Iacovelli: Louis seems like an affable guy in the computer software business. His campaign website is well done, though it would be more suitable to have photo of a location in the Village on the home page and not unincorporated McHenry County.

We cannot support Louis candidacy for the simple reason his wife, Gigi Iacovelli, is the treasurer of the Barrington Hills Park District. Currently a candidate for election on the park board herself, she derives at least part of her income by providing lessons at the district. While this is not a direct conflict of interest, the potential for lack of objectivity may cause concern in a trustee position.

Linda H. Cools: Linda ran as a write-in candidate for trustee 2 years ago, and after two recent Board of Election hearings, she is running for trustee on the April 2nd ballot.

The best thing one can say about Linda is she will do anything to get elected. This was evidenced by the fact that she (‘misspoke’) under oath multiple times to the Village President, President Pro-Tem and the Deputy Village clerk (see Truth or consequences). We have no place in such a small village for unrepentant (misspeakers)!

Buettner

Debra Buettner: Debra had served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for nearly 4 years when President McLaughlin asked her to consider running for Trustee. When she asked if he needed her help, he replied “Yes.” And that’s why she’s running today.

Debra founded her law firm about the same time she moved to the village nearly thirty years ago.   She is a graduate of Barrington High School, and she has her CPA as well as a law degree. Her confident attitude and her experience on the Zoning Board warrant our endorsement for Board of Trustees.

Cecola

Brian D. Cecola: Brian became a Trustee in 2015 and was given responsibility for Roads and Bridges as well as Public Safety.   No one adequately prepared him for the conditions he would be inheriting, but as most residents now recognize, he was up for the challenge and then some.

Brian also graduated from Barrington High School and he also owns his own business. He and his wife, Stephanie, and their three children are active in the community, participating in the neighborhood clean up days and riding trail maintenance.

Brian is also very active in philanthropy, is President of the Lions Club, and helped found and run the Fourth of July tent and fireworks. Despite all this, when President McLaughlin asked him to serve another term, he agreed, and he has our wholehearted endorsement.

Bryan C. Croll: Bryan was also elected to the Board of Trustees in 2015. He has been in charge of monitoring the finances of the village with the day-to-day oversight Peggy Hirsch, Village Treasurer.   He and Peggy also keep track of police pension fund performance.

Bryan and his wife Josie have three children and he manages his family business remotely in Arizona.   He donates his spare time to causes such as Barrington Area Conservation Trust and the local riding club.

We had some concerns with Bryan’s willingness to work with others early on in his first term. We now are equally concerned with his motivations in seeking a second term, and this publication cannot in good conscience unreservedly endorse him.   

Overall endorsements: The Daily Herald, Village President Martin McLaughlin and President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan have endorsed Bryan Croll, Brian Cecola and Debra Buettner for Trustees of Barrington Hills.

Cecola and Buettner have the unconditional support of The Barrington Hills Observer. Both have demonstrated a passion for our Village and willingness to serve our community. Both display the honesty, dedication and sound judgement that will represent the residents of Barrington Hills admirably for the next four years.

Early voting ends today, April 1.  Election Day polls open tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM.

Please Vote!

 

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This is in response to the letter to the editor you published recently from retired public school teacher and former Barrington Hills village trustee Karen Selman.

I would like to correct the record. Ms. Selman’s inclusion of me and my family members in a letter to the editor is inappropriate, wrong and uninformed.

First, I have five incredible daughters, not two. The first four have attended TCU, Villanova, USC and yes, Northwestern due to their determination and hard work. My wife deserves all the credit, for her dedication working with our children on rigorous nightly homework routines over many years.

Interestingly, each of my children and many others in our great schools were able to succeed during a period without this proposed referendum.

I have not publicly stated a position in opposition or in favor of the District 220 referendum.

I was, however, part of the District 220 Referendum Advisory Committee, which — after more than 500 hours of volunteer community input — gave direction to the school board for the lowest amount presented, $158 million, which was quickly amended to $185 million by the school board.

I have publicly endorsed Deb Buettner, Brian Cecola and Brian Croll for Barrington Hills Village Trustee in the upcoming election. Your publication also has endorsed these three qualified volunteers. Thank you in advance for accepting my corrections.

Martin J. McLaughlin

Barrington Hills village president

The link to McLaughlin’s letter to the Daily Herald editor can be found here. The link to the former Trustee who McLaughlin refers to can be found here.

 

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Two candidates for trustee advocate “live steaming” (broadcasting) for Board of Trustee meetings as well as some committee and commission meetings. May be a good idea, but at what cost?

Barrington CUSD 220 has been streaming their board meetings for many years.   We’ve attended a few of those meetings, and there are usually at least two or more people working the camera(s), computer(s) and microphones.

Much time is spent setting up the equipment long before the start of each meeting, and then breaking down the setup afterwards.

Clearly, Village Hall meetings needn’t be this elaborate. Costs to live stream meetings have decreased given advances in technology, such as YouTube, but are they really cost effective? The answer is NO for our Village, and here’s why…

We’ve watched numerous District 220 meetings from the comfort of our homes using their YouTube channel. A counter on the screen indicates number of viewers at any given time, and that’s when the reality of true resident apathy hits home!

Approximately 9,000 students attend District 220 schools. Tens of thousands of potential viewers reside in communities from Tower Lakes to Hoffman Estates to Carpentersville to Deer Park and beyond, but for all that the District pays to live stream their meetings, can you guess how many viewers are actually tuned in? Nearly none!

We observed on average only 5-8 people watching a typical District 220 meeting. Chances were that   1/3 were students, 1/3 were reporters or salespeople and the rest too lazy to drive to the meeting. 5-8 people! (Imagine viewership in a community of only 4,200 residents – maybe 1 or 2 viewers for a meeting?)

Recordings are available on demand, so it is likely District 220 residents watch the meetings at their convenience, and as common sense might suggest, viewer totals per meeting may become more acceptable, but still not cost effective.

Barrington Hills has invested time and money in audio recording equipment to accommodate residents who cannot attend meetings. Recordings are usually available for review a few days after each meeting.

So, for those advocating live streaming meetings on the Village’s dime, we suggest a more cost effective alternative for those wanting the service.

Invest their own money for the ability to live stream meetings, and sell it to residents who wish to subscribe to your service. Chances are they won’t because they’d lose money from the start, which begs the question, why are they asking our Village to subsidize their personal (and likely selfish) needs?

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Bryan Croll, Debra A. Buettner and Brian D. Cecola

In keeping with what is becoming something of a tradition in otherwise bucolic Barrington Hills, voters are being treated to a feisty race for the village board in the April 2 election.

Three trustee seats are up for election, and cameras seem to be a campaign focus one way or another.

We did not endorse Cecola and Croll when they first ran in 2015, but they have delivered on their campaign promises. Spending has been cut as has the village property tax levy, and the village website has been improved.

We endorse them for re-election. Buettner is a potentially good teammate with sound judgment and experience. She wins our endorsement, too

Read the full Daily Herald endorsement here.

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The Daily Herald publishes profiles of most people running for office. The following reflects the answers each of the five candidates supplied to questions be the Herald’s questions (click on the candidate’s name to read their responses):

Please take some time to review each candidate’s answers. Once again, the candidates names are listed above in the order they will appear on the ballot. 

The Observer will be providing more election coverage in the coming weeks for all area election, as well as our candidate endorsements.

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