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Archive for the ‘Village Board’ Category

Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin next week will formally honor the winner of a local honey tasting at his town’s recent fall festival.

An estimated 750 patrons attended the The Hills Are Alive bash that featured bees, barbecue and music. The seventh fest was under cover on a rainy day at the village park district’s riding center Sept. 29.

The event every year highlights a specific aspect of living in Barrington Hills, and this year beekeeping was in the spotlight. Four local beekeepers submitted honey harvested from their hives in Barrington Hills and surrounding areas. The competitors were Saturdays Are for the Bees, Back 40 Bees, Mike Shackleton and Honey Lake Bee Company.

Read more here.

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“PUBLIC HEARING Before the Zoning Board of Appeals Village of Barrington Hills Re: Cannabis Business Enterprises Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing will be held on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 6:30 PM by the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Barrington Hills at the Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL, concerning the Zoning Board of Appeal’s proposed text amendment to the Village’s Zoning Ordinance, Title 5 of the Village Code; specifically an amendment to provide that cannabis business enterprises are prohibited uses in the Village.

A copy of the Zoning Ordinance and the proposed amendment is available for examination at the office of the Village Clerk at the Village Hall, weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All interested parties are invited to attend the Public Hearing and will be given an opportunity to be heard. Written comments on the application for text amendment to be made part of the record of this proceeding will be accepted in the office of the Village Clerk through 5 PM, October 18, 2019.”

Editorial note: The way some residents have “interpreted” the Village Home Occupation Ordinance over the years, this topic will prove to be very interesting in the coming months and years to come.

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Paula Jacobsen

The latest Village newsletter came out recently, and it mentions the results of the latest Village annual audit among other things. The sound financial position of our Village is noted, but what is absent of any narrative is how earlier this year, first term trustee Paula Jacobsen caused a potentially damaging accusation that caused the auditor to investigate that accusation.

One question Jacobson was asked to answer during the audit was:

“In your opinion, are there any areas of operation of the Village that do not receive enough oversight of management or board, or any particular weaknesses in internal controls?” 

Jacobsen checked off “Yes.” As a Trustee, she could have taken the opportunity beforehand to gather specific information and to offer a detailed explanation or perhaps even actual facts, but instead submitted her vague audit questionnaire on March 17, 2019 (perhaps hoping to disrupt the April 2 election?).

Jacobson had a wealth of resources at her disposal for weeks before if she had any questions whatsoever on completing her forms from the audit firm. She could have easily gathered information from the Village Treasurer, Director of Administration, Clerk or even the Trustee assigned to Finance, but she did not avail herself of those ample opportunities according to recordings. She could have provided an answer to the question she was asked instead of repeating an anonymous rumor told to her by some residents.

Instead, when asked why she answered “Yes” to the audit question, her initial answer was:

“While I don’t know that it is considered fraud, but some residents have claimed that contracts are being given to certain members of family of the Board, however, that is not evidence of guilt. I don’t know that we have a clear process to evaluate this if in fact this is happening.   I’m not aware of any contract awarded to a Board member.” 

The first thought that came to our minds upon hearing this was that of an immature four-year-old who answers the question “why did you eat those cookies?” with, “Someone said I could.”

Though asked repeatedly, Jacobson would not, or more probably could not offer any specificity to her unsubstantiated allegation, and at times her answers to Trustees questions on her inexplicable answer changed from one minute or meeting month to another.

For example, before the auditor was asked to read back her answer to the question in the presence of the Board, Jacobsen denied checking the “Yes” box repeatedly. She also denied making any claim or charge of process or fraud issues, and she only began to recant her statements once the village president asked the auditor to read them into the record.

Jacobson also stated on more than one occasion that she understood that her responses to all audit questions were private and would be kept anonymous.   Those wishing to listen to the recording of this exchange can do so by clicking here.

She followed up at the June Board of Trustees meeting by reading a written statement that actually reversed her position in May. She stated she believes that fraud and processes have been violated at the Village, and further she made a secondary allegation that the auditing firm was not independent thereby impugning the reputation of the village treasurer, the independent auditor and the finance chairman Mr. Croll and the Village board.

If this sounds pathetic, it is, and it goes on (and on). Rather than continue with what is basically transcribing her lunacy from recordings, we have a better solution for all involved.

The solution to this problem will be for the village to spend further taxpayer dollars to “investigate” the rumor that someone repeated to Jacobson, and then hopefully follow that by providing educational information to Jacobson on the importance and serious nature of the annual financial audit so that in the future she may confidently answer the audit questionnaire with facts instead of vague, unfounded rumor.

-The Observer

Related: Flip, Flop: What changed your minds Trustees Messer, Meroni, and Selman?  (August 30, 2011)

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Barrington Hills acting Police Chief Joseph Colditz has been elevated to the top spot on a permanent basis.

He replaces Richard Semelsberger, who retired in June after four years as the top cop. Colditz, who will receive $135,000 in the first year of his new job, previously served as deputy chief.

Village President Martin McLaughlin said the village received 45 applications for the post. That number was narrowed to eight, with three finalists then interviewed by the village board’s personnel committee.

McLaughlin said his decision to appoint Colditz, which was ratified by the village board last week, was based in part on his good relationship with police officers and strong budgeting skills.

Read more here.

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Some already looking at bans: ‘It’s just not for us’

Barrington area municipalities are starting to discuss whether to allow recreational cannabis-related businesses within village limits and if so, what regulations to impose ahead of the law allowing the sale and cultivation of marijuana in Illinois taking effect Jan. 

Lake Barrington officials are looking to adopt village legislation banning recreation marijuana-related businesses. Barrington is also leaning against having them, while both Barrington Hills and South Barrington are starting discussions.

Barrington village trustees and Village President Karen Darch are expected to start discussing in September what Barrington will do, officials said. Village spokeswoman Patty Dowd Schmitz said municipal leaders are leaning against allowing any kind of marijuana-related business.

Read more from the Barrington Courier-Review here.

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Last week we reposted an article from the McHenry County Blog announcing, “Elaine Ramesh appointed to Algonquin Township Board”.

We omitted that a total 13 candidates filed for the position created when Melissa Victor stepped down according to the Blog (seeApplicants to Replace Melissa Victor as Algonquin Township Trustee“), and two of those candidates are Barrington Hills residents as seen below:

“Elaine Marie Ramesh, Barrington Hills, patent attorney, former BH Village Clerk and Trustee, member of the McHenry County Republican Women’s Club, member of McHenry County Conservation District Advisory Committee, equestrian advocate, raised $40,000 local private match to Federal Recreational Trails program grant to install a horse trailer parking lot to support five miles of multi-use trails. 

Linda H. Cools, Barrington Hills, Citizens Advisory Group for IDOT re widening of Route 62, advocates lowering the required bid level for Highway Department, advocates countering negative publicity, ran twice for the BH Village Board, advocate of transparency, records and posts BH Village Board meetings on Facebook, endorsed by BH Trustees Fritz Gohl and Robert Zubak.

Fritz Gohl is not a Barrington Hills trustee, although he was in some darker times in our past history. He is now in a paid position as trustee for Barrington Township (he ran unopposed) where he can inflict far less damage to the taxpayers of this Village than he did in his too many years on the Barrington Hills Board of Trustees.

Apparently, the resident who filed for consideration is not up on current events, or decided on their own that accurate facts should not matter in the trustee’s consideration. 

Robert Zubak

Our larger concern is the apparent endorsement by Trustee Robert Zubak of this resident’s filing to fill the vacancy (“apparent” due to the fact that the applicant has  “misstated” facts before).  If Zubak did endorse this applicant, does that imply an endorsement as a potential running mate in the 2021 Village Trustee elections?

Perhaps we’ll learn the answer at Monday evening’s Board of Trustees meeting. If not, only time will tell.

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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.

Click on image to enlarge

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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