Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

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The Summer issue of News from Village Hall was recently mailed out to residents.  Click here to read the issue online.

Topics include covered include announcement of the 6th Annual Hills Are Alive Fall Festival on Sunday September 30th, updates on the 2018 Road Program and the IDOT Route 62 study, news from the Police Department and much more.

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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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Village Hall staff have posted a PDF copy of the winter 2016 Village newsletter to the Village website.  Highlights from this issue include:

  • A 4.1% reduction in the annual Levy (2nd reduction in two years)
  • Cash reserves increased in 2015
  • A return to a 10 year road resurfacing schedule
  • Announcement of a new Village Treasurer
  • Appointment of a new Deputy Village Clerk
  • A reminder the Village vehicle sticker program is discontinued, and
  • A Cuba Road Bridge replacement progress update

A copy of the latest newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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The Equestrian Commission will be holding their quarterly meeting on Monday, December 7th, at 7:00 PM. Some of the topics to be discussed include:

  • Horizon Farms Update
  • Horse Boarding in Barrington Hills: Where We Stand Today
  • Intergovernmental Equestrian Cooperation

A copy of their full agenda can be viewed here.

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The Village has posted recordings from the regular September Village Board meeting.  The entire meeting lasted about two and three quarter hours, with roughly half of that time spent during the finance portion of the agenda.

Two residents made public comments, and we understand the attendance was relatively sparse after the special board meeting the week prior to hear comments on settling the suit over the Commercial Horse Boarding amendment.

Most of the Finance discussion centered around the potential issuance of bonds at current favorable market rates to fully finance the Police Pension Fund, or “Police Pension Obligation Bond” to be discussed further at this evening’s Finance Committee meeting.

In theory, the interest on those bonds would be less than the rate of returns traditionally seen on the pension fund investments, thus netting a positive overall return for the Village.  Unfortunately, since President McLaughlin first raised this idea nearly a year ago with the board, interest rates have risen nearly one percent, so accordingly, more critical analysis is required before a decision is made.  Those planning to attend should consider listening to the recording for some background, and a queued link to that discussion can be accessed by clicking here.

The Roads & Bridges portion of the meeting included Trustee Cecola’s motion and ultimate Board approval of entering into an “Intergovernmental Agreement” with Cook County for the improvement of Brinker Road, which is not scheduled for resurfacing for the next five years by the county.  This agreement would expedite the repair and resurfacing of Brinker with Federal funds available (without the need for bike lanes) in conjunction with the new Village membership in the Northwest Municipal conference.  A direct link to that discussion and vote can be accessed here.

Repairs to Ridge Road by Cuba Township were also discussed and approved.

An ordinance allowing for the hiring of up to three part-time police officers was passed during the Public Safety portion of the meeting.  This will allow the police chief to bring on additional staff, if needed, including recently retired VBHPD officers in the future.

A summary of the terms of the newest labor agreement with the Village police officers was provided, which was also provided in the latest newsletter.   Chief Semelsberger made a point of expressing his appreciation to resident Ted Clark, who has been representing the Village in the last two labor negotiations for his assistance in the process.

The link to the menu of edited recordings from the full meeting can be accessed here

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The Village Communications Committee is scheduled to meet this evening at 6:00 PM at Village Hall in the training room.  A copy of their ePacket agenda can be viewed here.

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The Village has released the spring edition of the Village newsletter.  Some of the topics covered include:

  • 2014 year in review
  • Increased spending required to repair Village roads
  • Decreased Village legal expenses
  • 911 consolidation
  • A message from our new Police Chief
  • Park District rebate program

A copy of the newsletter can be downloaded here.

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The Observer takes a look back at the year gone by and presents our most frequently read news stories and editorials for 2014.  Click on any title to read or revisit stories from this past year.


Attorney General’s office determines April 2013 Village appointments violated OMA

This story from June reported the Attorney General’s office finding confirming that outgoing Village President Bob Abboud’s appointments made during his last official Village Board meeting in 2013 violated the terms of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Barrington Hills passes controversial measure on horse boarding

A reporter who attended the December 15th Special Village Board meeting called by Trustees Gohl and Selman provided her perspectives on the meeting as it related to the passing of the Anderson horse boarding amendment in this Chicago Tribune feature article.

Barrington Hills board debates horse boarding plan

One of the Observer’s most read and commented upon stories, this Daily Herald article reported on the September 22nd Board of Trustees meeting where a large crowd of residents in opposition to the Zoning Board’s first version of the Kurt Anderson-authored horse boarding ordinance spoke out.

13-year lawsuit of Sears vs. Barrington Hills, South Barrington settled

For over a decade, Barrington Hills had spent $1.4 million in legal defense costs over a lawsuit filed by Sears.  With no progress in sight, Martin McLaughlin and South Barrington’s Paula McCombie, both newly elected Village Presidents, decided on a different approach and reached out to Sears executives directly instead of using lawyers to obtain a settlement in this suit that could have ultimately cost Barrington Hills taxpayers $15 million in legal fees and damages.

FPDCC discusses plans for Barrington Hills’ Horizon Farms property

In November the Forest Preserve District of Cook County held a second meeting with residents and interested parties to provide an update on their future plans for Horizon Farms and to gather more feedback from attendees regarding how they envisioned uses for the property.  This Chicago Tribune article summarized the meeting.


Here We Go Again. . . . Commercial Horse Boarding Drama Returns 

In our most read editorial of 2014, The Observer suggested that given the irreconcilable conflicts of interest on the Village’s Riding Club-dominated  Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Trustees, the only way to rationally and fairly tackle the issue of commercial horse boarding would be to create a blue-ribbon panel of objective residents.

Of Bikes and Blame – Part One: The Phantom Menace

This story focused on the underlying issues regarding a proposal to add dedicated bike lanes to Haegers Bend Road in an attempt to gain federal funding for repaving the road which began in 2012.  It also revealed the former Village President’s (The Phantom) participation in hosting a website used by a small anti-bike path group that couldn’t seem to get their stories straight. 

Of Bikes and Blame, Part Two – Peter, Paul and Patty

This editorial followed up on the issue of bike paths and examined the reasons that Roads and Bridges spending in the past ten years, the last 3.5 years under the control of Trustee Patty Meroni, woefully failed to keep pace with the maintenance schedule created years ago, while excess spending on legal fees ballooned. 

Why Barrington Hills must change 

In this feature, the Observer opined on the reasons for the loss of Barrington Hills’ reputation due to in-fighting, fear-mongering and purposeful miscommunication on numerous Village issues and the desperate need for reform. 

What was she thinking? 

Last January we took a look at Trustee Karen Selman’s performance during her tenure as Finance Chair that was inspired by a gaffe she’d written in a Village newsletter in a well-read editorial.

–     The Observer

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The Village has released the fall 2014 Village newsletter.  Some of the topics covered in this issue include:

  • Closure of the longstanding Sears lawsuit against the Village
  • Rationales for improving Village legal representation
  • Commercial horse boarding text amendment updates
  • Police Chief Murphy’s retirement later this month, and
  • Plans for the 2014 Fall Heritage Fest on October 25

A copy of the newsletter can be downloaded here.

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A PDF version of the latest newsletter has been posted to the Village website.  To download a copy, click here.

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