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Archive for the ‘Roads and Bridges’ Category

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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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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Cecola Buettner

President-elect Brian Cecola and Trustee Debra Buettner paused for a photo taken on May 3rd, 2021, before Cecola took the Oath of Office.

Monday, we published a memo written by Village President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan to the Board of trustees in November. On January 7, 2022, Village President Brian Cecola convened a special meeting of the Board of Trustees to nominate his choice to fill the seat of Trustee Debra Buettner.

Following is a transcript of a portion of that meeting:

Konicek: For purposes of discussion, I want to read into the record my email to President Cecola of November 18, 2021, which was disseminated to the rest of the board on that same day.

(Pro-Tem Konicek’s memo can be found here.)

Konicek: So, having sent that email on November 18, 2021, I was never approached by the president following that. He and I did meet at one point with Mr. Hammond, Deb’s husband, at his request, and also discussed his conversations with our departed trustee, and the fact that she very much endorsed Robin VanCastle for this position.

I wanted to go on record that while I appreciate Darby Hills immensely, and I think she would be a wonderful fit for this board, that I find this to be an incredible disservice to Trustee Buettner, in not having considered her recommendation which she was very vested in.

She did not want to step down from this board. She wanted to serve out her term, and health prevented her from doing that. And not even considering her recommendation is a slap in the face, in my opinion, so I wanted to bring that to the board’s attention, and I will speak on behalf of Deb since she isn’t here to speak for herself.

And I will also let everybody know that I spoke to Darby about this. I called her following the announcement that was made like two days ago, to all of us which was the first I’d heard that Darby would be the person that the President would put up for this position.

So, I reached out to her, and I called her and told her what I would be saying to the board today, and she’s fully aware of that. She was very appreciative that I brought this to her attention since she wasn’t aware of it prior to our conversation.

Riff: I got a question, so I’ll go. I was elected in March, is that correct? We got elected in March, and I haven’t seen Deb for most of the summer as we all know, and I did not know she was ill, nobody would really express that. Later on in the fall we found out that she was ill, never once heard about Robin VanCastle from her. Sat in many board meetings, four, five, six she did not attend. Then we got a note from you in November with her recommendations, but that was through you, through her husband, through somebody else.

I mean, I would have loved to have heard, spoke to her about it, but I know she’s been, she’s no longer with us, but I never heard her express or say she wanted Robin VanCastle or sent me a letter. That’s just my two cents.

I don’t know. I would have loved to have discussed some things with Deb, here and there, but we can’t.

Konicek: That’s right, we can’t, and I’m sure she would have loved to have had the conversation with you as well. She intended to have it with Brian, and she died.

So, I am honoring the conversations I had with her. At the time, I was honoring the confidentiality that she asked me to place in our conversations because they went beyond just those related to the Village position. Some of them were related to her profession. And, you know, all of you did utilize Deb, and you sat in her office during your campaigns and utilized her services during your campaigns, not just the ones that took place this past April, but ones that took place over the last three or four election cycles.

President Cecola and Trustee Croll all utilized those services, as well as yourself and Trustee Strauss and Trustee Ekstrom, and Deb was very supportive of all of you, and she was supportive of me as well. And she was supportive of this Village, and I want to be on record as saying that I am going to voice support for what she asked for. The fact that she wasn’t able to ask you personally, I’m sure she would loved to have had that opportunity, but she didn’t.

So again, I’m just going to stand, or I guess I’m sitting, I will sit here on her behalf to the best of my ability at this time. She’s much more eloquent that I am, but her voice isn’t here, so I will be it to the best of my ability.   

Cecola: I’ll say a few things. I did…, it was not an easy decision or nomination or recommendation. Uhm, I really wish I would have been able to speak to Deb. I did reach out to her prior to her passing, after a month or two of her missing meetings, I was just concerned.

It was not an easy decision. Did I meet with her husband and you? Yes. It was not easy. I just came to the conclusion, I thought about a lot of different people, I took everybody’s names that they, you know, suggested to me to hear. I weighed everybody’s name to my best ability, and I came up with that,  

Konicek: Did you meet with Robin?

Cecola: I did not, no.

Konicek: Did you even talk to her?

Cecola: (unintelligible)

Konicek: Is that a no?

Cecola: No, correct.

Konicek: So, may I ask why?

Cecola: I know Robin, um, there was no need to…, I know last time she did not want to run in the last election when we asked her, but no, I did not reach out to her.

Konicek: So, you didn’t reach out to her because you were relying on the fact that she had said a year ago or more that she wasn’t going to run in that election.

Cecola: No, I ju, I re, I just, I really don’t have no answer. I didn’t reach out to her.

There were several people that came to mind, and I did not reach out to everybody.

The recording can be reviewed beginning at the 32:25 mark here.

We’ll wrap up our series next week, though most should have a good idea what we’ll say.  And for the record, none of the other Trustees took the time to meet or even talk to Ms. VanCastle either. None, except Pro-Tem Konicek.

Related: “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 2),” “Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 3)

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BOT 11.21

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:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Honoring the Contributions of Debra Ann Buettner to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 21 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Village to Proceed with Replacing and Upgrading Technology at Village Hall Resolution 21 –
  • [Vote] Ordinance Amending Regulations Regarding Remote Participation Meetings in Compliance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act Ordinance 21

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

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Our Village Board of Trustees meets this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda, including instructions on participating remotely, may be viewed and downloaded here.

Tonight’s agenda is relatively routine. However, the board will be discussing the 2019 Annual Audit Report, and two of trustees won’t be deprived of an opportunity to ask inane questions given the opportunity, so the meeting will likely be longer than usual.

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The Village Sign Regulations are on tonight’s agenda

The Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting remotely this evening beginning at 6:30 PM. To access the Meeting Packets page, please click here and follow the instructions in green near the middle of the page:

“At 6:30 pm on Tuesday March 24th, the public can enter their name in the box above and click ‘Join’ to attend the Board of Trustees meeting remotely. This will be an audio call. You will be able to offer public comment during that section of the agenda and will be able to listen to the rest of the meeting. You may join at any time after 6:30 pm until the meeting concludes.”

Unfortunately, this meeting won’t lend itself to video recording, which will frustrate at least two of our local Facebook bloggers. However we have every expectation they will provide their own spin on what happens tonight on their pages (usually a hoot-and-a-half that doesn’t disappoint!).

Hopefully, next month the meetings will take place at Village Hall in the usual format.

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Five candidates will be vying for three seats on our Village Board of Trustees in the April 2nd Barrington Hills election in a few short weeks.

The first campaign mailer arrived in residents’ mailboxes this week. The websites are up, and soon, signs will appear in neighbor’s yards asking would-be residents to vote for his or her candidate(s).

When it comes to websites, we thought we’d share three that have emerged for this year’s campaign. They are listed in the order candidates names as the appear on the ballot:

One Barrington Hills: Incumbent Trustees Bryan Croll and Brian Cecola will be running with Zoning Board member Debra Buettner. To learn more about their cause, their website can be viewed here.

Linda Cools 4 Trustee: Linda Cools ran for office two years ago as a write-in candidate. She is running independently, and her website can be viewed here.

Vote Louis: Louis Iacovelli campaigned for Village President two years ago. This time he’s running independently for Village Trustee, and his website can be viewed here.

Early voting begins on Monday, March 18th and runs through Election Day, April 2nd.

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2018 ROADS PROJECT UPDATE
The Cook County Department of Highways and Transportation 2018 Road Project:

OTIS AND BRINKER ROADS: Paving was completed last week, and weather permitting, striping is scheduled for this  week which will conclude the resurfacing project.

BARRINGTON HILLS 2018 ROADS PROJECT:

HONEYCUTT AND HILLS AND DALES ROADS: Monday, July 9th, they are placing the Final Surface Asphalt.

CHURCH ROAD AND ALGONQUIN RIVER ROAD: Wednesday, July 11th, they will be placing the Final Surface Asphalt on the remaining section of Church Road up to Algonquin River Road, and begin placing the Final Surface Asphalt on Algonquin River Road.

**Not part of the roads project but a notice to our residents that the low depressional area on Chapel Road is still completely underwater and has been determined to remain closed. Road closed signs are still in place.

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As part of the ongoing improvements associated with the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways, please be advised that on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, the work area on Otis Road will be closed to Non-Construction Traffic from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

It is necessary to restrict Non-Construction Traffic for safety issues created by the narrow roadway. Please let us know if there are any residents with special needs so we can make accommodations if necessary.  We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

In the event of inclement weather, the rescheduled date will be July 5th.

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Tonight’s Board of Trustees meeting will be the first official meeting for the village’s new engineering firm, Trotter & Associates.  We look forward to seeing their approach to municipal engineering and we hope that taxpayers will benefit from lowered costs and fresh ideas.

GHAWhile researching future content for the Observer, we stumbled across some interesting correspondence regarding Barrington Hills Farm (BHFW LLC) and our village’s former engineering firm, Gewalt Hamilton.  What we found is shocking, but it certainly makes the Village’s decision last year to change engineering companies very wise indeed.

According to documents found on McHenry County’s website, in December 2015, BHFW’s Chairman J. R. Davis was applying to McHenry County to convert part of an existing wetland on the property into a recreational pond.  As a result, some mitigation of the wetlands was necessary.  The specifics of the mitigation and request for credits from the Wetland Restoration Fund are not important.

What is important is the engineering firm that BHFW had hired to create their Wetland Mitigation Plan was Gewalt Hamilton.  And not just Gewalt Hamilton, but Dan Strahan himself , who was Barrington Hills’ Village Engineer at the time, was personally involved in the project.

Strahan is cc’ed on the Gewalt Hamilton letter to McHenry County on behalf of BHFW and Strahan’s signature even appears with Davis’ signature on the Wetland Restoration Fund application as the Design Engineer.

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Davis_Strahan_2

To be clear, this was a project undertaken by a private property owner in unincorporated McHenry County immediately adjacent to the Village, and Strahan and Gewalt Hamilton were hired by that individual.  All at the same time when Strahan and Gewalt Hamilton were also employed by the Village of Barrington Hills.

We find it shocking that Gewalt Hamilton and Dan Strahan did not decline employment by BHFW & Mr. Davis in 2015, seeing as the firm had been serving Barrington Hills for decades.  Gewalt Hamilton & Strahan were well aware of the history of the Davis property, and in all likelihood would be called up by the Village to consult on the property in the future. It would be bad enough for any engineer employed by Gewalt Hamilton to have taken this job, let alone Dan Strahan.

Not surprisingly, Strahan indeed did end up personally involved in discussions on behalf of the Village regarding new driveways and dedicated easements and right-of ways for the proposed HARPS facility on BHFW property in 2016 & 2017.  It certainly gives us pause to wonder about the quality of the service the village and taxpayers received on that assignment.

Did Strahan and Gewalt ever divulge to the Village of Barrington Hills that they had been previously employed by Davis?

How could Strahan and Gewalt maintain any impartiality when they had been paid by both the Village and Davis?

Are there other projects that Gewalt has worked on for Davis and BHFW?

Did Strahan and Gewalt ever divulge this conflict of interest while they were applying for retention as the Village’s engineering firm?

Right now, we have more questions than answers.  We’ll leave it to our readers to draw their own conclusions.  We think the documents speak for themselves.

Click on the following links to  view the complete PDFs of the documents BHFarm_Gewalt_Wetland_1 and BHFarm_Gewalt_Wetland_2.

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