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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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Big Red 6

The Barrington Hills Chronicle (a Riding Club of Barrington Hills splinter group), posted what follows on Wednesday:

“The Riding Club of Barrington Hills is inviting all volunteers this Saturday, May 14th, to a roadside clean-up campaign on Route 62 (Algonquin Road). A meeting at the the Riding Center on Bateman Road will start at 8:30am (this Saturday, May 14th), or feel free to join whenever it is convenient for you. Every Saturday in May is the clean-up plan.”

In addition, three additional events are taking place tomorrow:

These activities are occurring at the same time tomorrow morning, primarily along Bateman, Algonquin, Brinker, and County Line Roads.

Readers are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when driving in these areas. On any given day, the Village has two patrol people covering the entire Village, and even with additional resources allocated, they hopefully will not be overwhelmed.

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OBH

Readers may recall we twice bumped the One Barrington Hills (OBH) committee (Brian Cecola, David Riff, Laura Ekstrom and Tom Strauss) pretty hard when they were delinquent in two consecutive filings required be the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE):

We decided to check in on the committee’s 2022 first quarter reporting (or lack thereof in recent history), and we discovered some very hurried fillings by OBH occurred after our second delinquency post.  The last of those ISBE postings was a long overdue final report submitted and filed by OBH on January 26th, thereby closing their account.

From the time OBH filed their Statement of Organization on February 9th, 2021, to when they submitted their Final Report on January 26th, 2022, they had posted:

  • Two A-1 reports of contributions of $1,000 or more
  • Two D-2 Quarterly reports submitted on time
  • Two D-2 Quarterly reports submitted after the deadline
  • Eight (8) D-2 Quarterly reports submitted with corrections

To view and print a copy of these reports, click here.

Having closed that error fraught chapter in their 2021 campaign, the One Barrington Hills committee expunged all records on their campaign website.  When visiting the former OBH website (click here to attempt), a message appears, either “Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead” or “This connection is untrusted”.  To view the report, the user must tap, “Accept the Risk and Continue” or “Proceed to (unsafe) site.” Is stonewalling now their new norm?

And just last month, residents reported they couldn’t hear April’s Board of Trustees meeting due to low or no volume when they phoned in, so what are they to make of this?

If the OBH party is sending a less than subtle message to residents, consider it received, Brian, David, Laura, and Tom.  But you’re in for a LONG three (3) more years in office.

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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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R&B Mar 2020

The Roads & Bridges Committee will meet today at 4:00 PM. The primary focus of the meeting appears to be the review of bids submitted for the 2022 Road Program.

Eight companies submitted bids.  The highest bid was $669,866.48 from Geske and Son, and the lowest was $373,441.63 from Orange Crush.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

Related: “Village invites bids for 2022 Summer Road Program

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VBH 2022 Road Program

“INVITATION TO BID NOTICE is hereby given that the Village of Barrington Hills will receive sealed Bids until the 18th day of March 2022 at 2:00 p.m. local time at the Village of Barrington Hills, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL 60010 at which time the Bids will be publicly opened and read aloud for the following project:

VILLAGE OF BARRINGTON HILLS 2022 ROAD PROGRAM Work description: Provide all labor, services and materials necessary for the resurfacing of various roads throughout the Village of Barrington Hills. This work consists of: HMA Surface Removal, Class D Patches, HMA Resurfacing and other associated improvement required to complete the project in accordance with the plans, specifications and all other applicable standards.

The Contract Documents may be inspected and purchased at Trotter and Associates, Inc., 38 W Grand Ave, Fox Lake, IL 60020, beginning February 24, 2022. Contact Amy Whitis at a.whitis@trotter-inc.com to purchase the contract docs. Hard and/or electronic copies are available. Payment for Contract Documents is non-refundable and shall be payable to Trotter and Associates, Inc. in the form of cash, certified check or money order. No partial sets of specifications or drawings will be issued.

The non-refundable cost for plans and specifications is $50.00. Addenda will be issued only to plan holders. Bidders will be required to provide Bid security equal to five (5) percent of the Bid in the form of a Bid Bond written by a company properly licensed in Illinois, a certified check or a cashier’s check.

The successful Bidder must also comply with all the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act and all wages must comply with the Illinois Department of Labor Prevailing Wages for McHenry, Lake, Cook, and Kane Counties. The Village of Barrington Hills, in accordance with the Laws of the State of Illinois, hereby notifies all Bidders that the Village reserves the right to reject any and all Bids, to waive minor informalities or technicalities, to advertise for new bids, or to request confirmation or clarification from any bidder regarding information contained in a bid.

The Village will affirmatively ensure that the contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement will be awarded to a responsible and responsive Bidder without discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin, but the Owner reserves the right to reject any or all Bids received and to waive formalities.

Your Bid will be required to be submitted under a condition of irrevocability for a period of sixty (60) days after submission. Bids shall be received in a sealed envelope addressed to Village of Barrington Hills, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL 60010 which is marked in the lower left-hand corner EXACTLY as follows:

BID: Village of Barrington Hills 2022 Road Resurfacing Program

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2.22 BOT

The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. The meeting will include a public hearing on the 2022 Annual Appropriations Ordinance. A copy of the 2021 Appropriations Ordinance can be viewed here for comparison.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. Those wishing to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

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Cuba Road

Cuba Road east of Rte. 14 is plowed by Cuba Township

Cuba BH

Cuba Road west of Rte. 14 in our village is currently plowed by Mac’s

For nearly fifteen years, our Village benefitted from the snow plowing services provided by the Cuba Township Road District.  Inexplicably, in September of last year, Trustees Ekstrom, Croll, Riff and Strauss awarded our snow plowing services contract to Mac’s Property Management Services of Wauconda. The results have been abysmal.

The images above best illustrate the new service experienced by our residents this Winter. After a recent snow event, Cuba Township plowed Cuba Road east of Route 14 Lake Barrington, and the photo at top shows the results of their work.  A photo was then taken of Cuba Road in our Village within minutes of the first photo capture, and it was plowed by Mac’s.  The difference is significant and concerning.

At best, Mac’s snow plowing services have been consistently shoddy, with slow (or sometimes no) service being the experience of many residents.  Lack of deicing is an oft heard complaint, and as recent as Friday’s afternoon snowfall, many witnessed their own driveways being plowed before Mac’s employees bothered to show up.

We cannot allow substandard service on our Village roads. The modest decrease in expense does not justify the liability our Board of Trustees has exposed our residents to.

Our Village does have an “out” clause with Mac’s, but Roads & Bridges Chair, Laura Ekstrom, couldn’t recall if it was 30 or 60 days.  The point is moot, however, since by the time our Village Attorney sorts it out, Mac’s will be mowing lawns.

The decision to discontinue Cuba Township’s services has been a huge error in judgement, and we’re being generous in that assessment.  We’re just fortunate we don’t have to call it a tragic one (yet).

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Snow Plow

The 2021-2022 Winter Season will be a topic of discussion today at 4 PM at Village Hall.

The Roads & Bridges Committee will meet today at 4:00 PM.  The only two topics on their agenda are:

  • 2021-2022 Winter Season
  • 2022 Road Program

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

Audio recordings from some previous R&B meetings are now available for review.  The December 13th, 2021, recording can be heard here, and the recording from the October 14th meeting where a resident first voiced concerns over switching snow plow services can be heard here.

Residents who would like to publicly comment on the new snow plowing contractor’s performance this year or other items can do so at the meeting, or they email the committee chair at lekstrom@barringtonhills-il.gov prior to the meeting.

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