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Buoyed by a state grant, Barrington will lead a project to renovate a section of Flint Creek between Route 59 and Hart Road, work that officials say will improve stormwater drainage and reduce pollution.

Village board members this week officially accepted the $339,641 grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. While led by the village, the estimated $566,069 Flint Creek project also will include Barrington Area Unit District 220 and the Barrington Park District.

Flint Creek starts in Barrington Hills on the south, meanders around Barrington and eventually leads to the Fox River in the north.

Read more here.

Due to extreme cold, all Barrington 220 schools are closed on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Thursday, Jan. 31 (District 220 announcement).

In keeping with our commitment to student and staff safety, District 300 schools will be closed on Wednesday, January 30th and Thursday, January 31st (District 300 announcement).

 

Barrington Area Unit District 220 has a green light to pursue work on interior renovations at a vacant corporate building that’ll become its new administration headquarters on Main Street in the village.

As part of a package of other agenda items Monday night, the Barrington village board approved a special-use request so District 220 can operate in the 20,000-square-foot PepsiCo Inc. building at 515 W. Main, across the street from Barrington High School. The district approved construction bids expected to be about $1.7 million.

District 220 spent about $1.1 million last summer to buy the building that most recently was used for PepsiCo’s Gatorade division. The structure had a research-and-development zoning classification when it was sold, which is why the Barrington village board had to grant the special use for District 220 to operate the central office there.

Read more here.

Hidden away in boxes and barns — or merely hanging in sumptuous plain sight — the gorgeous chandeliers and fixtures of the Uptown Theatre have been vacationing these past few years in Barrington Hills.

They have been cared for by an eccentric but loving crew of collectors, restorers and guardians, rescued from avaricious thieves and the neglect of a convicted slumlord as if they were evacuees rushed to safety from a war zone.

And — on Tuesday of this week, under the careful eyes of most of those who have cared for them for so long — they all began their journey back to Uptown, Chicago, home.

We were there to watch.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

On December 28, a social media post invited residents to attend a hearing of the Barrington Hills Electoral Board scheduled for December 31 at 1:00 PM at Village Hall. The invitation emanated from a Facebook page and read:

I was served challenge papers to my petition for Trustee. The hearing is Monday at 1p.m at Vhall. Support me and condone this miscarriage of justice by this Administration! Shame! “ 

Linda H. Cools

The Facebook post was deleted within hours after publishing. However, the Village calendar confirmed the date and time of the hearing of the Electoral Board, which, as we later learned, was to review a complaint challenging the petition of trustee candidate, Linda H. Cools, due to alleged violations of election rules.

The complaint alleged Cools had turned in her petition with an excess of signatures over what is allowed on the nomination ballots and that her signed statement of economic interest was filed in the wrong county. It seems filing campaign paperwork that does not comply with Illinois statute was also the reason Cools was not on the ballot and could only run as a write-in candidate for trustee in 2017.

After the hearing began, Cools indicated she would like the opportunity to speak and to state her case. Village Counsel advised her that she first needed to be sworn in and Cools was sworn in by the Electoral Board’s official court reporter, taking an oath, declaring that her testimony would be truthful. Cools asked some preliminary questions of the Village Attorney and was reminded prior to giving her statement by the attorney that “all the statements that you make will be under oath and is considered testimony.” To which she responded: “Okay. Can I proceed? Do I have a time limit in how much time I can speak?”

The attorney responded she had no time limit but needed to keep her testimony relevant to the issues raised by the complaint. Cools then proceeded to give her testimony:

Electoral Board, my name is Linda H. Cools. I’m a resident candidate for Village trustee in the Village of Barrington Hills. Although I have not been properly served by the Sheriff of McHenry County as required based upon the requirements outlined by the State of Illinois Board of Election, proper service was not executed; therefore, the hearing should be dismissed solely upon that one singular fact. 

However, I intend to strenuously refute the objector’s petition regardless of this Board’s decision whether by appeal and presentation as part of the official public record.  

This is not an impartial, independent board but rather one with a vested interest in this outcome.   Nevertheless, I appear in good faith before you to present my oral argument against the objector’s petition.   I’m going to skip to the next page if you give me a second to do that. 

To summarize, there are four points I wish to put into the Village record. The first is the filing dates of the objector were not met per Illinois Election Guide. Point No. 2, service upon Candidate Linda H. Cools was improper and nonexistent at best.   Point No. 3, regarding the allegation of excessive signatures, candidate feels the objector is grasping at straws.   The objector does not adhere to the rule to quit counting once the minimum has been attained. And point No. 4, the ambiguity of where to file the statement of economic interest falls on the shoulders of the Village president/Electoral Board for clarity; and that is my final statement.”

Once Cools completed her testimony, the three members of the Electoral Board consisting of Village President Martin McLaughlin, President Pro-tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan and Village Clerk Nikki Panos, were allowed to ask question of Cools:

Konicek Hannigan: Ms. Cools, are you denying that you received service of the objection?

Cools: I was not aware of any service or any receipt of any service.

Konicek Hannigan: So you’ve never received a copy of the objection?

Cools: I have not.

Konicek Hannigan:   Then why are you here today?

Cools:  I received an email. I have an email notifying me from the grapevine that I was to appear here, but I did not receive anything in writing or any other information to come here to the Village. I have not received proper service.

Konicek Hannigan:  Okay. You’ve actually written in public blogs about having been served with an objection.

Cools:  What public blogs? I don’t run a public blog.

Konicek Hannigan:    On Facebook?

Cools:  I don’t run any public blog.

Konicek Hannigan:   On social media?

Cools:  I run no public blogs.

Konicek Hannigan:   On social media?

Cools: I don’t run any social blog, social media, print media, nothing.

Konicek Hannigan:       Okay. So the Facebook page Linda Cools for Barrington Hills Trustee is not your page?

Cools: I have no information to share on that.

Konicek Hannigan:    Okay. Are you denying that that’s your Facebook page?

Cools:  I have no information to share on that. 

The truth is there are a number of social media websites that contain Linda Cools’ name and photos portraying her image as pictured below in a recent Facebook posting that we captured a screenshot of:

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

(Since Cools testified under oath that she does not run any “social blog, social media, print media, nothing,” we strongly suggest she contact the proper authorities immediately and that she have these records copied for evidence before requesting they be removed by Facebook and Twitter.)

As for the two filing errors, the Electoral Board continued the hearing to January 8, 2019, and allowed the objector and respondent to file additional statements. At that hearing, the Electoral Board voted unanimously to allow Cools to amend her statement of economic interest, and held, on advice from the Village Attorney, that the excess number of petition signatures would not act as a bar to Cools’ being on the ballot, despite the fact that it was a clear violation of Illinois statutes and election rules. The Village Attorney referenced a federal court case that discussed striking a candidate for having excessive signatures as being unconstitutional. He also stated that there was a clear discrepancy in federal and state law and that Illinois case law favored striking her name from the ballot, but the U.S. Constitution was the law of the land. Still, this does not change the fact that statements were made by Cools, under oath, in a public forum while giving her testimony on December 31, 2018.

As a side note, someone once said the Illinois Board of Elections would likely approve a candidate’s paperwork if it was written in crayon. If this is true, given Ms. Cools’ problems completing paperwork accurately in two consecutive Village campaigns, she might be well advised to invest in a box of Crayola Crayons (preferably no more than 10 colors, PLEASE) the next time she must file for nomination in 2020.

It should be noted that some time after the December 30th hearing Cools retained an attorney who appeared on her behalf at the continued hearing of the Electoral Board on January 8, 2019.  At that time, prior to proceeding with argument, Cools’ attorney withdrew certain statements Cools made at the prior hearing to the effect that the Electoral Board was “not an impartial, independent board but rather one with a vested interest in this outcome.” Cools’ attorney agreed that there was no evidence to substantiate the comments, and Cools herself agreed on January 8th that she had nothing to support those statements and they would be withdrawn.

 

Related: “Barrington Hills candidate fights to stay on ballot

Barrington Hills trustee candidate survives effort to knock her off the ballot

 

 

An advisory panel is backing the idea of installing new artificial turf at Barrington High School’s stadium in time for the fall sports season.

The proposal, backed Thursday by Barrington Area Unit District 220’s facilities committee, now must gain approval from the district’s board. Formal board consideration of the plan, which would cost $550,000 to $750,000, is expected by March.

School board members Penny Kazmier and Joseph Ruffolo, who sit on the facilities committee, agreed with a recommendation from Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein to pursue the project this summer.

Bein said the cost will only rise if officials wait another year. (Where does 220 find these people?)

Read more here.

A Carpentersville man was struck and killed by a car while walking his dog Saturday in Barrington Hills, authorities said Tuesday.

Barrington Hills police said Michael Buchholz, 28, was walking west with his dog on Dundee Road near Potter Lane when a he was hit by a white 2009 Chevrolet Impala also traveling west at 11:48 p.m. Saturday. East Dundee Fire Department paramedics took Buchholz to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, where he later was pronounced dead, police said.

Read more here.

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