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This Week's Election Proves Every Vote Counts

The Talk in 60010
April 5, 2017

Many 60010 Villages ran uncontested races this year, but Barrington and Barrington Hills held contentious campaigns and along with the Barrington 220 School District, they had candidates looking to upset current incumbents running.

While low voter turnout showed many residents of our 60010 villages probably didn't know there was an election happening, residents in the Village of Barrington and Barrington Hills experienced daily emails, mailboxes filled with flyers and multiple phone calls from supporters of each of the candidates.

Barrington Hills is waiting on the count of every early and mail-in vote before they can confidently call the election. Incumbent President Martin McLaughlin and his running mate trustee Colleen Konicek appear to have the votes needed to secure second terms, but with the race so close, this election could take over a week to 10 days to resolve. At this time, Martin is ahead by over 60 votes from first-time challenger Louis Iocavelli, and Colleen Konicek has more than 50 votes over the trustee challengers in the race. The remaining two trustee spots are within just a few votes to determine whether Robert Zubak, Paula Jacobsen or Matt Vondra will join the board.

Barrington Hills has experienced a heated campaign. It appears there are two camps of residents divided bitterly on issues of land use. Multi-acre lot sizes afford residents of Barrington Hills freedoms most homeowners never know, yet neighbors are separated by the size of commercial businesses residents should be able to host on their properties. A village with a strong equestrian heritage and miles of riding easements, a few village board members previously tried to create an ordinance to allow large commercial horse boarding. The ordinance was vetoed by McLaughlin in 2015 expressing to favor zoning laws that are respectful and fair to all homeowners in the community, whether they board horses or not. Running in 2013 to reduce village spending, McLaughlin honored his promise reducing village spending by over a million dollars.

In the Village of Barrington, President Karen Darch, first elected in 2005, expressed this would be her last election. Still active in her fight with the Canadian National Railway and their increased train schedule through Barrington, she wants a resolution to additional Canadian National's financial support to relieve the traffic congestion trains are causing residents. Opponent Mike Kozel created advertisements and social media campaigns disparaging Darch and village employees for multiple issues including building development, zoning restrictions and spending. Residents voted in support of President Darch awarding her over 70% of the votes.

Village of Barrington Trustees ran an uncontested race with Jeff Janssen, Jennifer Wondrasek and Todd Sholeen filling the vacated spots.

Barrington 220's School Board elections came in similar to Barrington Hill's results without a decisive finish. Penny Kazmier returns for her fourth term on the board wanting to play an active role in the districts Bluprint220 initiative. Having represented the board on the Building and Maintenance committee, she felt an additional term would help bring experience to future decision making once results are determined. Fellow incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Chris Geier are in the final four separated within 100 votes for the two remaining seats with challengers Michael Shackleton and Gavin Newman. Mail-in votes will need to be counted before the results can be announced.