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Article updated: 12/29/2012 1:18 PM

N. Barrington trustee says contentment reduced candidates

By Eric Peterson

Despite the return of controversial retail development plans for the 108-acre Dimucci property nearby, at least one North Barrington trustee interprets the general lack of candidate interest in the April 9 village board election as a sign of contentment among residents.

"On the face of it, it's disappointing, but things have been on an even keel," said Trustee E. Peter Boland, who's been on and off the board over the past two decades.

Only one resident -- Environmental & Health Commission member Jackie Andrew -- filed as a candidate for any of the three open trustee positions on the village board.

None of the incumbents whose terms are ending -- Brent Johnson, Ann Kafka and Gery Herrmann -- filed for re-election.

Boland said their plans to leave the board weren't something they discussed at length or very far in advance of the filing period, but he speculated that the time demands of being a trustee had had to take a back seat in their busy lives.

The village of North Barrington faces no major issues or financial problems at present, Boland said.

The only significant issue of the recent past -- the Dimucci rezoning proposal to the Lake County Board -- reached what Boland considers a satisfactory compromise through the efforts of Village President Al Pino.

The agreement that will allow commercial development of the Dimucci family property within certain limitations was highly criticized by the group Active Citizens for Responsible Expansion. There currently is no development proposal for the land.

Boland said he's always considered ACRE's viewpoint to be that of residents living near, but not in, North Barrington.

Nevertheless, Boland hopes for a workable solution to the insufficient number of village board candidates.

"We had a good cross section of the community with the current board, and I'd like to keep that," Boland said.

He felt it still would be fairly easy for a couple of residents to file as write-in candidates -- especially with the likelihood of a contested election so diminished. Boland said he knows the task of having to knock on neighbors' doors to collect candidate petition signatures can make even the most civic-minded volunteer hesitate.

Though Pino could not be reached for comment Friday, Boland said he hopes Pino will be able to persuade some people to be appointed as trustees if not enough write-in candidates materialize.

Having the village board go forward without a full seven members would be the least attractive option to Boland.

"I wouldn't care for that at all," he said.

Andrew, the only candidate so far, could not be reached Friday. But Boland said she's already established herself as a conscientious contributor to the village government.

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