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Article updated: 1/21/2013 12:31 PM

Should Barrington Hills, East Dundee mayors debate IAA?

By Lenore T. Adkins

Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud has taken to the airwaves to challenge East Dundee Village President Jerald Bartels to debate the merits of the Insurance Auto Auctions proposal.

This week, Abboud called into East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn's AM radio show "Left Right and You" to talk about his trip to the IAA facility in Wheeling, his observations there, the complaint he filed against that location with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the village's ties to East Dundee. Barrington Hills borders East Dundee.

Skillicorn and Abboud oppose IAA coming to East Dundee, saying they fear leaking fluids from vehicles will contaminate the local groundwater.

They also have talked about holding a town-hall meeting to better explain the project to East Dundee and Barrington Hills residents.

Skillicorn's co-host, Jeff Ward, invited Bartels to call in and talk to Abboud about the issue. Abboud also said he'd be more than happy to talk to Bartels on the radio -- Bartels doesn't listen to Skillicorn's show and wasn't aware of the invitation until after the fact.

Even so, Abboud, who owns a nuclear engineering company, says he's still more than happy to debate Bartels on the science of the IAA proposal.

"I do think that Mayor Bartels needs to focus less on his own politics and more on the science of what's going on here," Abboud said in a later interview.

But Bartels, who has a background in computer science, was a manager at an engineering firm and now sells engineering software, is not interested in matching wits with Abboud.

"It's obvious from his correspondence that he's implied we're moronic, that we don't have the expertise," Bartels said. "Mr. Abboud is not the authority on all facts, on all information and all science. He may not agree with that, but that's how it is."

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