Save 5 Acres slate wins in Barrington Hills

The Save 5 Acres ticket swept the Barrington Hills Village Board race Tuesday night, as all three of its candidates were elected.

Incumbent Joe Messer had 819 votes while his ticket partners Patty Meroni and Village Clerk Karen Selman followed with 738 and 726 votes respectively, according to unofficial vote totals.

Common Sense incumbent candidate Beth Mallen was the closest challenger with 604 votes while her colleagues Steve D’ Amore and Diane “Dede” Wamberg trailed with 582 and 529 respectively.

Independent candidate and Plan Commission Chairman Dave Stieper had 353 votes.

Harold “Skip” Gianopulos ran unopposed in a separate race for a two-year term.

The totals do not include the early or absentee votes cast in McHenry County.

The Common Sense party, which consists of Mallen, D’Amore and Wamberg, wanted to stop putting out “little fires” and address the bigger issues of Village President Robert Abboud’s leadership.

The chief difference between the Common Sense Party and the Save 5 Acres slate of Messer, Selman and Meroni was in dealing with developers.

The Common Sense Party believed in compromising on the village’s 5-acre zoning along the borders to stop losing disconnection lawsuits to developers and protect the zoning inside the village.

Save 5 Acres opposed this strategy of compromise.

The race became more heated still when Save 5 Acres was accused of violating new campaign finance laws, a charge it admitted to but called an honest mistake.

Messer, Selman and Meroni each deposited $5,000 donations in their campaign fund without acknowledging resident Benjamin LeCompte III as the original source.

The candidates admitted what they called an oversight and returned the money to LeCompte. A complaint before the State Board of Elections remains unresolved.

  Barrington Hills Common Sense Party candidate Diane “Dede” Wamberg, right, and Karen Trzaska of Barrington Hills check voting results on the cell phone Tuesday night during a gathering at the home of Harold “Skip” Gianopulos in Barrington Hills. George LeClaire/