Endorsements: Zubak, Jacobsen, Burval for Barrington Hills village board

There are many combinations Barrington Hills voters could choose to fill the three board seats up for election this spring from among the six candidates running, and any one of them will produce an effective, capable field of trustees.

But the combinations won't all be effective and capable in the same way, so voters' decisions will come down to what mixture of background, energy and personality they find most appealing.

For us, it starts with experience that is significant but still fresh. That's found in two one-term incumbents, Robert M. Zubak and Paula Jacobsen.

Jacobsen, a scientist with a strong interest in conservation, shows a vigorous interest in the details of village operations and offers a compelling mix of independence, tenacity and collaborative spirit.

Like her, Zubak is persistent in pressing for improved technology to make government operations more transparent and accessible — including upgrading the village website and, especially, improving audio and video capabilities so board meetings and other activities can be livestreamed and video recorded. He also shows a commitment to responsible spending, a sincere interest and knowledge of infrastructure issues facing the village and a constructive, cooperative spirit that is necessary for any well-functioning leadership group.

Options for the third seat can't necessarily boast the same level of direct experience with issues as Jacobsen and Zubak, but all do reflect a studied awareness of issues facing the village, a positive approach to problem solving and a sincere commitment to serve.

Brent Joseph Burval is a technology entrepreneur who has become active in attending village meetings and engaging with residents on community issues. Marketing consultant Laura S. Ekstrom has served the village in the past on its communication committee. David Riff is a chief information officer with a detailed knowledge of the kinds of technology advances Barrington Hills could consider. And business owner Tom Strauss offers straightforward thinking, a business mindset and a desire to build both a greater sense of community within Barrington Hills and a stronger rapport between village government and the residents.

From an impressive field of backgrounds and styles, we favor Burval, who offers both the specific technical background that is appealing in Riff and the clear interest in being involved in local decision making, along with a strong dose of independence that can help any board avoid potential traps of complacency or routine.

However they decide, Barrington Hills voters cannot go wrong in this election. The mix that most appeals to us is found in Paula Jacobsen, Robert M. Zubak and Brent Joseph Burval, and they get our endorsement.

Bob Zubak
Tom Strauss
David Riff
Laura Ekstrom
Brent Burval
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