South Barrington mulls leaving BACOG
South Barrington officials Thursday will consider leaving the 41-year-old organization that has largely defined Barrington area since its inception.
South Barrington Village President Frank Munao said he will ask village trustees to vote on his proposal to withdraw from the Barrington Area Council of Governments largely on the basis of the money they will save by doing so.
Munao said his village's annual dues to BACOG have reached approximately $36,000 for legislative and regional representation he believes are duplicated at a lesser cost by organizations like the Illinois Municipal League and Northwest Municipal Conference.
However, Munao did praise BACOG's research in recent years of the underground water supply of the Barrington area and said he'd possibly be in favor of a donation to the organization to continue that work.
Munao denied that a stronger relationship with neighboring Hoffman Estates is coming at the cost of his village's long-standing ties to the rest of the Barrington area.
The other members of BACOG are Barrington, Barrington Hills, Deer Park, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Tower Lakes and -- since 2004 -- Barrington and Cuba townships.
Inverness had been a member for a number of years but has long since withdrawn.
Other members of the organization reached Tuesday indicated that Munao's waning interest was not shared by leaders in other communities.
"I can't for the life of me understand why South Barrington wants to leave," Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud said. "Frank (Munao) is a friend of mine. I'd go to bat with Frank on any other issue, but on this one he's wrong."
Abboud said he suspects Munao's reluctance to carry on with BACOG has more to due with personality conflicts than a sincere belief that the organization's services were being duplicated elsewhere.
Tower Lakes Village President Kathleen Leitner, who currently chairs the BACOG board, said what makes the group a unique partnership is its members' particular take on protection of open space.
She said the council especially was looking forward to benefiting from South Barrington's extensive work in the area of emergency preparedness.
Barrington Township Supervisor Gene Dawson said the township had strong reasons for wanting to become a member seven years ago and has never regretted it.
"What it boils down to, as far as I'm concerned, is neighbors helping neighbors," Dawson said. "I would have to wonder what Frank thinks he'd be getting outside BACOG that he isn't getting from BACOG, and in his own backyard."
Leitner said BACOG officials plan to make one further appeal to Munao and South Barrington trustees.