Martin McLaughlin: Candidate Profile

Barrington Hills Village President (4-year Term) (Independent)

  • Martin McLaughlin, running for Barrington Hills Village President (4-year Term)

    Martin McLaughlin, running for Barrington Hills Village President (4-year Term)

Updated 2/22/2013 6:21 PM




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Barrington Hills

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Barrington Hills Village President (4-year Term)

Age: 48

Family: Married to Kathleen Killian McLaughlin, 5 Children, Allison,Morgan, Emma,Clare, and Elle

Occupation: Investment Manager

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Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration,Illinois Wesleyan University

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Lowering the tax burden on our neighbors and reducing our legal and administrative expenses

Key Issue 2

Strengthening our fiscal position which will be our best defense against challenges to our unique community its heritage and our 5 acre zoning

Key Issue 3

Acting as conduit for improved dialog uniting Barrington Hills neighbors and restoring a sense of community

Questions & Answers

Is the village taking appropriate steps to maintain its uniqueness in the region, or has such uniqueness become too costly to maintain?

Maintaining a rural, open space community where 5-acre zoning exists should be protected at all costs utilizing all resources, diplomatic, financial, and legal, available to us. You would be hard pressed to find an area that you could have visited 30-50 years ago which has changed so little today. I commend the Barrington Area Conservation Trust in establishing a Heritage corridor program along Old Sutton Road which is an excellent way to protect and preserve the unique scenic character of our residential roads within our community. This is an excellent example of how a private, public partnership can protect our character. The people of this community will always rally around the cause of maintaining our open spaces. Fortunately the economic circumstances that currently exist have provided a respite from those interested in development. This won't last forever and we should consider this time as an opportunity to build or reserves for future battles. We have enjoyed cash reserve positions in the Village of Barrington Hills sound enough to cover our annual spending. Today we have a reserve that covers only 4 months of our spending. Being prudent with our resources will deter development. We are going to need the strong support of our surrounding communities when the economy improves and we will need to foster goodwill and engender cooperation. Challenging surrounding leaders in public forums and soliciting the media as a catalyst for controversy may sell newspapers but publicity is not the best strategy and has proven very costly. Harmonious anonymity should be an effective approach to community coordination and much less costly. Our Village needs a fresh approach to local diplomacy. We need a departure from our current methods and I believe most residents would welcome a change along with our surrounding community leaders.


The village has debated various forms of regulation in recent years. Is there a general philosophy on regulation that should be applied toward all present and future concerns?

More government regulations and ordinances mean less liberty for our neighbors. The debates which you refer to HALO and HORSE BOARDING have driven a wedge between different factions of the community where neighbors now view their personal liberties under attack and worse are hesitant to communicate as openly as they previously had with each other and with municipal leaders. No longer are we a community but more defined as individual constituencies within the community. This is unfortunate and needs to change with a fresh approach in leadership and reconciliation. The debates over various proposed ordinances have taken up, incredible amounts of money, time and effort on part of our Village officials and concerned neighbors. Unfortunately due to the proposals and their polarizing effects I believe there is a mistrust of our officials and their objectives. Enhanced communication, understanding neighbors? needs and concerns must be improved. I see my candidacy as a referendum on these issues.

What is your position on the horse-boarding controversy? Explain.

No controversy exists today regarding horse boarding. There are ordinances and regulations are on the books to handle all current and future boarding operations. There is a lawsuit pending between neighbors which is unfortunate and is an anomaly. Due to the Village pursuing legal action we now we have appellate precedent on the issue. The appellate court has upheld the findings of the Barrington Hills ZBA that commercial horse-boarding is not "agriculture" as defined by the Barrington Hills Zoning Code, and, as such, is not a permitted use in an R-1 zoned district in the Village of Barrington Hills. An incredible amount of our residents? money and time of the various legal representatives and boards representing this Village were spent arguing for this outcome. The unintended consequences of this action is fear for all those who have peaceable owned horses and may at time rent or board on their properties.

In these tight economic times, municipal budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?

Legal Fees, administrative costs, reduced FOIA requests, presidents travel budget, outside special consultants, special counsels, labor negotiators and affiliated cost regarding our Police collective bargaining agreement that is pending are areas that should be trimmed. Our community needs a forum where the various factions can come together in a social setting and instill a sense of cooperation. Propose: Barrington Hills Heritage Festival Objective: Provide an opportunity for the community to highlight the wonderful activities, organizations, and clubs to our neighbors and surrounding area and region. This event should highlight our equestrian communities, charitable organizations, environmental organizations, social clubs and municipal services. Each group and their representatives and leaders will have an opportunity to interact with each other and our community at an event celebrating our unique characteristics in a social environment. This will also serve as an exposition for each group to introduce, inform, and recruit neighbors to participate in all the wonderful organizations within our community. This event should be sponsored by the Village in conjunction with as many local organizations as possible to set aside a day when and where we come together and celebrate and enjoy our unique heritage as neighbors. This event also will provide surrounding areas with a better appreciation and understanding of what makes Barrington Hills such a wonderful place to live and call home.

What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

We need more communication and open dialogue with Village officials not less. Web sites and letters are important but we are a small UNIQUE community not just in our geography of open spaces but in the way that we can and should be able to interact with our municipal government. Our neighbors are intelligent, experienced, hardworking, generous, caring people and are our greatest natural resource. Uniting our community to work together now and in the future toward common goals is as important as anything single item or issue is before us. Today if a resident wishes to address the village board they must attend a board session and sit through 3-4 hour meetings where issue are voted on and finally are granted the right to speak for a period of 3 minutes where the trustees are not required to engage in a dialogue. This situation deters community involvement. This is not appropriate for a community of our size and character and must change. Open communication is key to residents? satisfaction with their government. Open dialog will improve understanding of issues that are before the Village and concerns that are important to our neighbors. To that end I will propose a Town Hall meeting each quarter where residents will be invited to participate in community round table discussions. They will be announced to the community and comply with open meetings act with the goal to bring our neighbors together, air concerns, and define real time issues that can be addressed immediately if at all possible. In this way we can be proactive and responsive to our neighbors concerns. This format will foster a spirit of cooperation and understanding between neighbors that will heal some of the wounds that still exist from our recent past.