McLaughlin unseats Abboud in Barrington Hills
Two-term Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud conceded defeat to challenger Martin McLaughlin Tuesday night.
"I think the village is going to have a new village president," Abboud said. "I think the electorate was looking for some change and I'm sure Mr. McLaughlin will bring it."
McLaughlin said he was pleased his first foray into politics had proved such a clean affair on both sides.
"We're all very excited," McLaughlin said. "It was nice to run a campaign without getting into the mud and I think the people appreciated it."
Colleen Konicek Hannigan, Michael Harrington and incumbent Fritz Gohl claimed the three trustee seats at stake in Tuesday's election, edging out Kelly Mazeski and David Stieper.
Abboud ran in support of Gohl, Harrington and Mazeski, while McLaughlin ran with Konicek Hannigan. Stieper ran independently.
Final results showed McLaughlin had 614 votes to Abboud's 472. In the trustee race, Konicek Hannigan had 580 votes, Harrington 542, Gohl 540, Mazeski 535 and Stieper 523.
After recent years in which regulatory issues like outdoor lighting levels and commercial horse boarding created communitywide debate, this year's village president and trustee races came down to a basic discussion of the budget.
And that's just the way McLaughlin wants it. He said dismay over unnecessarily divisive debates taking up residents' time was part of his inspiration to run.
Rather than worrying about outdoor lighting and horse boarding, McLaughlin said he was more concerned about the impact these and other issues were having on the village's legal costs and budget.
Abboud countered that a lot of the figures McLaughlin entered the race with were "an attack on the facts." He said legal fees make up only 9 percent of the village's budget.
Both Abboud and McLaughlin agreed that the proposed Insurance Auto Auction site in nearby East Dundee was a threat to the aquifer on which Barrington Hills residents depend for their water. But McLaughlin criticized Abboud for what he called a lack of diplomacy in approaching the issue with East Dundee.