McLaughlin sworn in as Barrington Hills president
Barrington Hills got its ninth village president Monday -- and its second named McLaughlin -- as newly elected Martin McLaughlin took the oath of office.
He succeeded Robert Abboud, whom he defeated in the April 9 election by 647 votes to 504. according to the official canvass that the old board approved just before the swearing-in ceremony.
Abboud served two terms as president, but the new president's namesake -- John J. McLaughlin Jr. -- was the fourth village president from May 1972 until June 1975.
Also sworn in as village trustees were Colleen Konicek Hannigan -- McLaughlin's running mate during the election -- as well as fellow newcomer Michael Harrington and re-elected senior Trustee Fritz Gohl. The two new faces replace Elaine Ramesh and Harold "Skip" Gianopulos, neither of whom sought re-election.
McLaughlin's first and only task at Monday's special meeting was to appoint the six trustees to various committees, including retaining Gohl as president pro tem to serve in his absence.
The new board was applauded by the unusually large audience that squeezed into the tiny meeting room of Barrington Hills village hall.
"I'd like to thank all the residents of Barrington Hills," McLaughlin said. "I'd love to see this attendance at our next meeting."
Nevertheless, McLaughlin and Hannigan ran on a platform that the village government had gotten too busy with divisive issues such as outdoor lighting regulations and commercial horse-boarding, and thus too demanding of many residents' time. They pledged to aim for more diplomacy and decorum as well as greater cost-efficiency.
Just before the canvass was approved, Abboud made his final address as president in which he stated the village was in sound shape -- financially and otherwise -- despite the rhetoric of the campaign.
Specific examples he cited included the village's budget, police department, police pension fund and roads -- the last of which he said were dramatically improved during his administration.
Abboud expressed disappointment with what he felt was low voter turnout among the village's approximately 4,200 residents, but wished the new board success.