Endorsements: Hannigan, Ramesh, Zubak for Barrington Hills village board
After experiencing some political turbulence in the transition to a new administration in 2013, government in the village of Barrington Hills is beginning to settle back into a sense of stability, if not yet absolute calm. While the village has put a decades-old lawsuit behind it, reduced expenses and revised some of its communications systems, some residents remain concerned that more needs to be done -- and that some of the things that have been done have moved the village in the wrong direction. In that climate, seven people have filed to seek three available positions on the village board.
Two candidates -- Robert Zubak and Paula Jacobsen -- have joined with a village president candidate to form the Your Barrington Hills slate, generally focusing on concerns they have with the current direction of government regarding property rights and transparency. One incumbent, Colleen Konicek Hannigan, is running on a slate with the current board president on a theme of continuing what she sees as progress the village has made in the past four years. Incumbent Elaine Ramesh is running independently. Newcomers Linda Cools, a write-in candidate, Ralph Sesso and Matthew Vondra round out the field.
To a large degree, voters' sympathies in the race may rise or fall depending on their assessment of changes that have taken place in the village since Village President Martin McLaughlin's election in 2013. Our observation is that, while the process hasn't always been pretty, Barrington Hills has recorded some notable accomplishments and is on a constructive course for maintaining the town's prosperity and rural charm, led by a village board whose members are dedicated and independent. In that context, we consider Ramesh and Hannigan strong, experienced leaders with good ideas and a clear eye on the future. Among the remaining candidates, both members of the Your Barrington Hills slate have much to recommend them, as does Sesso, who, unlike them, is extremely happy with the direction in which the village has moved and wants to continue it. We lean toward Zubak, who exudes sincerity in his goals for the village and may bring a note of contrast to keep all interests in town represented. With Hannigan, Ramesh and Zubak on the board, residents can expect thoughtful and engaged management, with the assurance that all ideas will be thoroughly debated. They get our endorsement.