Brian D. Cecola: 2021 candidate for Barrington Hills village president
City: Barrington Hills
Age: Candidate did not respond
Occupation: Self-employed business owner
Civic involvement: Barrington Lions Club member for 20 years; 4th of July Committee 24 years
Q. How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A. The first role is leadership the second is obligation and communication the third is to be resolute.
Q. Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. We made a board decision last May to keep our village open based upon the physical circumstances of our offices. Some residents were concerned about being open, but the majority of residents were pleased to be able to continue their plan reviews in a timely manner and have their construction projects move forward. Additionally, residents were grateful to have the ability to receive responses from all Village Hall departments. During this open period, our Police Department and Village Hall had no incidences of COVID related problems. We held our annual village festival in September, safely following CDC guidelines, due to having effective leadership and a strong management application. The venue site was set up to accommodate all our residents including a disinfection station for participants to use prior to entering the venue. The day was successful and many residents appreciated having an outdoor recreational event to bring their families to.
Q. In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A. We should evaluate the most at risk populations and do our best to keep them safe while continuing to operate our schools, businesses and restaurants. Shutting down the economy and bankrupting thousands of families and keeping children isolated at home is not a solution.
Q. What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A. Over the past six years we have introduced new methods and technologies to road resurfacing and paving. We continue to implement these techniques and have extended road life on several village roadways by 5 to 7 years. This translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars savings for our taxpayers. Fortunately and due to excellent fiscal planning our village revenues even after lowering the levy are still sufficient to continue providing infrastructure needs at the level necessary to maintain our village.
Q. Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A. As Barrington Hills village is primarily residential, commercial businesses are not impacted in our community. However I do believe that regionally we should continue to find ways to keep businesses open and operating safely so that the livelihoods of employees and business owners can be protected.
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. I can proudly say that we have reduced the villages portion of our taxes each and every year I have served as trustee. I have been responsible for 2/3 of the villages budget in Road and Bridges and Public Safety. Over that time we have been able to pave more roads and provide better public safety services for less money each year I have served.
Q. Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board/council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A. The village has voted and taken a position and does not want to allow recreational marijuana sales in Barrington Hills. I support this.
Q. Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
A. I have served in several leadership roles over my lifetime; one being the Barrington Lions Club President where I learned one thing early on; make sure everyone is a part of the process. A decision was never decided prior to receiving input and gaining consensus. I will take my experiences and relationships as trustee into the position of Village President; leading our board members down the path that was started eight years ago by my predecessor and Trustee Konicek Hannigan. I will continue to build positive working relationships with my fellow board members and the community by taking in consideration their opinions and concerns. It will also remain my effort to keep strengthening relationships with county and state officials whereas good communications is the best way to sustain a sound infrastructure of our roadways and protected lands. I have always been service oriented, therefore I see this volunteer position as a way to give back to the residents of our community.
Q. What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A. I am running for Village President so we can continue with the positive strides made by the previous administration. As a Trustee for the past 6 years and a business owner, I understand the path that needs to continue so our village grows stronger while staying fiscally responsible. I managed our Village's Roads and Bridges and Public Safety Department which makes up the majority of our budget as well as being a part of successfully lowering our levy 6 times in 6 years. I have a great appreciation for the character and heritage of Barrington Hills as both my wife and daughter are equestrians for which I support whole heartily. I have served as a board member for Barrington Fire Dept. Inc, a Firefighter for Barrington/Countryside (15 years), Barrington Lions Club President and member (20 years), President of the Fourth of July Brat Tent Committee (24 years), and Head of the Umpires Association (22 years). As Trustee, I have engaged with hundreds of residents over the past 6 years in an effort to serve my neighbors and try to bring about resolution to any concerns. The beauty and legacy of Barrington Hills is why I am choosing to SERVE this community on behalf of the residents.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. I am interested in reviewing the village's additional services and contracts to evaluate where we can consolidate so we may continue with good government spending.