BACC Hosts First Public Town Hall Forum
Business, community and governmental leaders attended the first Public Town Hall Forum hosted by the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, April 26 at 8:00 a.m. at Makray Memorial Golf Club, 1010 S. Northwest Highway, Barrington. The inaugural event featured a panel representing seven local taxing bodies and provided insight into current activities and pressing issues.
The Town Hall panel included, speakers: Detlev Pansch, Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library; Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of the Barrington Community School District 220; Jim Kreher, Fire Chief of Barrington Countryside Fire District; Terry Jennings, Executive Director of the Barrington Park District; Dennis Kelly, Treasurer of the Barrington Hills Park District; Dave Nelson, Superintendent of Cuba Township; and Jay Morgan, Executive Director of the South Barrington Park District.
“We are better informed citizens today as a result of this new program which enabled us to learn more about the entities that we support through our local tax dollars,” said BACC President Suzanne Corr. “Today we heard about accomplishments, budgets, how tax dollars are used and how these organizations rally together to support the region.”
Some highlights of the program: Detlev Pansch of the Barrington Library noted that they serve 30,000 visitors a month and have librarians dedicated to working in the business and non-profit communities; Dr. Brian Harris indicated that Barrington 220 is pushing for a state budget to be passed so schools can be paid and they are currently surveying their school properties to see where updates and efficiencies can be made in a program called Blueprint 220. The Barrington Park District will be opening the new Splash Pad this summer, said Terry Jennings of the Barrington Park District. Chief Jim Kreyer of the Barrington Countryside Fire District noted that they responded to 2,000 calls last year and their response time is approximately four to six minutes. Barrington Hills Park District has made a number of park and facility improvements in the past year, according to Treasurer Dennis Kelly, and they host a number of community events. Cuba Township is one of the oldest taxing bodies in our area, established in 1855, said Supervisor Dave Nelson. Jay Morgan of the South Barrington Park District indicated they have two parks, the South Barrington Tennis Club and 81 acres of open space.
Several of the panel participants indicated they have solid and balanced budgets, are often updating and creating new services for residents, and that they are supporting each other in opposing the new high density development in Hoffman Estates at Route 59 and Higgins Rd., which will put a burden on the services provided by several of them.
This new Town Hall Forum is an example of the important programming BACC Government Affairs Council brings to the community. The Barrington Area Chamber hosts a number of community events, including the annual Family Expo at Barrington High School held on April 9, and the Great Barrington Area TasteFest event on October 25. Other legislative events hosted by BACC and their Government Affairs Council include the Economic Summit in February and the Legislative Breakfast in October. This year BACC will co-host the Uncork Barrington wine tasting event in the North Commuter Train Lots on Friday, July 7 from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. For more event information or tickets, visit www.uncorkbarrington.com
PHOTO (l to r):
Town Hall Forum Moderator and BACC Government Affairs Council Member Keith Hanson, Hanson Law Group; Forum Panel of Speakers: Dennis Kelly, Treasurer of the Barrington Hills Park District; Jay Morgan, Executive Director of the South Barrington Park District; Dave Nelson, Superintendent of Cuba Township; Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of the Barrington Community School District 220; Terry Jennings, Executive Director of the Barrington Park District; Jim Kreher, Fire Chief of Barrington Countryside Fire District; Detlev Pansch, Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library; and Suzanne Corr, BACC President/CEO.