Colleen Konicek Hannigan
High School, Elgin Academy
Bachelor's Degree, DePauw University
Juris Doctor, John Marshall Law School
Attorney, Fletcher & Sippel
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have practiced law as a litigator for over 20 years. During that time I have argued before tribunals of both judge and jury. I have fostered relationships with clients wherein I am called on to be an effective legal advisor and strategy builder with an ability to manage teams, meet objectives, and take risks into account. The majority of lawsuits are resolved outside of the courtroom and trial. As such, I have learned to take all sides into consideration in an effort to reach a resolution that considers all parties. These negotiating and mediating skills have taught me to be an effective listener and problem solver, and to do so diplomatically. My litigation background has also taught me to be an effective advocate of a position and how not to back down when the situation does not call for compromise. Most importantly, I have learned how to distinguish between the two.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
#1 We must to return to the community we all once knew - As a person who moved to Barrington Hills in 1969, I feel that we need to come together again as residents and neighbors. We cannot continue to be divided over purely political issues ostensibly created by politicians in our Village seeking to gain, or maintain a power-hold. Each and every resident of our Village is entitled to a government that treats our citizens with respect and deals with each citizen’s concerns with an even-handed approach, that conducts its meetings efficiently with an eye toward serving the people it represents. #2 Fiscal Responsibility - There are generations of families that live in Barrington Hills who desire to continue that tradition. However, the current generations are finding it more difficult to afford living in this Village. Larger scale estates which have been passed from generation to generation that offer significant opportunities to conserve the open space we pride our Village on are in jeopardy. As a Village, we need to trim or eliminate costs wherever possible without jeopardizing essential services. Maintaining our local tax levy at the same level for 4 years is just not enough in these economic times. Property values have decreased and taxes must decrease commensurate with those decreases in value. #3 Transparency & Communication - We need to strive to better inform our residents of what is actually happening in our Village government through providing everyone an open and unintimidating forum to ask Village Board members questions or provide opinions without suffering through 4 to 6 hour long Village Board meetings before being given our 3 minute maximum timeframe to address the Board.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
Keeping the levy flat is not enough. The budget, particularly legal expenses can and should be reduced resulting in lowering the levy.
What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?
This Board voted to restrict public comment and to move public comment to the end of their meetings. This Board often starts the public session of its meetings late and seldom finishes in less than 3 hours when the current President is in attendance. As such, the citizens of this community are forced to wait until 10:00 p.m., and usually much later, to have their concerns heard by the Board. And, their time to address the Board is limited to 3 minutes. The citizens of this community are the reason the Board serves. Their concerns should be first and foremost in the Board’s agenda.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
The recording and posting of board meeting audio recordings was a very important step in allowing citizens of this community an insight into what transpires in village government. That being said, listening to the recordings is tedious given the length of the meetings. A further step should be made to stream and archive video recordings of meetings for residents to watch real-time or at their convenience as other villages do.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I have a passion for Barrington Hills, its unique character and the people who live here. The distinctiveness of our community, such as 5-acre zoning, sets our Village apart and we must retain this value as others around us gradually sprawl toward our borders. I have spoken on many occasions to friends and neighbors about their concerns for our Village and their desire to see us return to an environment that fosters positive relationships as opposed to one that actively pits neighbor against neighbor. I believe I can be a conduit to help heal past wounds, as well as avoid the pitfalls that brought us to this place. People in this community are struggling. The Village Board has a responsibility to its constituents to continually review the budget and to cut unnecessary spending. There are areas of the budget, such as legal fees, that can be trimmed without jeopardizing our unique character. Further, I believe in limited government, rather than seeking to institute ordinances and regulations, such as requiring contractors who may work on your home to be licensed and approved by the Village, that needlessly restrict the people who live here. As I stated before, I grew up in this Village. My heartfelt desire in running is to see this Village return to a place where the common civility between neighbors that I experienced growing up here, and was the principal reason my husband and I returned, is restored.
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