Michael Harrington

Demographics

Independent

55

Barrington Hills, Illinois

High School, Findlay High School

Bachelor's Degree, Business Administration, Miami University

Master's Degree, Business Administration - Finance, Ohio State University

President, Oak Ridge Investments

Married, Anne Pramaggiore

Jack

On the Record

What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?

I lived near the MacArthur Farm during the battle with an out of state developer over the disconnection and threatened dense development of this property. I know what is like to own a home that is directly threatened by aggressive developers and I know how important it is to have the support of your local government and your neighbors when you are doing battle with a resourceful developer. This experience provided me with a greater appreciation of the uniqueness of our village and how easily that uniqueness can be compromised by developers seeking to exploit our open space. Second, I have extensive financial background, including 28 years of professional financial management experience, and a MBA degree in finance. I am keenly interested in making sure the village manages its finances prudently and I believe my finance background and experience will be valuable to the village in this regard. I also have experience with pension plans, which can be helpful in the oversight of the village’s pension plans. Finally, I have served on the Planning Commission, which has provided me with experience relative to the Comprehensive Plan, development issues and familiarity with the village’s administrative staff and operations.

What are your top two or three priorities if elected?

Priority 1: Preservation of open space and the rural and equine character of the Village of Barrington Hills, consistent with the village’s comprehensive plan. Critical to accomplishing this objective is the protection and preservation of the village’s five acre zoning. Priority 2: Fiscal responsibility – Assuring that the village continues to live within its financial means and that the village’s finances remain fiscally sound. Priority 3: Improving communication with Village residents so that residents have a clear and accurate understanding of how the village is being managed. My observation is that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and myth regarding how the village is being run. The best solution is to get the facts out to the public so that they can be fully and accurately informed.

Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?

Generally I believe our taxes are too high and would prefer to see lower taxes at all levels of government. With that said, our village government provides essential services that people depend upon, such as police protection and road maintenance. As an elected official it will be my responsibility to make sure the village provides these essential services, at the desired level of quality, as efficiently as possible. This means constantly looking for ways to save money through greater efficiency and adopting appropriate technologies that allow the village to do more with less. Promising to freeze the tax levy until housing prices rebound is a worthwhile aspiration, and I certainly recognize the political appeal of this approach, but I believe it would be irresponsible and disingenuous to provide residents with an open ended promise to do so. This is because we do not know when property values will recover and to what degree. In the meantime, normal inflation and unforeseen events may increase operating costs. My approach is to always respect that the tax revenue comes from hard working residents and my responsibility as a trustee is to help manage the village’s financial affairs in the most responsible manner possible.

What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?

A prior administration failed to put in place a sufficient Comprehensive Plan document. The absence of such a plan ultimately created a legal opening for an out-of-state developer to disconnect the McArthur Farm property from the Village of Barrington Hills. This large property now has a greater potential of being densely developed in a way that is inconsistent with the open space and rural character of Barrington Hills. Fortunately, the current administration has been much more attuned to doing the things that are necessary to protect our borders and the open space and rural character of our village. One of the primary reasons I am seeking election is to make sure that we continue to be diligent in protecting our open space and the rural and equine character of our village and that we remain proactive in our approach.

What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?

Maintaining the existing tax levy and balancing the budget at a time when revenues were down while at the same time providing excellent police protection and continuing to manage our roads program.

Why should voters elect you to office?

1) I will work diligently to protect our open space and the rural and equine characteristics of our village. This is what makes our village unique, supports our property values and is the reason people choose to live here versus the many other choices in the Chicago area. 2) My extensive financial experience will be helpful to assuring that the village practices sound fiscal management. 2) I will take a fair and reasoned approach to village government and do my very best to use good judgment and creative problem solving to manage the village affairs. I also hope to utilize my relationship management and communication skills, as well as an approach based upon mutual respect, to help reduce the political tension that has been prevalent in the village in recent years.