The Daily Herald Editorial Board
3/5/2023 11:11 AM
This endorsement is a consensus opinion of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
In 2019, North Barrington voters selected Eleanor Sweet McDonnell as village president over a seasoned incumbent amid concerns about financing and local government operations.
Today, McDonnell is widely credited with setting a new tone for discipline and insight in the management of village finances, as well as for focusing attention on significant needs like controlling stormwater and maintaining local streets.
Coming into office on the heels of seven years of deficit spending, McDonnell has led the village to balance its budget three years in a row, producing surpluses that it can transfer into a Capital Improvement Plan that she emphasizes needs to be strengthened in order to meet the town's longterm needs. She has worked to modernize board meetings with an eye toward transparency and reached out to attract new voices and new ideas in local government.
McDonnell is challenged by Jay Murphy, a program manager for the U.S. Department of Transportation whose primary goal is to help North Barrington become more accommodating and appealing to the needs and interests of young families. He touts broad goals for developing walkways, trails and a dock at Honey Lake and enticing donations from businesses to help pay for them.
He offers an attractive vision for enhancing such community amenities, but it must be said that his ideas for bringing them to fruition often seem vague and naive. Similarly, he is quick to criticize some elements of village spending, but his complaints falter under the evidence of recent successes.
The president and CEO of a consulting firm on business development and leadership strategies and a longtime volunteer in the village, McDonnell brings a rich background of relevant experience to the race. She has a clear interest in advancing the vitality of North Barrington and responding to concerns of residents, and she has shown the determination, vigor and cooperative spirit to guide the village toward continued success.
She has earned a second term, and North Barrington will be the beneficiary if she wins it.