The following is a release from the :
The Village Board has set two community meetings to give residents the opportunity to learn more about home rule and how the Village proposes to use it. The meetings will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, both at . Voters will have the opportunity to vote whether Clarendon Hills should become a home rule municipality during the March 20 primary election.
Home rule grants municipalities additional flexibility to solve local problems, including flexibility with fees, taxes and procedural issues. In Illinois, municipalities with more than 25,000 people automatically receive home rule status while smaller municipalities can seek home rule through a referendum.
The Village Board plans to use home rule to maintain funding of the Village’s capital program, including the Village’s ongoing Road Improvement Program. Currently, the Village funds the road program with special service areas (SSAs). SSAs spread a portion of the cost of the construction among the property owners in that area. However the SSAs have additional legal and publication fees, and they can not be assessed to all properties in the Village for purposes of the road program.
The Village Board intends to use any home rule property tax increases to fund only capital expenditures, not to provide for growth in the Village’s operating expenditures. The Village will have available other revenues, such as a home rule sales tax, to ensure the Village has resources to sustain necessary community services provided for in the Village’s General Fund for years to come. Home rule status would also give the Village the added financial security to maintain core services in the event the State of Illinois reduces or eliminates its shared revenues to the Village, which it has threatened the last two years. In addition, the Village continues to pursue cost-savings measures and look for innovative and more efficient ways to do business, including a current discussion on merging police services with Hinsdale.
If the Village Board does not obtain home rule status, it would likely seek more drastic service and infrastructure maintenance reductions, as well as greater cost sharing with property owners via the SSA property tax program. Home rule offers revenue options beyond property tax increases, which would allow the Village to seek a lower property tax increase in the future than would otherwise be the case.
Residents can also learn more about home rule by checking the Village’s website, www.clarendonhills.us/homerule.cfm, and through the Village’s e-mail newsletter. You can also stay up to date on Village news through Facebook and Twitter (@VillageofCH).