Home Rule Question on the November Ballot?

Nary a Woodward or a Bernstein would dare to make my newest prediction:

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Electors of DeKalb Township will set a 20-year (at least) record for attendance.

That’s because at the April 10, 2012 meeting the following questions to be placed on the general election ballot to be held November 6, 2012 are on the agenda as action items.

  1. “Shall the City of DeKalb continue to operate as a City Manager form of government?”
  2. “Shall the City of DeKalb continue to be a Home Rule city?”
  3. “Should the DeKalb Public Library become a library district instead of a municipal library?”

If approved by the DeKalb Township Electors one or all three of the above questions will be on the November ballot as advisory referendums.

All Townships in the State of Illinois are required to hold an annual township meeting on the second Tuesday of April (60 ILCS 1/30-5). By law the majority of electors present at that meeting vote on action items on the agenda including the authorization to place questions of public policy on the ballot at the next regularly scheduled election in the Township.  The meeting must be conducted in accordance with 60 ILCS 1/30-15 of the Illinois Township code.

So who is an Elector of DeKalb Township? If you are a registered voter and resident of DeKalb Township then YOU are. That’s right. Township government is the purest form of democracy we the people have, even if it’s only once a year. One person. One vote. It don’t get much better. If the majority of Electors vote to put one or all three of the ballot questions on the agenda on the ballot then so shall it be. Questions of public policy can only be advisory.

The ballot questions were submitted by Mark Charvat a critic of high taxes and excess government spending.

“These topics [Home Rule, City Manager form of government, DeKalb Public Library] have been discussed and debated quite a bit in the public,” explained Charvat. “Why not provide our elected officials with a real sense of direction on how the voters really feel on these issues?”

Charvat said that he requested that the DeKalb Public Library question be included because Mayor Kris Povlsen suggested it at a city council meeting.

The DeKalb Township Board of Trustees approved the requested advisory ballot questions as agenda items at its March meeting. Notice of the meeting and the agenda including the ballot questions were posted to the DeKalb Township website.

DeKalb Township has no jurisdiction over the City of DeKalb. Neither does an advisory referendum. But most of the voters living within the Township borders are also residents within the City of DeKalb. This initiative provides the vehicle for a large number of voters participating in the November 12 Presidential Elections to give direction to the Mayor and City Council members elected to represent them.

Most importantly it will put the issues of Home Rule, the City Manager form of government and the DeKalb Public Library as a component or stand alone unit of government into full public discourse. The citizenry will become better informed. It’s all good!

Good job, Charvat!

Editor’s Note: I had nothing to do with this but that does not make it any less enjoyable.

About Mac McIntyre

Mac McIntyre has more than 30 years experience in the multi-media industry working as a freelance writer, graphic designer, broadcast and television production and publisher/editor. He has been designing and maintaining websites, including this one, since 1997.
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