Home Rule Repeal Meeting Set

Mark Charvat and Mac McIntyre will host an informational meeting on the Home Rule repeal effort Monday, April 7, 7 a.m. at the Lincoln Inn. They will not, however, buy you breakfast; you’re on your own with that. :-) If you are comfortable letting others know whether you will be there or be square, use the comments section for it.

While I’m at it, here’s the link to an article on last night’s meeting with Alds. Keller and Wogen. (And, here’s Mac’s article.) The Northern Star reported on a small but significant portion of a meeting that ran nearly 1-1/2 hours and in which 5 of the 6 civilian attendees spoke. There did not need to be 50 of us for all the cards to be placed on the table. I was grateful for the opportunity to have my say and hope these two and other members of the City Council will continue the regular, informal chats. Ongoing dialogue could get us beyond the demands-and-promises stage—but I’ll save those ideas for another day.

12 thoughts on “Home Rule Repeal Meeting Set”

  1. As much as I disagree with Mac, his reporting and that of Yinn’s are the best in town. Both pay sufficient attention to local issues so that they are able to report what happens in light of the broader political context.

    (Mac knows that I disagree with ending home rule and will work to preserve it, so at the end of the meeting I double checked with him that we are still able to work together on another important issue on which we are agreement (and in shared disagreement with city policy). He said, of course. That’s what local politics ought to be about. Fighting on issues not on personalities.)


  2. I now can’t find the comment about whether Alds. Wogen and Keller will find a 3rd alderman to put our suggestions on the Council agenda. So I’ll put my response here. My e-mail tells me YES indeedy, there is a 3rd!

  3. I plan to attend Monday’s meeting. However I need to be convinced that repealing the Home Rule is the right response here. I hate to give up our freedom from a disfunctional state government over this tax issue.

    My alderman told me today that Frank is going to establish a Budget Oversight Board again. Seems to me more citizen input is what is needed as well as more citizen oversight before we give up our Home Rule status.

  4. Herb, I sense that anytime repealing Home Rule comes up your response tends to always sound like the voters shouldn’t have a say. The feeling that I’m getting is that Mac and Mark would like to see it on the ballot just to give the voters of this community to have a say. I think many voters feel that they are not being represented well with todays council. Many voters seem to feel that the council knows what’s good for them and doesn’t need to have a public hearing.

    I caught in a blog somewhere, have read so many tonight, to Mark you said that your group of citizens finally got the mayor and council that you’ve wanted and that you are getting the services that this group has always wanted. You very much have shown that you are for increased taxes for more services. I on the other hand would like to have services that I can pay for. I would have preferred our mayor and council to at least make a decent and concerted effort to do some serious cutting and streamlining within city hall before creating new taxes. The new taxes should have been a last resort. I don’t know where one can find information dealing with records on city votes and tax increases but 20 days has got to be a record. Only done once again without any public input.

    Herb, this is what the beef is. NO public input! This is why it is being said that home rule was abused. I for one do not see the problem when it comes to putting it on the ballot. I’m not sure really today how I would vote but it sure will spark a great discussion and public education to what can and cannot be done with home rule. It would be great to hear from pro and con sides and also hear how home rule has been abused in the past years. I have a real problem when somebody thinks I’m too stupid to vote on a matter and that he or she knows better than me how it should be. This is what I get from our current administration along with many others in this community. I believe their battle cry is, Repeal Home Rule!

    I think it’s real fair to say that your group of tax and spenders didn’t see this coming, did they Herb?

  5. Ivan,
    I’ve basically answered you on mac’s site. I don’t disagree that the speed was wrong and that’s why I worked with others to change procedures for budgeting. As i posted there 37 out of 41 home rule repeal campaigns have failed. Far more cities have chosen home rule than were granted it by mandate. The major campaign issue on home rule is often taxes but I feel that is not the reason why many in the development community look for excuses to end up home rule. Home rule extends the regulatory power of the government; regulatory power that developers often oppose.

    As I said, get the signatures and put it on the ballot. If it were to pass, an ironic impact would be the strengthening of the no growth element in the community.

    Remember home rule allows the taxes that students pay. Without home rule far more of the tax burden of the city would be placed on the property tax.

    I think you are mis-reading me on the services. To the best of my knowledge we have the same services under Frank that we did under Bessie and Greg. What I was trying to tell Mark (and you) is that government sets up service packages and tax packages and tries to make them mesh. I’m arguing that if you want to cut back taxes you have an obligation to share with all of us what services you want to have cut back. To the best of my knowledge I haven’t pushed for an increase in city services, though probably would in one area, but not a very costly area.

    Remember, too, the current service package has dramatically cut back on capital projects funded under the general fund. We have already had service cutbacks.


  6. Thanks to Mac , Mark, and Gracie for organizing the meeting and to the dozen or so folks who showed up this morning. The French toast at the Lincoln Inn was first rate–have another meeting there and I probably will show up. :-)

  7. Kay… thanks for showing up. Twelve people signed the sheet. I thought it was a good discussion and I thought it good that Kris Povlsen sat in.

    Further informational meetings (open to the public) are scheduled as follows:

    Noon lunch meeting (buy your own lunch) at the House Cafe, downtown DeKalb, on Friday, April 11, 2008.

    Evening meeting 7PM, Thursday, April 17 at the Best Western Inn (1212 W Lincoln Hwy) in DeKalb.

    Organizational meetings will be held Tuesdays at noon, beginning April 9, at the DeKalb County Online office; 248 Palmer Court in DeKalb. (Brown bag lunch).

  8. I made a comment last evening after the vote to rescind the tax increase passed for a second time to an alderman that this vote probably sinched the repeal of home rule. That alderman said that he hoped not.

    There are many reasons why this community needs to have the home rule authority. It is one of those tools that can do a community much good when used properly but can also be very detrimental to a community when abused.

    The next few months is truly going to prove very interesting to say the least.

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