Home Rule in DeKalb…County

Here’s another one for the “better late than never” file: Some candidates for the DeKalb County Board want Home Rule for the county.

We’ve discussed the flaw in Home Rule law as practiced in Illinois previously. Since posting it I’ve had six more months to consider the workings of government and, meeting by meeting, have become ever more convinced (and dismayed) that the people in charge are not the ones we elected.

IMO it’s been a case of informational asymmetry (knowledge is power) combined with bureaucratic careerism, manipulation, and electees’ neglect of traditional housecleaning duties with the turnovers of regimes. But, however it might have happened, clearly power has become concentrated in the hands of administrators—people the voters can’t get rid of after four years—and this is true at the county level, too. Do we want to place Home Rule powers in those hands?

The idea also smacks of an end run around the voters on the jail question. The voters said “no,” twice now, to a sales tax for a new jail but with Home Rule, the County could impose it anyway. It’s undemocratic, and I’m furious.

I know which of my County Board candidates supports Home Rule for DeKalb County and which one does not. Do you? It may be the most important question you can ask of them this election cycle.

Another post on home rule is here.

45 thoughts on “Home Rule in DeKalb…County”

  1. yinn… If I remember correctly the County tried to pass Home Rule as a referendum and failed big time. I did a candidates survey and one of the rating questions was “Illinois Home Rule Should Be Reformed or Repealed.” Candidates overwhelmingly agreed with that statement, 50% strongly agreed. Only one candidate strongly disagreed. We certainly do not want Home Rule as it now stands anywhere near the Gatheratorium.

    I do believe it would require a referendum for the County to get Home Rule. A county with a population of more than 100,000 with AN ELECTED chief executive is the minimum requirement for “automatic” Home Rule designation.

    Which brings up an interesting, “lawyer up” type question. If the law for Home Rule Automation requires population and an elected CEO, how does communities like DeKalb have Home Rule with a City Manager ran government?

    HOME RULE = DEBT

  2. Home rule = independence of local decision making, ability to negotiate with developers, flexibility in times of need, even the ability to build a police station

    home rule is automatic unless voted out for all cities with a population above 25,000. Rules are different for counties, as an artifact of some previous Cook County DuPage County political mysteries.

    We have a council manager form of government. You know that Mac. I think you are a bit peeved as council seems to side more with what staff suggests than what you suggest but that doesn’t change the form of government.

    End of home rule means reduction in services and the deterioration of the city.

    Fight the policies with which you disagree, get people with whom you agree in office, but leave the structure alone that allows local citizens discretion in what they want their city to do or not to do.

    Much more after the November elections are over.

    Herb

    Herb

  3. “End of home rule means reduction in services and the deterioration of the city.”

    Herb a sweeping statement like that is fear mongering, pure and simple. I certainly hope most thinking folks can see through that. I trust that the people of our community would vote for the services we really need.

    The fact that having the discussion about ending Home Rule in DeKalb is gaining momentum means to me, that we have lost trust in the people who are abusing that ‘independence of local decision making’. And also, that whomever we do vote in, quickly becomes just another abuser.

  4. I’ve been watching from afar and letting a lot of things go (I keep wanting to apologize for supporting Dr. Briscoe as superintendent and voting for Mike Verbic). But I thought Dr. Rubin’s comments were a cheap shot at the good Mr. McIntyre. He reduces Mac’s comments to a sense of sore-loser thoughts. I think fear of losing home rule is burning at Dr. Rubin’s behind. I’ll hold your coat anytime, Mac, even if I have to drive back to do so.

    Since DeKalb isn’t all that far from Chicago, I wonder if, using Chicago/Cook County voting rules, if I could come back and vote for ending home rule. Best regards to friends and those with whom I agreed with.

    Paul Greenlee

  5. I never mean disrespect to mac as we have disagreed and agreed over the years with mutual respect. But Mac (and I, of course) have differences in what we think are the appropriate scope of government and that does come out in some exchanges. For instance, many bills that Mac had opposed in the past (and I as a citizen with no more nor less rights than Mac) supported were passed — including the impact fee, anti-smoking etc. These are truly controversial bills but also received large citizen support and were not simply staff manipulation as implied.

    Given that some who might not be involved day in day out in local government read the blogs, I felt that Mac’s comments that implied that the Manager was in charge (legally) were distortionary and needed comment.

    There is constant balance needed between manager and council and mayor but legally manager is only an employee who can be fired.

    Gracie be fair, the anti-home rule people who equate end of home rule only with the reduction in taxes (that might or might occur) without talking about other implications are equally slanted on the other side. Slant is fine as that is what politics is about but slant does occur on both sides, as a reduction in city income will have some implications for services as has been seen in Rockford.

    Paul have you left town?

    Herb

  6. If the manager is not the chief executive under the manager-council form of government, who is?

    How many people could put us in the hole for $1.5 million and keep his job, much less talk Council into tax hikes, get a raise and expect praise for revealing a $500,000 slush fund?

    If there had been a referendum on tax hikes for raises this year, which side would have won?

    We know who’s in charge, Herb.

  7. many bills that Mac had opposed in the past (and I as a citizen with no more nor less rights than Mac) supported were passed — including the impact fee, anti-smoking etc.

    I supported the smoking ban as longtime CityBarbs readers will remember. I thought the city had more important things, like their budget, to expend more energy into than the race to beat the State legislation.

    I felt that Mac’s comments that implied that the Manager was in charge (legally) were distortionary

    Actually my point was that the City Manager is not an elected CEO.

    Rules are different for counties, as an artifact of some previous Cook County DuPage County political mysteries.

    No mystery. Cook County has an elected CEO, DuPage does not.

    leave the structure alone that allows local citizens discretion in what they want their city to do or not to do.

    Home Rule is the very cancer, I mean structure, that removes local citizens discretion. Referendum grants ultimate discretion. That puts decision making in the hands of the People.

  8. Internet Research Commando Alert! ::: Where in the Illinois Open Meetings Act does it cover “pre Session?” I can’t find it. I’ve found public session. I’ve found closed session. I can’t find pre session.

  9. The census bureau already estimates since 2006 that the county is over 100,000. The 2010 census will make that official. So it would seem to me that after that, the county board can just create an elected position for the “county administrator” and once that person is elected in the next election then home rule powers will follow. No referendum required (from what I can tell). So if you want to stop this, the clock is ticking.

  10. Mac,
    Don’t beat up someone because I was searching for a word and might have chosen a wrong word. Sorry.

    No school board members were at the architect’s presentation of the video, just us volunteers.

    I have no idea how the meeting came about, just received an e-mail from the volunteers list that it was going to be held and decided it would be informative to see the video.

    It was similar to the types of meetings that developers and builders will often have with neighbors. A show and tell with no public officials there.

    Hope this helps

    Oh, most frequent comment made (and it wasn’t a q and a session) by the volunteers was the hope that certain features would be paid for privately.

    Sorry if I misconstrued your comment. Looked like you were saying that we had a manager form of government and I don’t think that such a structure exists in Illinois.

    Incidentally, I think we are all in agreement that council needs to assert more control over staff but that does not speak to the form of government. I worked hard (and unsuccessfully) to bring that about in trying to curtail Bill Nicklas’ power in DeKalb (I think the world of Bill but thought he was moving for too much growth in the city).

    Herb

    Herb

  11. So long as the county enforces the no development except attached to municipality rule, I can’t see why the county would need home rule powers as it should be dealing with an ever shrinking population that is being primarily serviced by the municipalities. .

    Home rule is vital (IMHO) in general purpose local government (will go into that after the election) but when counties are mainly back up agencies I too wonder if they need home rule powers.

    Still thinking about the county and home rule issue but inclined to be opposed but can be persuaded

    Herb

  12. VOTERS: Please be aware that PAT VARY who is running for re-election on the County Board has told me, personally, that she is in FAVOR of Home Rule and another JAIL TAX!
    (Herb’s candidate)

    Her opponent, Cliff Seldal, is staunchly AGAINST Home Rule and against another Jail tax referendum.

    We cannot afford another term of Pat Vary on the County Board…She is BAD for TAXPAYERS! Please spread the word.

    CLIFF SELDAL is getting my vote!

  13. Pat’s main work has been in helping the environment and promoting green policy. Her second interest has been in pushing for economic development that goes beyond warehouses.

    Mark seems to fixate on one and only one issue.

    Herb

  14. Anon: Glad to have your information.

    Herb: I agree that Pat Vary has done a lot of good work. However, I also respect that budget issues may loom large for many people. If the jail were that important to the Board, it would have begun the jail fund much sooner, and they would be putting more into that fund and less into raises. The county, like the city, is looking for new revenue streams at a time when we cannot afford it and for the most part it’s refusing to re-prioritize.

    Moreover, if the County is rubbing its hands together at the thought of gaining Home Rule in order to impose additional taxation for the jail AFTER THE VOTERS SAID NO, it constitutes a betrayal of our trust. In my book, that’s BIG, and the positions of all current Board members should be made known.

  15. Fact: The County Board HAS THE MONEY FOR THE JAIL if they truly wish to have one. There is plenty of money and the board is just covering their six to create another revenue stream with a jail tax.

    Congrats to Pat and her work on going green. However, I cannot support anyone who wants more taxes and approved raising the property values 3% to cover the losses projected for next year.

    Cliff Seldal will work for the blue collar homeowner and he’ll tell you like it is.

    Recent numbers are showing a mass evacuation of illegals from this country. Estimated to be at 11% right now. I would have to think that is also happening in DeKalb and the county.

    Herb just as you are crying that services will lack and that the city will deteriate those opposed to home rule simply just have to tell everyone that they will save on taxes and have more control over what government does. I’m not hearing that from them but am hearing your cry from many in that group. NIU is watching this with a careful eye because it is one of their own who basically gave birth to home rule, Dr. James Banovetz.

    Independence for the city to make decisions. Unfortunately Herb, the way I see it, those who elected this last bunch haven’t gotten it much better than the group before. I think many are feeling that whoever is elected to not have the tools to really represent the overally feelings and desires of this community which right now is to be conservative with its spending and to lower the taxes as much as possible, not to increase them. The voters wish to have the control again and this is very possible be voting out the home rule. It is the voters way to telling the manager and council that we do know what we want and you’ve had your chance. No more.

    This is how I see the home rule issue going right now and I understand your stance fully but DeKalb has no one in the decision making ranks right now that respects the home rule authority and what it CAN do for this community. They’ve ABUSED it.

    As for accusing Mark about being fixated Herb, your not in your own way?

  16. BY THE WAY, AS ANYONE OUT THERE SEEN ANY OF THE STIMULUS, BAIL OUT OR RESCUE MONEY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS GIVING OUT?

    I’M JUST WONDERING. HAVEN’T SEEN ANY OF IT YET. MAYBE THE TREASURY IS STILL PRINTING IT. JUST LOOKING.

    IF YOU FIND ANY OF IT AROUND THE COMMUNITY OR ANY OF OUR LOCAL BANKS, LET ME KNOW PLEASE.

    IVAN

  17. (sorry if dup, my internet crashed)

    Information needed: . Won’t there have to be a referendum to change the structure of the county government by having the board chair elected by the public? If so we are a long way from changing form of government in the county to home rule.

    (And, I know I posted somewhere that I’m not enamored for home rule for the county.)

    And, on other blogs people have attacked Pat for supporting diversion programs that reduce the need for a new jail.

    The county is responsible for public safety issues and social service issues with much of the demand created by other bodies no matter what the county does. County social service, public health stuff seems to do wonders with few resources. Best outfit is the forest preserve people who turn an acorn into a preserve in an incredibly efficient matter.

    On blogs dealing with crime and potential crime I read people crying out for blood (or at least jailing for everything.) Then on blogs on expenses people don’t want to pay for the very jailing that is called for. That’s why folk like Pat (and myself) encourage diversion programs and experimentation with such programs to see which work and which don’t.

    Yinn, I don’t disagree at all with the need for all governments to set up sinking/ reserve funds for anticipated capital projects. Before your time in the public eye, I joined with Kapitan to push the city in that direction and as often is the case failed but at least tried.

    Problem in setting capital fund set asides is two fold (remember I support them so am showing why they are difficult to bring about/) People who want low government expenditures see the pile of money in the capital set asides d see voila if the public body can put this aside they can lower taxes now (and then complain when bonding is needed later on). And, when politicians in successor councils see the capital fund say for a police station they often ‘forget’ its intended purpose and treat the capital funds as a sort of slush fund for their projects. As a result every one distrusts the capital set asides.

    In public budgeting there is something called (I believe, this is an old memory) a ‘lock box.’. that is set up to make sure ‘saved’ money goes to the project for which it is intended. I don’t know if/how such ‘lock boxes’ can be set up in local government, but they are needed to save for capital projects.

    Herb

  18. I voted early so I feel I can “move on” to the Home Rule Issue. ( hint on how I voted)

    I have followed all the posts and even gone back and read some of the earlier information. I am having trouble trying to connect a few of the issues. Maybe others can help me.

    One of the main reasons I have found that people want to revoke home rule was ” that when given the chance the elected people decided to riases several taxes instead of cutting the services or the budget that the citizens demanded”.

    Therefore because those elected made bad decision we now will revoke home rule. What I a having a hard time connecting is how will revoking home rule improve their decision making?

    Look at all the issues that are not ” financial” or deal with dollars and cents. Zoning issues, Smoking bans, landlord issues liquor ordinances or any other itme you can think of. How will revoking home improve the decision making process on those issues.

    Although at times we are all disappointed I still think we need to contentrate on those that we elect rather than what tools we give them once elected.

    Most of the people that post on this site are good people with good ideas albeit some very differant views. Lots of time and eforts have gone into all of the causes each of us represent. Some are good some not so good depending on your point of view.

    I really think that there is an opportunity to really make a differance in the next few years that will drastically improve how this city operates and it has nothing to do with revoking home rule.

    One that will once again be pointed out in the April 7, 2009 elections.

    Anyone care to hear what that issue is?

  19. I believe Herb is right regarding Home Rule at the County level. I don’t see how it could be automatically gained through population. Therefore it would require a referendum to either a) approve Home Rule or b) elect a County Administrator (which would be recognized as a precursor). I’d give the Cubs a better chance of winning a world series game than the County getting that passed.

    But I am on the same page as Ivan regarding the Jail. The County could have built it without tax increases but have chosen other things to spend revenue streams on. The windfall sales tax stream they received from the tax sharing deal they cut with the City of DeKalb on the County Farm property (facilitated by Home Rule, by the way) could have been earmarked or lock boxed for capital improvements including the jail instead of the operational rainy day fund that is so commonly abused in local government. The County could do the same with the MINIMUM $800,000 per year they will receive from the Prairie Band Potawatomi should the Class III casino become reality.

    But in light of the academic laziness and intellectual dishonesty that has permeated, circled and controlled local government since 1970 I’d give the Cubs better odds of winning two games in the World Series than I’d give taxpayers getting fiscal responsibility out of local governments.

  20. Uh, oh… I think I impersonated Gracie because I used her laptop. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with cross dressing I must point out she is much prettier, superior in intelligence and may or may not agree with the above post.

  21. To speak only for myself, IF repealing Home Rule in DeKalb ended up being a good idea (I have not made a final decision on it when it comes to the city, only support the obviously reasonableness of putting the question on the ballot) it would not be because it would improve decision-making but because the decision-making is so bad we need to apply some brakes.

    The repeal of Home Rule would be a judgment on Home Rule itself and/or on the structure of our city government and/or on the caliber of people we’ve been putting into office. Probably it’s a mix of all three.

    Stop being a tease, Pevo, & let us have it.

    And Herb: Re: slush funds. If a trommel costs $40,000-$100,000 then anything above that figure is slush. And if no one mentions said fund at the first peep of oh-my-goodness-budget-crisis-future-looks-bleak but instead waits until a critical moment at the budget hearings, it’s either slush or a measurement of competence.

  22. What Mac in Gracie’s clothing said about the County Home property also goes for the sweet deal the County gained through sales taxes on the airline fuel. The County doubled its sales tax take from $2 million to $4 million per year since ’03-’04.

    If they had thouht to put aside that relatively sudden gain, we’d be building something by now. Instead, it went into the County’s version of the Black Hole with one hand, the other kept out for more from us.

  23. We’re all in agreement on the need to set aside protected funds for future capital expenditures.

    The budget line for the police station etc. that the council just passed is a tiny step in that direction. However, only a tiny step since budget lines can be changed at council will and that is not enough ptrotection.

    We need the public equivalent of our IRAS (without the market risk). We put money into IRAs and if we use them on anything other than retirement it really costs us. We need an analogous budgeting mechanism for capital expenditures i.e. this money is only for the police, fire, jail, library, public health facility and if you touch it for anything else (and what is the credible threat here?) then….

    At the state level I’m watching set aside funds being ‘stolen’ by the governor for general revenue purposes, funds that I thought really were protected for special uses (in this case affordable housing).

    Any ideas, suggestions: for ‘saving money for infranstructure’ without it being used either for tax cuts, salaries, or for spur of the moment projects.

    In theory ‘funds’ are supposed to provide the protection, but that is very much only in theory.

    Oh, Yinn, your example is in agreement with what I’m arguing on the vulnerability of ‘saved’ money. How do we prevent the money for a future police station (or whatever) being treated like the trommel money.

    off to give an academic lecture on local government, no kidding.

    Herb

  24. I AM MAD AS HELL THAT THE COUNTY BOARD PASSED OUT RAISES TO PEOPLE IN AMOUNTS THAT EXCEED MY ANNUAL SALARY.

    NOW, SOME OF THEM UP FOR RE-ELECTION ARE CRYING ABOUT HOW THEY WANT TO CUT TAXES. DO THEY THINK WE HAVE NO MEMORY????

    CUTTING SPENDING DOES ********NOT******* HAVE TO EQUAL CUTTING SERVICES. REPEATING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE.

    For Herb–nice red herring about Pat Vary on diversions and preventive/alternative, etc. versions instead of sending all the kids to jail. Not everyone here is a moron like some of the Chronicle bloggers and are not easily distracted. We can think programs like those for bad kids are a good idea, good for the bad kids, and good for the taxpayers yet she is not willing to make the now very wealthy county administrators work harder by having a zero-based budget. What I am hearing from these people in office is they want the easy route, just slash every department’s operating budget by 10%. NO! Set priorities!!!!! Figure out what works and change (or dump) what doesn’t work. Yes, that takes time but make that county administrator EARN HIS PAY RAISE!!!!!!

    The idea that people are in those jobs to SERVE THE PEOPLE got lost. The challenger to Josh got criticized for offering not to take a pay raise as a political stunt. No, Josh got a bigger pay raise than what many people around here make. Sorry, how are all the big box and warehouse employees supposed to support out of their taxes people whose pay raises alone were more than what they make?

    Someone who knows please confirm the rumor that I heard about the county’s practice which is supposed to preserve farmland but it went ary. Instead, based on what I heard, the county won’t allow an individual to buy a couple of acres, put in a house, a huge garden, horse farm, etc. but instead a developer can buy a sizable piece of land and then divide it into lots of houses. That is not green at all.

  25. My understanding with the county on the land issue is that they don’t wish to be responsible for any subdivisions. All new subdivisions must be annexed to a up and running community.

    You still can put a home on a 40 acre plus site and some smaller farmette lots are still grandfathered for construction. An older farmette can still be purchased and a new home built but there are stipulations to how to go about this and every decision to purchase a lot in the county limits should be explored with the county.

    Do not buy a lot that you can’t do a thing with!

    As for land available in DeKalb County, still over 92% of the land is undeveloped.

  26. “We’re all in agreement on the need to set aside protected funds for future capital expenditures.”

    It depends on your definition of what funds are to be set aside.. Annexation fees, impoact fees develpoment fees can be set aside but I cannot see how government can “tax” people for what may be needed in the future. You can tax for current needs but how cojuld you ever tell people we are taxing for more than we need because we may need it in the future.

    Pevo

  27. Yinn “Stop being a tease, Pevo, & let us have it.”

    In the next two years the council will “redistrict” the seven wards throughout the city. Several years ago these wards were gerrymandered in order to give NIU students representation on the council.

    I am wondering if it is really a good idea for students, who get as few as a couple dozen votes in their ward, to carry this much power over City business.

    I am wondering if we wouldn’t be better off to return to the days when the city residents ran the town and NIU students ran the student senate.

    I wil offer more details later, of course, but a prize to the first person who can name the last 5 alderpersons from the 7th ward. And if you can how many still live in DeKalb.

    It appears they can come to DeKalb to attend NIU, be the deciding vote on policies for years to come, then move away as quickly as they arrived.

    More later ( with specific examples)

    Pevo

    (P.S. I sure wish this site had ” spell check”)

  28. Dr. Rubin:

    Yes, we were taxed out of DeKalb County. Between my commute to Hoffman Estates at $4/gallon and the taxes that were voted on, passed, inherited and have come into being every which way, we made a financial decision. We have moved to Crystal Lake. By this time next year, because of the increased adverse impact of the Beillfuss/Verbic/Rubin/McIntyre (;-)) school referendum, our taxes here at worst will be equal to DeKalb County taxes.

    I also remember during a heated mayoral election, a retired NIU sociology professor called me regarding a letter I had written in the Chronicle. He told me that commuters and commuting families such as myself added nothing to DeKalb. I’ve remembered that and found a community that has embraced us (although I think I’m going to be at Council soon complaining about them not purchasing enough highway salt).

    So after 10 years of contributing nothing to DeKalb, we did move. I do miss the affiliations, discussions and emails with and of yinn, Mac, Gracie and Ivan. But 10 years somewhere, I still feel a great concern over what situation we left behind. I’m still apologizing for Dr. Briscoe and voting for Mike Verbic.

    FWIW, though, if I were there, I’d vote to repeal home rule. I think things are sufficiently bad in DeKalb that it will take an extreme action to get control of the government, instead of the government controlling the community.

  29. Hey Ivan, I have farmers in my family and my deceased grandfather owned a grain elevator. Farm land is developed, just not with lots of buildings.

    We (nor cattle) can eat buildings.

    ;-)

  30. Ed,

    I can get two alderman and one person who campaigned but lost.

    Alderman for Ward 7:

    Jordan Kagen, does not live here, left as soon as his term was up (early to mid 1990s). I believe

    The guy who beat the former Mason Properties employee Robbie Arrington–no, I cannot remember that guy’s name, just that he was an NIU student, then moved to an apartment (mid to late 1990s).

    Karega Harris, I believe he does not live here (early 2000s)

  31. I confronted PAT VARY on the extreme amount of PORK in the Proposed 2009 County Budget (it’s posted on-line…quite a fun read). I am appalled by the number of requests for New FULL TIME Positions being proposed. Upon confrontation, I asked PAT if she would be willing to kill these new positions, She would not commit to doing that.

    I also confronted her on the County Administrator salary “arm-twisting” that recently went on. I asked her if she supported this salary INCREASE, and she did! PAT VARY is WRONG for the TAXPAYERS of this community.

    I have no choice but to conclude that Pat Vary will continue her tax and spend ways if she is re-elected to the County Board.

    Cliff Seldal, on the other hand, was very supportive of keeping spending in line and not succumbing to the strong-armed tactics employed by the County Administrator to obtain his HUGE Raise.

    Cliff will fight for the taxpayers! VOTE CLIFF SELDAL!

  32. Yep. Ooops. My bad on getting Harris and Barr mixed up. Harris looked younger than Barr; I thought Harris was the student.

    I still cannot remember the guy’s name who beat Arrington, which is also bad because he used to live down the hall from me at the apartment complex. That guy was supposed to be some sort of lower apartment manager yet did nothing when one of our neighbors cut himself and got blood smeared all over the walls up and down the hallways when he ran in a panic looking for help. The blood was there on the walls for two days.

    I moved to a different apartment complex after that.

    I cannot imagine that Mr. Do Nothing About the Blood made an effective alderman.

  33. I was told by a council member that a committee originally formed to redistrict wards was pulled off of that task to work on diffusing the repeal home rule movement. I find it interesting that a common argument against repealing home rule is to elect better leaders instead of changing the system, yet, they support changing ward boundaries.

    Adding spice to the soup: I think Brent Keller is one of our better aldermen.

    Question: Which has been abused more, student representation or home rule?

  34. Mr. Keller is showing all the signs of getting it. He must come here. ;>)

    Seriously, he’s made some good statements and votes lately–thinking for himself, seems like–and we should all tell him so.

  35. Mac

    It is difficult to compress my ideas to a few words on a blog but this is the point I am trying to make. ( I am pretty sure you and others can fill in the blanks)

    DeKalb presently has 7 wards and the number of people voting in each ward varries drastically. These are the total votes cast in each of the last alderman elections.

    Ward
    1/ 158
    2/ 1757
    3/ 854
    4/ 1214
    5/ 629
    6/ 331
    7/ 57

    I understand all the arguements about the wards being divided my the number of elligble voters and not just those that vote but I really question why the 7th ward can have so much of an impact on city business compared to the other wards in town

    CASE IN POINT

    Put aside weather or not anyone agrees with the decision to build a new police station but look at how it is proposed to be funded. As I followed the votes the 7th ward alderman does see the need for the police station but does not want to fund this in any way other than straight property taxes to the DeKalb Homeowner. No sales tax, user fees or anything else just a straighrt property tax.

    In reality I cannot disagree with him because he really represents the students who do not own any property. He is voting to protect the students of his ward from paying any additonal taxes for this faciltiy weather it be sales, R&B or other taxes that would affect the students.

    But I think we all agree that the students do impact city services and should pay something for this building and other budget items.

    I am not even sure if things like electing the alderman ” at large” instead of from wards are legal. I just think the issue needs to be looked at.

    As to the five alderman question. If the police facility project does go forward it is a decision that will effect the city for the next twenty years ( the lenght of the “mortgage”). Shouldn’t that decision be made be residents of the city and not someone who comes from a ward that historically votes and leaves town as ssoon as the graduate.

    I realize this may take more explaining but I think you may get my point.

    P. S. Not asking that you agree with it just asking if you understand it.

    Pevo (operating w/o spell check)

  36. PETITIONS AVAILABLE

    Petions are avaialbe for the April 2009 City Elections for city alderman. I encourage anyone interested to run for office. In the DeKalb’s Second ward your will need to obtain at least 88 signatures of registered voters in the Ward to have you name placed on the ballot.

    In 2011 people who wish to run in the City’s 7th ward will need to obatin the signaturs of 3 (YES THREE) People to have their name placed on the ballot.

  37. This community should go back to having 6 wards and one alderman at large. That alderman would have to truly represent the entire community and would have to work harder in order to get elected.

    DeKalb should never have left this set up. During redistricting, they could get good mixes of local and NIU neighborhoods blended and then have an at large. The at large is elected every 2 years. This gives the community to definitely change the influences of the council if they so choose to.

  38. I like the idea of having at-large aldermen but as one of the very smart people I surround myself with has pointed out, the at-larges would have to get as many signatures as the mayor and campaign like the mayoral candidates do. Unless they operated under different rules but how would we make that fair? Does anybody remember how it worked when we last had at-larges?

  39. How about web wizards checking state codes that link population with city districting. I’m having real computer trouble with main machine so am not wanting on my under powered laptop to try to do anything fancy.

    Memory is that codes are quite specific for cities over 50 k allowing for the mixed at large and ward system, then a whole religion is required to set up wards in a different way.

    I know Frank v.b was a stronger advocate of investigating redistricting and his passing probably slowed the whole matter.

    herb
    who can barely see the print on this machine

  40. You are correct Yinn. When my father won that seat back a few years ago, he did do a tremendous amount of walking and knocking on doors. That’s what make this alderman’s position such an important one. He/she would have to really be in tune with the DeKalb voter in order to get reelected. No cakewalk as you have seen in Wards 1, 6 and 7. It is a whole different approach and type of candidate that runs for this position.

    A good at large alderman would find it easier to be reelected if he/she were doing right by the taxpayer.

  41. Sam Bandy, candidate for County Board, and previous County Board member is not in favor of home rule.

    I will not be forgiving the current County Board for passing out pay raises that exceed my annual salary anytime soon.

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