Journal Standard:

Census officials expect preliminary local results from the 2010 Census to surface in February or March of 2011. In Freeport, these results could push the population below a crucial threshold that determines whether the city qualifies as an automatic home-rule municipality.

Freeport Corporation Counsel Sarah Griffin confirmed Thursday that the impending census results could trigger questions about the status of home rule.

“If the numbers come in below 25,000 then the city clerk is required to certify a question on home rule for the next election ballot,” Griffin said.

The population of Freeport was counted at 26,443 during the 2000 census.

Update 1 p.m.: Freeport rejected the adoption of a city manager form of government for the second time November 2.