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Home Rule Information
The following page has been created by the Village of Westmont to pass on information regarding Home Rule to the citizens of Westmont.  This page has been created in a blog style so that new information will be dated and posted at the top of the page, and older information will then be placed lower on the page.  If you have any questions about Home Rule, please send your questions to .

2012-10-31 - Presentation Materials
WESTMONT HOME RULE COMMUNITY PRESENTATION MATERIALS
Published: Oct. 31, 2012

Over the past month, the Village of Westmont made several community presentations regarding information pertaining to Home Rule.The goal of these meetings was to provide factual information to voters regarding Home Rule. On Nov. 6, there will be a Westmont Home Rule referendum question on the General Election ballot.Following is the current version (as of Oct. 31, 2012) of the Village of Westmont Home Rule Community Presentation Materials.

2012-10-11 - 2012 Westmont State of the Village Presentation
2012 WESTMONT STATE OF THE VILLAGE PRESENTATION
ADDRESSES HOME RULE REFERENDUM

OnOct. 10, the Westmont State of the Village Presentation was held at the Westmont Jr. High School.The presentation featured a review of thepast year

as well as information on current and upcoming Villageactivities.Information regarding the upcoming Home Rule referendum waspresented during the event.

The presentation was recorded and isnow being playedback on Comcast (6) and
AT&T U-Verse (99)Government Channel.Toreview the current playback schedule, go to:

http://www.westmont.illinois.gov/index.aspx?NID=365

The presentation is also being featured on the Village of Westmont YouTube Channel, which can be found at:

http://www.westmont.illinois.gov/youtube

2012-09-10 - Home Rule Information Handout
The following information page was created by the Village of Westmont to answer basic questions regarding Home Rule.

Home Rule Information Handout

BALLOT QUESTION
  • On the General Election Ballot on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
  • Shall the Village of Westmont cease to be a home rule unit? Yes; No

INTRODUCTION

  • Non-Home Rule Governments can exercise only powers explicitly given to them by Illinois statutes/laws
  • Home Rule Governments can exercise any power appropriate to local government which is not denied to them by Statute. (1)

ADVANTAGES OF HOME RULE IN ILLINOIS
(2)
  • Local Voters have Greater Access to Decision-makers and therefore there is Greater Accountability.
  • Less Dependence on State Legislature
  • Less Subject to State Mandates
  • Broader Ability to Tax Non-Residents (daytime population) for programs and services provided by the Village of Westmont to non-residents (for example Gas Tax and Sales Tax- making the community less reliant upon property tax as a major source of revenue)
  • Ability to Use Hotel-Motel Tax for operational budget items (approximately $552,000 of revenue each year, for operational budget items rather than the specific purpose of promoting tourism)
  • Ability to Borrow Money at Lower Interest Rates
  • Broader Power to Impose Impact Fees to offset increased service demands
  • Greater flexibility to preserve Neighborhoods
  • Provides Protection for the Village of Westmont from Use of County Home Rule Powers
  • More Flexibility in Determining Local Form of Municipal Government
  • Ability to create new organizational arrangements
  • Broader, more flexible powers to deal with local problems

ARGUMENTS AGAINST HOME RULE IN ILLINOIS
  • Property Tax Caps Do Not Apply
  • Potential For Abuse of Broad Powers (3)

UNFOUNDED/INCORRECT ARGUMENT(S) AGAINST HOME RULE IN ILLINOIS
  • Authorizes communities to ignore the Bill of Rights (Unfounded)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF HOME RULE IS NOT CONTINUED?
  • If Home Rule is not continued, it is estimated that the Village of Westmont may lose over $2 million in revenue annually that is currently budgeted for general operating expenses, which includes Police, Fire, Public Works, and all Village Departments, programs and services.
  • If Home Rule is not continued, the Village of Westmont will be researching additional budget cuts which may reduce programs, services, and the necessary staff to provide these programs and services.
  • If Home Rule is not continued, the Village of Westmont will be researching additional ways to increase revenue.

SAFEGUARDS AGAINST HOME RULE POWER ABUSE
  • Voter defeat of elected officials
  • Voter rescission of home rule power (31 Rescission elections and Home Rule has been rejected in 4 cases. Home Rule has not been rescinded in any community in over 20 years.)
  • State Legislative Preemption
    • A simple majority of both legislative houses is needed to provide for exclusive state exercise of a particular power.
    • A three-fifths majority of both legislative houses is needed to deny home rule governments the right to use a particular power.
  • Judicial Review and Oversight
  • Constitutional Prohibition Against the Use of Certain Powers By Home Rule
    • Home Rule Units may not levy taxes on income, occupation, or earnings unless authorized to do so by the General Assembly
    • Home Rule Units are denied certain other powers (e.g. to levy bonds maturing in more than 40 years or to define acts as felonies)
  • The General Assembly can (and has) imposed certain obligations on all local governments, including home rule units (e.g. The Freedom of Information Act, The Open Meetings Act, Employee Right To Collective Bargaining)
  1. “Illinois Home Rule: Its Use and Experience.” Prepared for the Village of Plainfield by Dr. James M. Banovetz. Emeritus Professor & Senior Research Scholar. Center for Governmental Studies. Northern Illinois University. November 13, 2006.
  2. “Illinois Home Rule: Its Use and Experience.” Prepared for the Village of Plainfield by Dr. James M. Banovetz. EmeritusProfessor & Senior Research Scholar. Center for Governmental Studies. Northern Illinois University. November 13, 2006.
  3. “Illinois Home Rule: Its Use and Experience.” Prepared for the Village of Plainfield by Dr. James M. Banovetz. Emeritus Professor & Senior Research Scholar. Center for Governmental Studies. Northern Illinois University. November 13, 2006.


BIBLIOGRAPHY