Date Issued: October 18, 2012
On November 6, 2012, Westmont residents will have the opportunity to vote to continue, or cease, Home Rule status for Westmont. During the past month, the Village of Westmont has made several community presentations.
“The Village has an obligation to remain neutral regarding the upcoming Home Rule referendum issue,” says Manager Ron Searl, “however, we also feel the obligation to make sure residents are provided with accurate information. Unfortunately, there have been several inaccurate statements made publicly and we feel the responsibility to address these comments and provide accuracy.”
All of the following statements are accurate:
HOME RULE DOES NOT CREATE AN ADDITIONAL LAYER OF GOVERNMENT
There has been misinformation reported that Home Rule creates an additional layer of government. This is not accurate. Home Rule is mechanism that allows municipalities to have more control over how they receive and spend tax revenue, opposed to having these decisions controlled by the State of Illinois.
THE MAIN GOAL OF THE MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING LICENSING PROGRAM
IS TO BETTER ENSURE SAFE HOUSING FOR RESIDENTS
There has been misinformation that the goal of the multi-family housing licensing program was to generate revenue for the Village of Westmont. This is not accurate. In its first few years of existence, this program has actually cost the Village money rather than earn money. However, the goal of the program was to provide tools for the Village to conduct thorough inspections of multi-unit residential buildings so to ensure safe housing for residents. This goal has been met and it would not have been possible without the tools provided through Home Rule status.
THE NUMBER OF VILLAGE EMPLOYEES HAS DECREASED
SINCE WESTMONT BECAME HOME RULE
There has been misinformation stating that revenues from Home Rule have gone towards staff salaries. This is not accurate. In fact, the Village now has fewer employees and pays less in salaries than when the Village obtained home-rule status.
HOME RULE STATUS DOES NOT SUPERSEDE
THE U.S. CONSTITUTION’S BILLS OF RIGHTS
There has been misinformation stating that Home Rule authority allows the Village to bypass the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Illinois Constitution, and Illinois State Laws. This is false. The Village is required to follow the United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution. In fact, Home Rule authority is provided for in the Illinois Constitution.
The Village of Westmont encourages residents to seek accurate information regarding Home Rule before voting on Nov. 6. The Village has prepared a Home Rule Information Page on the Village Website at www.westmont.illinois.gov/HomeRule. Additionally, the Village invites the community to attend one of the upcoming Home Rule Information Meetings:
Wednesday, October 24, 7:00 p.m., 2012
Maercker School, 5827 S. Cass
Saturday, November 3, 1:00 p.m., 2012
Westmont Public Library, 428 N. Cass
There will be a final presentation regarding home rule on November 5, 7:00 p.m. at the Village Board meeting at the Village Hall, 31 W. Quincy Street.
Contact: Larry McIntyre
Westmont Media Relations Coordinator