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updated: 4/11/2012 9:00 AM

Milton Township votes down referendum questions

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  • Dan Bailey of Wheaton gives his opinion on the motion to dissolve the township during the Milton Township annual meeting Tuesday at the Wheaton Park District Community Center. Well over 250 people attended this function.

       Dan Bailey of Wheaton gives his opinion on the motion to dissolve the township during the Milton Township annual meeting Tuesday at the Wheaton Park District Community Center. Well over 250 people attended this function.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • More than 250 concerned residents attend the Milton Township annual meeting Tuesday at the Wheaton Park District Community Center.

       More than 250 concerned residents attend the Milton Township annual meeting Tuesday at the Wheaton Park District Community Center.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

Milton Township residents will not be voting in November on the future of their township or the township budget.

A vocal majority of the approximately 260 registered voters attending Tuesday night's annual township meeting soundly defeated resolutions to get two advisory questions on the November ballot: one asking whether the township budget should be slashed by 20 percent and one asking if the entire township should be dissolved.

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Supervisor Chris Heidorn, who previously called both questions poorly written and meaningless, said the vote validates the community's support for the services the township provides such as food pantries, doing road maintenance and offering services for seniors.

"(The vote) was about what we expected," he said. "Actually I enjoy having a crowd. Usually we don't draw this many people so it's nice to speak about township government and let people know what we're doing."

Those who spoke against placing the questions on the ballot said they believe the small percentage of their tax bill due to the township is a value for the services provided and urged those looking to dismantle the government or slash its budget to turn their attention to local school districts that consume larger portions of their tax bills.

"I paid $126 on my tax bill, and that's money well spent," said JoAnn Hill.

Paula McGowen, a Milton Township resident who circulated petitions to have two advisory questions reviewed during the township's meeting, said she was disappointed with the votes to keep the questions off the ballot but said she believes two things were accomplished.

"I'm glad it got people off their couches and into the meeting to talk about the issue," she said. "And secondly, it sends a message to the township officials that there are people out here who care about the township and are keeping an eye on them."

Neither of the questions would have been legally binding. But they could have been embarrassing for Milton Township, which has had some negative attention recently.

The township last month issued a written statement on its website after one of its employees was accused of doing campaign work on township time.

That complaint was dismissed by the township's ethics commission.

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