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posted: 11/3/2012 8:00 AM

Voters can decide to elect Fox River & Countryside trustees

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Taxpayers served by the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District have a chance Tuesday to decide to elect district trustees themselves in the future.

Citizens successfully placed a binding referendum on the ballot through a petition signed by more than 10 percent of the registered voters served by the district, the only way for such a question to get on the ballot.

The law prevents the current trustees from placing a referendum on the ballot about their own direct election.

"It is an odd law," said Ken Shepro, the district's attorney. "I guess someone supposed they'd never want to (be directly elected)."

Voting in favor of the question would allow residents to select the membership of the district's board of trustees for the first time.

The Kane County Board chairman now has the power to appoint the board members. Shepro said that process has been in place since the 1940s.

Shepro said the entire board of trustees would go up for election next year if voters approve the proposal.

After the election, the new trustees would then choose lots to determine the length of their terms.

The trustees would then also vote among themselves to determine the officers of the board, including the board president.

The law would then require the board to re-elect its officers every time a new member takes a seat on the board, Shepro said.

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