Naperville voters want at-large representation
Naperville voters will continue to elect their city council members in an at-large system, at least until the next election.
With 100 percent of DuPage and Will precincts unofficially reporting, 9,622 voters supported a referendum proposal to elect council members at large while 4,681 wanted to elect at least some members by district.
Tuesday's vote overturned a 2010 referendum proposal in which more than 28,000 residents voted to establish a ward-based system by 2015. The city currently elects all its council members at large.
In August a group of influential Naperville residents, led by former Naperville Unit District 203 school board President Dean Reschke and attorney Rebecca Obarski, formed Yes! At Large, a group focused on overturning the 2010 election results.
"The best thing about this passing tonight is the affirmation that Napervillians really want their elected officials to look out for the whole town. It's clear that a unified Naperville makes more sense to folks," Reschke said Tuesday. "Electing our officials at large just eliminates the potential for any conflicts. Once our residents got to really study the issue and kick it around, it all made sense to them."
The group said Naperville residents should have "had more conversation about what it will mean to divide our city" before the issue was put to a vote in 2010.
Since being placed on the ballot, the question has outlasted a bevy of legal attempts to have it removed.
Resident Paul Sjordal filed the objection to the question, calling it "excessively vague and misleading." But the question withstood rulings by the Naperville Electoral Board, the DuPage circuit court and an appellate court.
In September, the city council approved the creation of five equal and contiguous districts that were to go into effect in 2015. Those maps are now void.
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