DuPage voters face bounty of ballot questions

Updated 3/8/2011 4:23 PM

Even though the deadline to file ballot questions isn't until Thursday, DuPage County election officials are pretty sure the list won't grow much longer in the coming days.

That's mainly because there are already a whopping 35 questions submitted, and the deadlines for approving those questions by local taxing bodies passed weeks ago.

While many of the ballot questions DuPage voters will be asked to answer Nov. 2 are nonbinding, there are several tax increase questions included as well.

The glut of the questions is due in large part to 16 communities asking their residents to weigh-in on public safety pension reform. The results are nonbinding. Voters in Addison, Bloomingdale, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Roselle, St. Charles, Warrenville, Wayne, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge are being polled about public safety pensions.

All Illinois voters will be asked whether the state constitution should be amended to include a gubernatorial recall vote.

The closest thing to a countywide vote is the College of DuPage's request to extend current taxing powers another 20 years in order to borrow $168 million for capital improvements on its Glen Ellyn campus. COD officials said if the measure fails the owner of a $300,000 house would see a savings of about $35 a year on their tax bill. With approval, taxes will remain roughly the same. The college's taxing powers extend to almost the entire county except for a sliver of the northwestern part, but it reaches into a small section of both Cook and Will counties as well.

Downers Grove and Naperville voters are being asked to set term limits for locally elected leaders. Naperville voters are also being asked about going to a ward system, while Downers Grove voters are also being asked if township government should be eliminated.

Villa Park voters are being asked to increase the sales tax a half-cent to generate funding for road improvement projects. Winfield officials are asking voters for permission to borrow $3.3 million to resurface dilapidated streets and for a property tax increase that will generate an additional $700,000 each year for road maintenance. Hinsdale voters will decide the fate of a proposal to institute a 1 percent retailer's occupation tax and service occupation tax.

Voters in the St. Charles Countryside Fire Protection District and St. Charles Public Library District are being asked to pay more in property taxes. The Clarendon Hills Park District also is seeking a property tax hike.

Medinah and West Chicago elementary school districts are looking for taxpayer assistance to renovate and expand current buildings. Medinah needs $8 million and West Chicago is asking voters to extend its current taxing powers for a $39 million project. West Chicago property owners would see a decrease on their tax bills starting in May 2011 if the measure fails. The Lemont-Bromberek School District is asking for a tax hike in order to borrow $8 million to pay for operations.

Unincorporated Naperville Township voters will decide whether to pursue a single garbage and recyclables hauling contract through the township. Currently, unincorporated residents or homeowners associations have to negotiate their own waste hauling deals. Township officials believe a consolidated deal would result in all unincorporated residents saving money. Township Supervisor Gary Vician said a committee made up of unincorporated residents would be responsible for securing the agreement and only if an overwhelming majority of voters approved the plan.

On your ballot

Questions posed to DuPage County voters on Nov. 2.

Clarendon Hills Park District: Property tax increase

College of DuPage: Property tax extension for capital improvements

Downers Grove: Term limits and eliminating township government (advisory)

Hinsdale: 1 percent retailers and service occupation tax

Lemont-Bromberek District 113A: Property tax increase for operational expenses

Medinah Elementary District 11: Property tax increase for building renovations

Naperville: Term limits and ward system

Naperville Township: Consolidated waste-hauling contract for all unincorporated residents

St. Charles Countryside Fire Protection: Property tax increase and decrease service (both advisory)

St. Charles Public Library District: Property tax increase and renovation borrowing

Villa Park: Half-cent sales tax increase

West Chicago Elementary District 33: Propety tax increase to repair and build middle school

Winfield: Property tax increase and road construction borrowing

Advisory public safety pension reform: Addison, Bloomingdale, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Roselle, St. Charles, Warrenville, Wayne, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge

Statewide: Gubernatorial recall

Source: DuPage Election Commission