Voters Approve Binding Referendum to Create District System in Naperville

City of Naperville
Updated 11/8/2010 3:09 PM

City Asking Court to Allow Referendum to Go into Effect with 2015 Municipal Election

On November 2, 2010, voters approved a binding public referendum question on the general ballot that establishes districts within the City of Naperville. Because a majority of Naperville residents voted to approve this referendum, by law, the city will now be divided into five compact and contiguous geographic districts with approximately equal population.

The law that allowed this question to be placed on the general election ballot requires it to become effective with the next mayoral election in April 2011. Election law is governed by the State of Illinois, which establishes election dates, petition forms, ballots and deadlines for the election process. For the April 2011 municipal election, candidates are required by state law to collect signatures on petitions for 90 days and deliver these documents to the City Clerk's office from November 15 - 22, 2010.

Because of the state-imposed deadline for receiving candidate petitions, the city has determined it cannot make this referendum effective for the April 2011 municipal election. The city has filed a judgment asking the courts to rule on the timing of this referendum and on the conflict between the timing of the referendum and candidate petition deadlines. The city will ask the court to allow this referendum to become effective with the next mayoral election in April 2015.

"A majority of Naperville residents voted for the city to move to a district system," City Manager Doug Krieger said. "In order to ensure that the election process is orderly and that residents understand what they are voting for when they head to the polls, we are asking that this referendum go into effect in 2015. This will allow us to receive our certified census figures in spring 2011, create districts and implement this referendum in an orderly manner."

When this referendum becomes effective, the Mayor and three councilmen will be elected at large while the remaining five councilmen will be elected from each of the five districts. In subsequent elections, a resident would vote for one mayor, one councilman to represent his/her district and three at-large councilmen. Geographic boundaries of the districts would be determined and approved the City Council, based on 2010 census data.

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