Hoffman Estates to ask voters about streetlights, bike racks, car charging stations
In addition to choosing candidates for the village board, Hoffman Estates voters will be asked to weigh in on three advisory referendum questions on the April 6 ballot.
Board members voted unanimously this week to put the maximum number of questions to village residents, seeking input on increasing street lighting, and possible requirements for bicycle racks and electric vehicle charging stations at new commercial buildings.
The exact wording of the three questions are:
• "Should the Village install streetlights on collector streets in the Village subdivisions that have no streetlights?"
• "Should the Village require bicycle racks at all new commercial buildings?"
• "Should the Village require electric car charging stations for new commercial buildings?"
Mayor Bill McLeod said he believes there may have been a major change of opinion among village residents on additional street lighting, compared to past opposition.
"I think the mood has changed, but I want to get a feel for it," he said.
McLeod said he sees the availability of electric car charging stations as an issue with environmental impacts, and also believes there has been an increase in the number of bicycle and scooter riders needing a place to park.
Though the three referendums are advisory rather than binding, McLeod said the board intends to put a lot of weight on the public input it receives.
The village's moves prevent any other ballot initiatives from being placed on the April ballot. But McLeod said officials did not act in an effort to block questions brought by public petition.
The village also had three advisory referendums on the March primary ballot. The majority of Hoffman Estates voters said yes to the questions:
• "Shall the Village of Hoffman Estates encourage the creation of a full interchange at Beverly Road and the I-90 Jane Addams Memorial Tollway?"
• "Shall the Village of Hoffman Estates encourage the State of Illinois to appoint judges based on merit?"
• "Shall the Village of Hoffman Estates encourage the development of entertainment venues within the Village of Hoffman Estates' Economic Development Area?"
McLeod said the impact of the pandemic has somewhat limited what could be done with the feedback.
McLeod is seeking reelection in April, facing challenges from recently retired Hoffman Estates police lieutenant Mark Mueller and 2017 trustee candidate Nicholas Waryas.
Incumbent trustees Karen Mills, Karen Arnet and Michael Gaeta are being challenged by other members of Mueller's "Hoffman Estates Forward" slate -- James Murre, Renee Robinson and Gaurav Patel.
Resident Andrew Nawrocki has filed objections against the nominating petitions of the "Hoffman Estates Forward" slate. The challenge will be argued on Thursday, Dec. 17, before the village's electoral board, which consists of Village Clerk Bev Romanoff and trustees Anna Newell and Gary Stanton, who are not facing contested elections April 6.