Campton Hills opponents get 2,300 signatures

 
 
Published11/20/2007 12:05 AM

Last April, voters decided to create the village of Campton Hills.

On Feb. 5, they could vote to dissolve it.

 

Monday morning, the Stop Campton Hills Public Action Committee filed petitions to prompt a binding ballot question on the village's future for the February election.

But it will likely take a judge to decide whether the question appears on the ballot.

So far, there are three advisory questions on the Feb. 5 ballot.

According to the Illinois Election Code, three is the maximum number of advisory questions on a ballot, and if more are filed, the first three will be printed.

The non-binding questions will ask voters whether they want trustees to develop a mosquito abatement program, spend up to $14,000 on six emergency warning sirens, and collect impact fees from new developments for parks and other public projects.

But the election code does not address binding ballot questions like the one the group is proposing, said Chris Baldwin, one of the group's organizers. The group will ask a judge to put the question on the ballot, he said.

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The group needed to get the signatures of 2,000 registered voters, and they tallied more than 2,300, Baldwin said.

Opponents have five business days, until Nov. 27, to challenge the validity of some of the signatures.

The group argues that incorporation proponents underestimated the costs of operating a new municipality and residents eventually will face higher taxes.

"They've utilized exaggeration; they've used a lot of speculation," said Jim Kopec, a village trustee and one of the leaders of the incorporation effort. "They've really frightened people into signing the dissolution petition."

The signatures went to the village's lawyer this morning and he's reviewing it, Kopec said.

Last April, a measure to create the village was approved by a vote of 2,253 to 1,829.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Since then, homeowners on the outskirts of Campton Hills have petitioned to disconnect from the village.

A judge is expected to rule Dec. 10 whether the Cheval DeSalle subdivision can leave the village.

Steve Burdette, a Prairie Lakes resident who opposed incorporation, said he was surprised the Stop Campton Hills group collected 2,300 signatures. He figured a serious push to dissolve the village wouldn't happen until the November 2008 election, but it was indicative of the changing climate since the spring vote.

"There was a tremendous amount of apathy in that election. People just didn't show up," he said.

Burdette said homeowners who don't border an unincorporated area can't disconnect.

"That really fueled the fire that drove the dissolution more than anything -- people suddenly learning there was nothing they could do to disconnect," he said.

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