School district borrowing, term limits on Northwest suburban ballots
Whether a school district should borrow millions of dollars to pay for building projects, proposals to shift the clerk's position from elected to appointed in two towns, and the future of recreational marijuana and video gambling in one of the region's most-visited communities are among the referendums voters in the Northwest suburbs will decide Tuesday.
Here's a look at some of top issues on the primary election ballot:
Barrington Dist. 220 borrowing
Barrington Area Unit District 220 is seeking voter approval to borrow $147 million for building projects, including safety and security upgrades, as well as roofing and utility work at all its schools.
The borrowing also would fund construction of a physical education and wellness center at Barrington High School, additional classrooms at the district's two middle schools, and new classroom space at all elementary buildings for science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes, and for students with special needs.
Residents will see a reduction in their property tax bills in any case, but how much depends on the outcome.
If the measure passes, the owner of a home valued at $500,000 would see property taxes decrease of about $75 a year. However, if rejected by voters, the reduction would be about $468.
Clerks' positions in Des Plaines, Wheeling
Voters in the two towns will decide if the clerk's job -- currently an elected post -- should be appointed instead.
Clerks attend council and board meetings and are paid for part-time work, but under the proposed changes, they would be appointed government staff members instead.
If approved, the new arrangement would take effect in April 2021. That's when the terms of Des Plaines City Clerk Jennifer Tsalapatanis and Wheeling Village Clerk Elaine Simpson end.
Rolling Meadows term limits
Voters will decide whether aldermen from the city's seven wards should have tighter term limits than they do now.
The binding question, if approved, would limit aldermen to two consecutive 4-year terms, as has been the case with the mayor since 1995.
Aldermen currently are limited to three consecutive terms.
Gambling, pot in Rosemont
Rosemont voters will weigh in on two advisory questions: whether the village should overturn its long-standing ban on video gambling and whether the community should allow recreational marijuana sales in town.
Mayor Brad Stephens said informal conversations with village board members and residents show opinions on both controversial issues are "pretty much down the middle."
The village board enacted a temporary ban on recreational pot sales through June, giving officials enough time to prepare regulations should voters recommend overturning it.
South Barrington Park District
For the third time since November 2018, the South Barrington Park District wants voter permission to sell a vacant 34-acre lot that officials say is not needed.
Voters will decide whether the district can sell what's known as "Area N," on the southeast corner of Bartlett Road and Route 59 in South Barrington. The district bought the vacant 34 acres, along with a 12-acre site, for $4.3 million as part of 2003 lawsuit settlement involving a developer.
Officials say the parcel, formerly home to Klehm tree nursery, is not ideal for a park because it isn't flat, has wetlands and is awkwardly shaped. An appraisal and public auction would follow if the park district is allowed to pursue a sale.