Kane, McHenry ballots to include questions about taxes, pot dispensaries
From pot dispensaries in Batavia to a proposed tax hike in Dundee Township, voters in Kane and McHenry counties will weigh in on several referendum questions during the November election.
Here's a look at some of the local questions that will appear on the ballot.
Voters in Batavia can give their opinion on whether the city should allow recreational marijuana dispensaries.
The city council decided in January to have an advisory referendum about whether pot dispensaries should be allowed. The results will not bind the council one way or the other.
In August 2019, Mayor Jeff Schielke said he would veto any ordinance allowing dispensaries. The council would need 10 votes to override a veto. But he supported the referendum.
"People have the final decision. That's what I like about the referendum," Schielke said Thursday. "I'm not about to counteract what the community feels about it (dispensaries)."
A binding referendum will give Algonquin residents the opportunity to decide whether the village clerk should be appointed, rather than elected.
The clerk maintains village records and records and maintains minutes of village board meetings, among other duties.
Currently, the elected clerk serves part-time, but and the village also has an appointed deputy clerk who works full-time.
Clerk Jerry Kautz was first elected in 1989. He has run unopposed in every election since 1993.
The Dundee Township board voted 3-2 in May to ask voters to raise the property tax rate for its general operations by about 50 percent.
The proposed tax increase would generate an additional $700,000 in revenue for the township in the first year. Supervisor Patricia Glees has said she expected to use $350,000 of it for the general fund, $200,000 for the open-space fund, $50,000 for the cemetery fund and $100,000 for general assistance.
If approved, the limiting rate would be raised from 7.28 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation to 10.98 cents. The township calculates that on a property with a market value of $100,000, the owner would pay an additional $12.33 in taxes in 2021.
The median sale price of homes sold recently in the township is $240,000, according to Realtor.com.
McHenry County voters will decide whether to continue having an elected coroner or let the county board hire someone to oversee investigating and certifying causes and manners of deaths.
The board voted 15-7 in December to let voters decide the matter.
After Coroner Anne Majewski, citing ill health, resigned in March 2019, county officials studied the coroner's office.
Board Chairman Jack Franks then said there was a history of dysfunction and neglect in the office, and that it was "in shambles." He wants to hire a full-time "professional," he said.
State law requires any elected coroner to take a 40-hour basic training course within six months, and 24 hours of continuing education each year.