Barrington puts home rule on November ballot
Barrington voters will once again get to decide whether the village should have home rule authority.
The village board voted Monday, without discussion, to put the question on the Nov. 8 ballot.
But on June 13, Village Manager Scott Anderson delivered an extensive presentation on the advantages of home rule.
Among those advantages would be greater flexibility in day-to-day operations. The village already provides the full complement of services commonly offered by home rule communities.
In addition, he said, home rule would allow the village to diversify its sources of revenue and rely less on property taxes.
Such surrounding communities as Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington and South Barrington have voted for home rule.
Barrington has already put home rule on the ballot in 2014, but voters chose not to adopt it.
"It's important for the community to consider that question," said Village President Karen Darch, who added that more information will be forthcoming.
This will likely include a series of open houses, Anderson said.
"From our standpoint, the next steps really are to get out into the community and educate the community on the differences in governance style between home rule and non-home rule," Anderson said.
With early voting beginning in September, the village has a relatively short window for that education process.
"Unfortunately, it's always, 'Oh, you're just going to do more taxes,'" Trustee Todd Sholeen said. "(But) there is a lot more to home rule. There is a lot of authority that we can have that we would miss out on in being not home rule that other communities can do. It's not just raising taxes."
Trustee Jason Lohmeyer echoed that.
"We can only do what the state allows us to do. When you're home rule, you have more flexibility," Lohmeyer said. "We can tailor-make things for our community, versus having to only follow what downstate Illinois does." Without home rule, "We are completely limited and yet we have to provide all these services," including fire, police and wastewater treatment.