Referenda
7:10 am
Mon March 19, 2012

More than just candidates on the ballot March 20

Along with the broad array of candidates seeking their party nomination to political office, a number of other issues will be presented for voters’ decisions. The most popular issue is electrical aggregation. This issue has been supported by government officials at all levels and by business and community leaders.

eAll Illinois counties and many smaller municipalities in the WNIJ listening area will be voting on an Electrical Aggregation question in tomorrow’s Illinois Primary Election.

This plan would give residents and small business owners the “power of choice” to receive electric power from a different supplier at a potentially lower cost.

Chris Childress, managing partner for Progressive Energy Group, which provides utility audit services, explains how aggregation will work.

 “What that really does is allows the citizens and residents to be able to bind together to combine all the electric supplies,” he explained, “so they can buy it at a lower cost because they’re buying in scale.”

Rock River Energy Services owner Mike Mudge, whoprovides service to energy users, says there will be no effect on distribution.

“ComEd will still maintain and take care of the lines; they still generate their revenue through running the distribution system,” Mudge said. “Power is just secured from the secondary market through generators and the customers net the difference or the savings.”

Mudge said that savings will vary by community.

 “So the range that we saw in our communities last year was maybe an average of 2 cents a kilowatt  hour,” he noted, “and then that breaks down to fourteen dollars a month for the average citizen. It’s always going to be dependent on the size of the user.”

What happens if the municipality cannot get a better rate? Childress says that’s the best news.

 “If the rates are not lower than the current rates using ComEd or Ameren’s territory, then no action is taken,” he said.

Childress says voting for the aggregation referendum does not necessarily commit the resident to the rates that are negotiated.

 “Even by voting ‘yes’ on the electric referendum,” he said, “which will be the first step in allowing the municipality to go out and get bids, after they come back and have the bids, residents will have two opportunities to say no and opt out themselves.”

Many municipalities also will vote on various other issues -- including police protection tax, ambulance services and public infrastructure in business zones. The following list, presented alphabetically by county, was compiled from information provided by each county’s County Clerk.

WNIJ’s Katie Lavelle also contributed to this report.

            Northern Illinois Referendum Issues by County – March 2012

Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus

  • Shall the County of Jo Daviess have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Shall the city of Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois become a home rule unit?
  • Resolution by the Sheffield fire protection district to levy s special tax for costs of emergency and rescue crews and equipment
  • Resolution by the Sheffield fire protection district to levy a special tax for ambulance service.

Carroll County Clerk Brian Woessner

  • Shall the County of Carroll have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?

DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo

  • Shall the County of DeKalb have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Proposition to increase the limiting rate under the property tax extension limitation law
  • Earlville Unit School District  #9 – increase maximum rate for education fund to 4.0%

Jo Daviess County Clerk Jean Dimke

  • Shall the County of Jo Daviess have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Proposition to Increase the Extension Limitation
  • Stockton township----Shall Stockton Township establish a fund and levy an annual tax not to exceed .10% of the value, as equalized or assessed by the Illinois Department of Revenue on the taxable property of Stockton Township to control, maintain and purchase land and construction of necessary buildings for public cemeteries owned by the township?”

Kane County Clerk John A. Cunningham

  •  Shall the County of Kane have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Village of Elburn-Proposition to create a new Tax Rate for Police pension purposes
  • Village of Campton Hills:

                 Prop 2- Advisory/ Shall the Village of Campton Hills investigate the purchase and installation of one or more Tornado/Emergency Warning Signs?

                 Prop 3- Advisory/ Shall the Village of Campton Hills encourage the Postal Service to continue to maintain and operate the Wasco Post Office?

Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette

  • Shall the County of Kendall have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Shall the elected Office of Kendall County Auditor be eliminated effective December 1, 2012?
  • Shall the elected Office of Recorder of Kendall County be eliminated effective December 1, 2012 and the functions and duties of that office continue to be performed by the Kendall County Clerk?
  • Shall the County of Kendall impose an additional surcharge of up to $0.75 per month per network connection to the existing $0.75 surcharge (total not to exceed $1.50 per month) which surcharge will be added to the monthly bill you receive for telephone or telecommunications charges, for the purpose of improving a 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System?

Lake County Clerk Willard R. Helander

  • Shall the County of Lake have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Shall the village of Fox River Grove impose a ¼ percent non-home rule Municipal retailers occupation Tax and non-home rule Municipal service Occupation Tax ( ½ of 1% Sales Tax ) for the purpose of funding public infrastructure in business zones?

LaSalle – County Clerk Joann Corretto

  • Shall the County of LaSalle have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Earville Unit School District #9 – increase maximum rate for education fund to 4.0%
  • Somonauk fire district- trustees be elected, rather than appointed
  • Wallace Fire District- Levy a special tax not to exceed .30% for ambulance service
  • Village of Grand Ridge- permit the operation of golf carts on village streets.

Lee- County Clerk- Cathy Myers

  • Shall the County of Lee have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Proposition to increase the limiting rate under the property tax extension limitation law for the Village of Lee
  • Earlville Unit School District  #9 – increase maximum rate for education fund to 4.0%

McHenry – County Clerk Katherine C. Schultz

  • Shall the County of McHenry have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Shall the village of Fox River Grove impose a ¼ percent non-home rule Municipal retailers occupation Tax and non-home rule Municipal service Occupation Tax ( ½ of 1% Sales Tax ) for the purpose of funding public infrastructure in business zones?

Ogle – County Clerk Rebecca Huntley

  • Shall the County of Ogle have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Proposition to fund a new sewage treatment facility and public infrastructure improvements via a sales tax by the Village of Stillman Valley, Ogle County, Illinois
  • Proposition to fund police protection via an increase in the police protection tax from 0.0056% to 0.6% of all taxable property by the Village of Stillman Valley, Ogle County, Illinois

Stephenson – County Clerk Vici R. Otte

  • Should Stephenson County have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out such programs.
  • Should Stephenson township road district purchase a vehicle to be used for maintain and removing snow from all Dakota Township roads and issue its bonds to the amount of 200,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

Whiteside -- County Clerk Dana Nelson

  • Shall the County of Whiteside have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?

Winnebago- County Clerk- Margie M. Mullins

  • Shall the County of Winnebago have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
  • Shall the village of Machesney Park, Illinois, for expenditures on existing public roads, drainage, and related infrastructure improvements continue to impose a retailers’ and service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a “sales tax’) of one percent (1%) in accordance with the provisions of section 8-11-1.3 and 8-11-1.4 of the Illinois Municipal Code until June 30, 2020.