Arlington Hts. lauded for vote for home rule

Published2/18/2008 12:05 AM

The home rule provisions of the Illinois Constitution are about as close as the village of Arlington Heights has to having its own constitution.

I have advocated for years that our local municipality should have its own constitution. It's almost as valuable to the common citizens of Arlington Heights as the Bill of Rights is for all of the citizens of the United States.


I was very proud of the Arlington Heights village board when on the night of Feb. 4 members voted unanimously to reinstate a Provisions Board Vote from the late 1990s that effectively endorsed home rule and established Arlington Heights as a true "leadership municipality" in the state of Illinois in spite of the state's threat to pre-empt home rule.

Horse racing and the gambling that is directly related to horse racing began at Arlington Park about 1927, when Arlington Park was not even within the territorial limits of the village of Arlington Heights. The track was located in rural Cook County until it was annexed to Arlington Heights by a mutual agreement about 1969. There was a 10-year special agreement with many concessions by Arlington Heights that all have expired by about 1980. Arlington Park was never intended to be a year-round operation. I remember when the racing season was limited to 30 days each year.

The issue that brought up the home rule question is for slot machines in Arlington Heights. Right now I believe that slot machines are prohibited in any zoning district of any kind in Arlington Heights.

Next issue: "hometown security." Our federal government needs lots and lots of help in maintaining "hometown security, immigration and safety" and I would like to suggest that Arlington Heights establish both a hometown security commission and department. The commission would have oversight responsibilities over the department.

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Many years ago we had a public health and safety committee of the village board that served the village very well until the health department was established and the safety issue just seemed to disappear. Safety and security go hand in hand and immigration is directly related to a feeling of public safety and security, so I would combine them all into one department and commission.

There are so many grass-root issues that would be directly related to security that it would be impossible to list them all here. One of the most valuable is the immense value of the continuously recorded video camera when placed at high risk areas such as railroad crossings, heavily traveled streets and road intersections and at entrances and exits for residential units, both privately owned or rental units in multi-story condos or apartment buildings. The second opinion video camera could substantially reduce crime and vandalism, reduce insurance costs and help reduce court and legal costs.

In order to establish the village of Arlington Heights as a true leadership community and if you support the idea of the establishment of the home rule provisions of the constitution of the state of Illinois as the beginning of a constitution for the village of Arlington Heights and if you support the establishment of a commission and department of hometown safety, immigration and security it would be good if you would just drop a line to our village president and each of the village trustees and just tell them so.

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