Northwest suburban referendum roundup
Barrington home rule:
Voters in Barrington have approved a ballot measure giving the village home rule authority, with 2,488 votes in favor and 2,102 against, unofficial results showed late Tuesday.
Village officials said home rule status would give them more local control to invest further in roads, bike paths and community spaces. One proposal is the creation of Park Avenue Plaza, a community gathering space and al fresco dining area. To ease residents' concerns about tax hikes, village trustees approved an ordinance that would prevent them from raising the property tax levy above the current cap set on non-home rule communities.
Voters rejected a similar home rule measure in 2014.
Cook County forest preserves:
Voters across the county agreed to a property tax hike that will help the forest preserve district acquire more land, restore some existing sites, fund maintenance projects, pay down pension costs and expand programming. A portion of the funds will also go to Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden.
With 92% of precincts reporting, unofficial results show 731,555 favored the tax hike and 350,547 opposed it.
Approval of the ballot measure -- providing a $43 million boost to the district's annual budget -- will mean paying about $20 more in property taxes a year, on top of about $36 to $48 that currently goes to the district. A coalition of more than 150 organizations supported the request for additional funds for the county's nearly 70,000 acres of forest preserves.
Des Plaines term limits:
Des Plaines voters roundly rejected a request to remove term limits for the city's eight aldermen and city clerk. According to early results, 11,728 voters said the term limits should remain in place, and 3,624 were in favor of a repeal.
Elected officials have been held to two consecutive terms since the restrictions were approved in 1998, though they can -- and some have -- run again after a break.
The referendum originally would have asked them to decide the matter for all elected positions -- including mayor -- but Mayor Andrew Goczkowski suggested that the two-term limit for his position remain.
Prospect Heights parks:
Voters rejected a tax increase for a $30 million bond issue that would have revamped the Prospect Heights Park District's Lions Park, with 2,042 votes against and 1,553 in favor, according to unofficial totals.
That cost included replacement of the pool and Gary Morava Recreation Center, the installation of new playground, tennis, pickleball and basketball courts, and a doubling of on-site parking. It also would have meant paying an additional $462 annually for the owner of a home valued at $284,300, which is the median home value in the district.
Officials said Tuesday night the proposed capital projects will be deferred or not done at all.