Barrington imposes home rule on November ballot
Barrington voters will once again be able to decide whether the village should have home rule authority.
The village council voted on Monday, without discussion, to put the issue to a November 8 ballot.
But on June 13, Village Superintendent Scott Anderson gave a detailed presentation on the benefits of self-reliance.
Among these benefits would be greater flexibility in day-to-day operations. The village already provides the full range of services commonly offered by autonomous communities.
Moreover, he said, autonomy would allow the village to diversify its sources of income and be less dependent on property taxes.
Surrounding communities such as Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, and South Barrington voted for self-government.
Barrington previously put home rule on the ballot in 2014, but voters chose not to pass it.
“It is important for the community to address this issue,” said village chairwoman Karen Darch, who added that more information would be forthcoming.
This will likely include a series of open houses, Anderson said.
“From our perspective, the next steps are really about getting into the community and educating the community about the differences in governance style between home rule and no-home rule,” Anderson said.
With early voting beginning in September, the village has a relatively short window for this education process.
“Unfortunately, it’s always, ‘Oh, you’re just gonna do more taxes,'” administrator Todd Sholeen said. “(But) there’s a lot more to autonomy. There’s a lot of authority that we can have that we would lose by not being the autonomy that other communities can do. It’s not about not just raise taxes.”
Administrator Jason Lohmeyer echoed this.
“We can only do what the state allows us to do. When you’re self-reliant, you have more flexibility,” Lohmeyer said. “We can do things that are tailored for our community, instead of just having to follow what Illinois is doing down south.” Without home rule, “we are completely limited and yet we have to provide all these services”, including fire, police and sewage treatment.