Referendums from on High

Those who run local municipalities and county government are asking permission of voters to allow them to decide from whom to purchase electricity. Photo by Ed Varga.

The refrain “Angels we have heard on high” went through my head as I looked at the list of referendums that have been requested by tax district officials in McHenry County as of December 28th.

Those people we have elected to rule the governments that take so much of our money are giving us a reason to go to the polls.

True, most of the referendums are to allow municipalities and McHenry County government to go shopping for electricity.

With the electric rate hikes that our legislators have approved and Governor Pat Quinn has signed into law, there is little doubt in my mind that all so-called “electricity aggregation” proposals will pass. (See how your legislators voted here and here.)

Maybe all the communities will hook up with Wisconsin power. I remember that Don Etes and his partner built a factory on Stateline Road just so his plant could get electricity from Wisconsin. They just strung the lines across the road.

Here are the places where electricity aggregation referendums will be held on March 20th:

Com Ed would still deliver electricity if the referendums pass, but other companies could supply it.

  • McHenry County
  • Algonquin
  • Barrington Hills
  • Cary
  • Crystal Lake
  • Huntley
  • Johnsburg
  • Lake in the Hills
  • Lakewood
  • Marengo
  • NcCullom Lake
  • McHenry
  • Prairie Grove
  • Ringwood
  • Spring Grove
  • Wonder Lake
  • Woodstock

In addition, Fox River Grove has a measure on the ballot that will allow it to impose an addition one-quarter of one percent sales tax.  I believe the local tax rate is now 1%, so a 25% increase is being requested.

Dunham Township will present a proposition to issue bonds in the amount of $1,000,000 for road purposes.

There are no school referendums.

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A commenter points out that people can vote for the referendums without declaring their party. That’s a good observation, but since all by the Dunham and Fox River Grove referendums will most probably pass in a breeze, voting non-partisan eliminates the opportunity to help narrow down the field for County Board and President on the Republican side of the ticket.

Hardly worth the effort to go to the polls if one is a Democrat or an Independent just to vote on the electric aggregation question.


Referendums from on High — 6 Comments

  1. You forgot to mention something else all of these referenda can do…gives voters a chance to cast nonpartisan ballots, and vote in the March 20th primary election without declaring a political party.

  2. Your opinion, Cal, about it being a worthless vote.

    There are matters for Democrats to vote on. There are the referenda for registered voters of all parties or of no particular party to vote on.

    Consider if you will that lots of votes just on the non-partisan ballot may be a way to send a message to both major parties that the voters are tired of the political games dominating our governing bodies. Enough of the Springfield follies and Washington gridlock.

  3. I must be missing something.

    Our elected officials are asking voters if it’s OK to save us money?

    What am I missing here?

  4. Unless there is a contest for who is going to be the next Democratic Party Chair in McHenry County, I see no compelling reason other than “patriotic duty” for any Democrat to vote in March…at least in the Democratic Party primary.

    If Democrats want to nominate the GOP Presidential candidate they see least likely to win or want to help eliminate the strongest County Board candidate(s) in their district, that might be a reason for them to vote in the Republican Primary Election.

    Illinois, please remember, is an open primary state.

    Say you are a Republican or a Democrat on a given primary election day and that’s all it takes.

  5. Cal,

    The Democrats have contested congressional primaries in both the 6th and 14th districts, even though the Republican incumbents will be heavily favored in the fall. That’s more then Republicans will have in their primaries.

    The only contested Republican primaries are the 33rd senate, the 52nd House and a couple of county board races, where primary voters have to nominate 4 (multi-member districts are so unproductive). None of the countywide offices have contested primaries, right? We need to face reality, the Republican presidential nomination will be all but decided when the IL primary comes on March 20th.

    Therefore, if voters become so disillusioned with the two major parties, casting a nonpartisan ballot would be a great way to “protest”. It’s bad enough neither political party can fill the precinct committeemen positions in less then half of their precincts (and quite honestly, the “precinct committeeman” is a relic from mid-to-late 20th century party politics).

    The “More Info” person has it right when it comes to “follies” in Washington and Springfield. You should also add the follies that are seen in Woodstock at county government, and in the most notorious township hall, Grafton Township, too.

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