Naperville Voter Education League
Educating residents about local government

Naperville Voter Education League

Implementation of hybrid district/at-large system in Naperville

Posted on November 9th, 2010 by admin

The Naperville Voter Education League (“NVEL”) wishes to extend its appreciation to the many Naperville voters who took the time to exercise their important right to vote on November 2nd with respect to a number of important elections and issues. In so doing, voters overwhelmingly approved by a 2/3 majority, the referendum to establish five districts and three at large positions with respect to Naperville City Council members.

This referendum had been prepared and placed on the November 2nd ballot in accordance with applicable Illinois statutes by the NVEL through circulated petitions that included a total of 2,640 signatures of Naperville residents. The NVEL’s sole purpose was to allow the voters to have the legal and proper opportunity to weigh in and control this important issue for our community. The NVEL at all times remained neutral, providing educational information and both pros and cons with respect to the referendum’s outcome.

The City of Naperville took no action prior to Election Day to prepare for the eventual outcome of the referendum, other than draft language in consideration of legal action to defer application of the referendum’s districts until 2015. This formal action was filed with the Court in DuPage County, within hours of the vote’s outcome.

The NVEL wishes to remind everyone of the following facts:

1. In the 2009 election those running in the two year seat had less than 90 days to gather petitions.

2. Anyone wishing to run for Park District Board to fill an opening seat will have less than 90 days to gather petitions (packets became available last week and are due December 13, 2010).

3. The city has had two special censuses completed in the last ten years to identify where the city was growing in order to capture additional tax revenue.

4. The state Statute calls for no specific language in the referendum question as to effective date.

5. The state Statute calls for an effective date at the next Mayoral election, which is April 2011.

Given these facts, we respectfully request the city and courts to consider district implementation in 2013 as a reasonable alternative to 2015. Given more recent census data than 2000 we believe that there is enough data for the lines to be drawn currently. While we agree that there that those who were elected to a four seat in 2009 have a right to fulfill their terms through 2013, there are other ways of implementing districts without impacting those councilmen. Two examples are:

1. For the 2011 election, have the Mayor and three of the four at large seats run for a four year term. The last remaining seat for the April 2011 election would be a two year at large seat. In the 2013 election the councilmen who were elected to four year seats in 2009 and the two year seat from 2011 would then become the district seats up for election in 2013.

2. Have each of the four seats up for the 2011 election be two year seats with full implementation in 2013.

We ask the City to start taking action as soon as possible, so when the court makes its decision it is ready to move forward responsively and prudently.

The NVEL would encourage voters to contact the City and take any other action as appropriate to ensure that the Court considers all reasonable alternatives in making its decision. The NVEL will work to keep Naperville residents informed of the Court’s participation and decisions pertaining to the referendum.

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High school students will debate ballot issues

Posted on October 20th, 2010 by admin

High school debate students will argue pros and cons of term limits and at-large districts to help prepare voters for referenda questions

On the heels of two presentations in late September regarding the City Council referenda that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, the Naperville Voters Education League began preparing another presentation to heighten awareness. The NVEL will host a debate from 7-9PM, Thurs., Oct. 28, in City Council Chambers at the Naperville Municipal Center., 400 S. Eagle St.   The debate will be broadcast live on NCTV Channel 17,  Channel 6 WOW and Channel 10 Comcast.   What sets this debate apart from previous presentations is that it will feature students from Naperville North High School in Naperville Unit School District 203 and Neuqua Valley High School in Indian Prairie Unit School District 204. The students will argue the pros and cons of term limits and at-large districts for future City Council members and the Mayor.   Chuck Schlabach, past president of the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation, will serve as moderator.

“Students from Naperville North and Neuqua Valley should prove to be an awesome 203 vs. 204 debate,” said Bill Eagan, chairman of the Naperville Voters Education League. “We appreciate this collaborative effort that includes the city, NCTV, council members, Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation, both school districts and especially the students as we try to educate the community about the issues before voters on Nov. 2.”

Approximately 90 minutes will be set for the debate and the remaining 30 minutes will be dedicated to questions from the audience. Questions can be e-mailed in advance to BillEagan@aol.com

The JSA teams will debate term limits for 45 minutes, followed by districts for 45 minutes; one team will argue pro for one issue and con against the other.

In an earlier effort to educate the community about referenda questions that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, the League of Women Voters hosted a panel discussion on Sept. 29.   Further, the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation held its discussion on Sept. 30. Moderated by Barb Dwyer, the panel featured remarks and insights by Councilman Doug Krause, LWV President Jane Barnes, Councilman Jim Boyajian and NVEL Chairman Bill Eagan.

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District representation to be on November ballot

Posted on August 13th, 2010 by admin

The Naperville Voter Education League submitted 2,640 signatures of the required 1,895, according to the Clerk’s Office, to get the question regarding district representation for councilmen on the ballot for November.

The amount of signatures obtained proves that Naperville’s citizens want to have their voices heard on this issue at election time. The question will read, “Shall the city of Naperville elect part of the councilmen at large and part of the councilmen from districts with staggered four year terms and biennial elections?”

Councilmen currently serve at large, with no rules to where they live, and each represent roughly 150,000 people. If voters chose districts, councilmen would have to live within the city limits of the district they represent to ensure geographical representation of roughly 30,000 constituents.

“Our hope is that if the vote is in favor of districts, there will be plenty of time to vet the district lines,” said NVEL’s Bill Eagan. “Our organization worked diligently to gather the required number of signatures for the citizens of Naperville to consider this issue. We couldn’t have done it without the people who stood up and said they wanted their right to be heard on the issue and they will be heard this November.”

The mission of the Naperville Voter Education League is to facilitate discussions of issues among Naperville voters in an impartial manner and to provide a forum in which all related facts and positions may be shared. The NVEL will continue to host town hall meetings to help better educate the public and provide a forum for discussion on the subject, prior to it being voted on the November election ballot.

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Better Government Association to hold debate on term limits

Posted on July 14th, 2010 by admin

In the spirit of voter education, we are passing along an invitation to an upcoming debate about term limits.  (Please note, the Naperville Voter Education League is not affiliated with the Union League Club of Chicago or the Better Government Association.)

The Better Government Association (BGA), in partnership with the Union League Club of Chicago’s Public Affairs Committee, invites you to attend a debate on term limits featuring Professor Dick Simpson, Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dawn Clark Netsch, Professor of Law Emerita at Northwestern University School of Law.

Read the rest of this entry »

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City Council to consider term limits

Posted on June 14th, 2010 by admin

The Naperville Voter Education League, which has previously hosted events discussing the implementation of term limits for members of the Naperville City Council, supports the City Council’s decision to address the subject of Term Limits among its agenda items for its meeting on Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

“The City Council recognizes the hard work put in by members of the Naperville Voter Education League,” stated the NVEL’s Bill Eagan. “Our organization has worked diligently to gather the required number of signatures for the City Council to consider this issue. Judging from the number of signatures we’ve obtained, it’s fair to say that Naperville’s citizens want to have a chance to cast their vote on this issue at election time.”

The NVEL encourages Naperville residents to attend the June 15 City Council meeting to show support for placing a question concerning term limits on an upcoming ballot. Once the City Council approves placing a question on a ballot, the NVEL and other organizations can begin educating a wider audience of Naperville residents on the matter.

The mission of the Naperville Voter Education League is to facilitate discussions of issues among Naperville voters in an impartial manner and to provide a forum in which all related facts and positions may be shared. If the subject of term limits for Naperville City Council members is placed on an upcoming election ballot, the NVEL will host town hall meetings to help better educate the public and provide a forum for discussion on the subject.

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Upcoming petition signings

Posted on May 10th, 2010 by admin

The Naperville Voter Education League thanks all of you who attended our first town hall meeting on March 23!

Our petition drive is now underway to get the questions of term limits and districts on the November ballot.  There will be two opportunities in the near future to sign petitions:

  • Petition circulators will be knocking on doors in the neighborhoods near 75th St and Washington St on the afternoon of Sunday, May 16.
  • We will also have a presence in the upcoming Memorial Day parade!

Don’t forget that you can also download petitions from our Web site and circulate them.  Just click on the Petitions link at the top of this page.

Watch this site for information about future petition signing opportunities!

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Town hall meeting

Posted on March 10th, 2010 by admin

The Naperville Voter Education League is holding a town hall meeting to discuss district representation and term limits with the general public.

The meeting will take place Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30pm in the Community Room at the Alfred E. Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 W. Jackson Ave.

Please attend, bring your friends and neighbors, and take this opportunity to provide your input on these important community issues!

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