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Yorkville restricts city powers for proposed home rule policy, plan

Yorkville is looking to stress the limits of city authority for the proposed home rule policy and plan that would go into effect, if community support is found on Yorkville ballots during the November general election.

In a unanimous vote, the Yorkville City Council approved a measure Tuesday that proposes restrictions of power delineated under home rule.

The matter was last discussed by the city’s Administration Committee during a meeting in August.

Ald. Joel Frieders said he wants it to be clear that a lot of careful thought is being applied toward the city’s intent to implement a home rule policy.

“We had discussed in the administration committee about the importance that the people, who come after us and sit in these luxurious and comfortable chairs, understand that the taxing power is not something you can surprise upon people,” he said. “Out of all the discussions I’ve had with everyone, they’re not afraid of us sitting here right now, they’re afraid of interpretations of us in the next 8, 12, 15, 16 years.”

In reviewing the home rule plan in the City of Woodstock, Yorkville officials modified portions of the proposed policy to fit the needs of the community.

Frieders said he supports the measure to use a model in putting together the city’s home rule policy, but he’d like to see further changes to strengthen it.

Under that plan, the city outlines eight potential uses for home rule, including bond rating improvement, property tax burden relief, city council size changes, administrative adjudication improvements, speed limits adjustments, options to opt out of state unfunded mandates and planning and zoning process modifications.

Mayor Gary Golinski, noting that recently residents of the apartment complex on the south side have come to the city with their mold problem, said that’s one issue that could benefit from home rule.

“I tell you what non-home rule community, our hands are very tied on landlord-tenant issues such as that,” he said. “I think if we chose to take a more proactive role in that, or a bigger role than that, I mean being home rule is definitely another tool … for us to do that.”

Golinski, pointing out that a potential cost savings could be seen if Yorkville becomes a home rule community, said there’s many tools to make everyone’s life better.

“Unlike non-home rule communities, we have do adjudication hearings once a week—which is very burdensome, costs a lot of money,” he said, noting that places under home rule, such as Oswego, save tens of thousands of dollars.

Public forums will be held 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 and Oct. 25 at City Hall to allow residents to voice concerns, ask questions and make comments. Those meetings will also include 5-10 minute presentation by city staff.

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