Who Has The Power?

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

In just a few weeks the Rockford City Council will take a vote that hasn't happened in 32 years.

In 1983 residents voted against home rule. The final vote was 54% voted “Yes” and 46% voted “No”. But our community has changed which is why Empower Rockford wants to give the power back to the people.

Jim Keeling with Empower Rockford says, "This is all about trusting people in Springfield more than trusting our elected officials for dealing with our problems."

In order for all of us to vote on Home Rule in March, the Rockford City Council has to approve the question we will see on the ballot. A council member would read in the question and the full council will vote. But opponent Jim Gile told aldermen that it shouldn't be that easy.

Opponent Jim Gile told alderman Monday night, “Ordinary citizens couldn't run it through city council we had to get petitions from citizens. The proponents should be held to the same measure."

Keeling followed up by saying, "I don't understand the fairness argument about how the question goes on the ballot. We should debate merits of home rule rather than if it should come through resolution or petition."

Empower Rockford will make a presentation to the Rockford City Council in the next two weeks. The wording of the home rule referendum question has to be approved by alderman in the beginning of January. In Illinois, 167 other communities are being run or will soon be run by Home Rule.

Empower Rockford has established a site at www.homerulenow.com. Jim Gile, who is against Home Rule has also set up a website for you to do your own research. Just log onto www.fixhomerule.com.


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