For those who may not be familiar, Home Rule is the designation that gives a community the ability to establish and implement policies to address significant, local needs and concerns. Home Rule provides local municipal governments with broad flexibility to adjust administrative structures to meet their ever-changing needs, cultures, and visions. Without Home Rule status, an Illinois community is bound by strenuous and constricting regulations from the State of Illinois and Cook County.
There are valuable incentives that residents will have the opportunity to experience, impacting their quality of life positively, and save them money. If resident voters elect Home Rule, the Village Board has approved resolutions authorizing the:
- Elimination of Vehicle Sticker Fees (Resolution #R-25-23)
- Freeze on Property Tax Rates ((Resolution #R-26-23)
- Freeze on Water Rates for Homeowners (Resolution #R-27-23)
- Elimination of any possible Real-Estate Transfer Tax Referenda (Resolution #R-29-23)
- Elimination of Park Rental Fees for Residents (Resolution #R-28-23)
- Enhancing Public Safety, Economic Development, and Beautification (Resolution #R-24-23)
Statewide, there are 221 communities that are Home Rule, benefiting more than seven million residents. Richton Park is one of the only communities left that have yet to go Home Rule, and is seeking what its citizens want.
The Village is proposing to become a Home Rule community for financial stability, where there can be economic incentives for businesses, new and restructured revenue sources and the ability to make much-needed quality of life changes for residents.
In a recent Commissioner’s meeting introducing the proposal, Village President Rick Reinbold addressed the room, stating that “Not having Home Rule authority puts us at a profound competitive disadvantage when we speak of Economic Development. Our neighbors have the tools that Home Rule authority gives them, and the Richton Park simply do not have those tools to compete.”
The Village also needs Home Rule to implement “Quality of Life” improvements; whereas Home Rule communities have greater power to set standards for rental properties, hold contractors accountable, establish zoning rules, and have greater flexibility in hiring Public Safety personnel.
Primarily, the Village of Richton Park can benefit from Home Rule by obtaining additional funding for roads, sidewalks, water systems, and other infrastructures without increasing the burden on residents. Home Rule also allows the Village to both increase police and safety presence, and improve the Village’s beautification, which is definitely a priority.
For all the information presented about Richton Park Home Rule, please visit Richton Park online at https://qrco.de/RichtonParkHomeRule.