4,300 Resident Signatures Collected for Garbage Referendum
For the April 6, 2021 Elections
Bolingbrook, IL –
DuPage Township Democrat volunteers, along with the non-partisan candidates of Bolingbrook United, have organized efforts to talk with residents about their village concerns. The residents response has been overwhelmingly related to garbage: the fees and lack of toters. Thousands of residents have supported the idea that the quarterly invoicing for garbage should be reconsidered by our village trustees and rolled back up into our property taxes as a part of the services the village offers, and over 4,300 residents signed a petition to see this question come up for an advisory referendum on the April 6, 2021 ballot. The planned efforts to continue to meet with residents on the garbage initiative through the end of the year was abruptly halted, and the organizers were forced to file the petitions on November 17, 2020.
The last day to file petitions for an advisory referendum is January 4, 2021. However, after review of the November 17, 2020 village board meeting agenda, it became clear that the establishment party, First Party of Bolingbrook who hold the majority on the village board, intended to block the Garbage Referendum by voting to have three other issues placed on the April ballot. In Illinois, the law limits the number of questions on the ballot to three. Having learned about this blockade attempt, the organizers of the Garbage Referendum rushed to file the petitions at 3:01pm on November 17 to ensure the hard work of its citizens would not die at the hands of the current trustees at the village board meeting.
Obstructing the Garbage Referendum politicizes the process and silences the voices of the residents of Bolingbrook. With 4,300 signatures collected, it was no secret that a petition for garbage was circulating throughout the village. The acting mayor, trustees, clerk and village attorney were well aware of it and underhandedly tried to slide through three referendum votes before the garbage petitions were filed. The establishment party has direct access to lawyers who will serve their calling, paid for by Bolingbrook tax dollars, to challenge the filed petition or as stated by the village attorney at the board meeting, add the referendum to a primary ballot in February.
It’s worth noting that the village’s elected officials haven’t put any referenda on the ballot in over 20 years, and have a history of rejecting the revenue opportunities put forward in the referendum questions proposed. The village voted no to cannabis over a year ago, and the same with video gaming years prior. The third question regarding the hotel/motel tax is moot, as the revenue is already used for community services and events, placed as a filler question to block the garbage petition.
At the village meeting, a new Waste Services Commission was announced, co-chaired by trustees Bob Jaskiewicz, who ran with Bolingbrook United in 2017, and Michael Lawler, running again with First Party, to study the issue of the garbage. The acting mayor stated she selected trustees representing the east and west sides of the village.
The organizers of the Garbage Referendum stated, “The behaviors displayed by the acting mayor and our elected officials in response to public comments speaks for itself. Change is needed. We will ignore accusations raised by the establishment. Instead, we will focus on listening to the concerned residents of Bolingbrook, amplifying their voices, and working to ensure solutions that serve the community is prioritized.”
Watch the video here.