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Local Election

Coal City Voters say no to home rule

COAL CITY - Voters in the village of Coal City voted a resounding no to the question, "Shall the village of Coal City, Illinois, become a home rule unit?"

Matt Fritz, village administrator said prior to the results coming in that, from the beginning, the problem with voting for the question was understanding what it means.

"We understand that everyone has different reasons for voting, and we felt to help them decide their position, we would provide them with as much information as possible," Fritz said in a previous article. "We made the website public so, no matter the voter's schedule, they can read and research it when they have the time to."

Whether or not the voters understood completely what it meant didn't prevent it from losing 747 to 175 voting in favor of no home rule with 100 percent of the unofficial results in Tuesday night.

The Coal City Village Board announced in November that it would place the question on the April ballot to seek voter approval to become a home rule unit of government.

Home rule is granted by the Illinois Constitution and is automatic for towns with populations of more than 25,000. Municipalities under the population threshold can be granted home rule authority by a majority vote of its residents.

The Village Board currently can do anything that is allowed by the state Constitution and legislative statutes, if it had gained home rule status by the voters, it could locally legislate statutes and is only limited by what the state says it cannot do.

Home rule communities are granted a broad range of powers, including the authority to implement local taxes and avert some of the requirements and unfunded mandates handed down by Springfield.

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