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Probably not. Although following existing political and legislative boundaries to the extent possible is a positive outcome, it is not a guiding principle in the Village’s districting process. When drafting the proposed district maps, the Referendum Implementation Team followed a set of “districting principles” that can be found at skokie.org/electoralreferendums.
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The Village Board is committed to a professional and transparent process for implementing the electoral referendums approved by voters and they delegated the responsibility of overseeing the project to the Village Manager. In June 2023, the Board approved a contract with Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins (KTJ) to assist the Village in implementing the three referendums in compliance with election laws. Following the public process to develop a proposed electoral district map and implementation plan, the Village Board will review the recommended proposal and will be responsible for approving a final map and implementation plan. This approval will include Village ordinances and ultimately codifies the changes in the Village code. Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments to the Village Board on this issue, as they do with all issues that come before the Board.
The Village implemented a Google Translator tool on its website, www.skokie.org, many years ago. This tool is capable of translating web pages into more than 130 languages. Information and updates posted on the Electoral Changes web page can be translated using the tool. In addition, the Village’s August 14 and September 11 public meetings are streamed to the Village’s YouTube channel, which offers automatic closed captioning in many different languages. Public comments in any language are welcome.
The draft implementation plan proposes staggering terms as shown in the chart below:
The draft implementation plan proposes that District Trustees will serve an initial two-year term beginning in 2025 and beginning in 2027 will serve four-year terms going forward. This initial two-year term is necessary to transition from elections currently held every four years to elections held every two years.
No. The Referendum Implementation Team is holding several public meetings to provide information and solicit feedback from all interested community members and organizations.
The consultant and Village staff followed a set of “districting principles” that can be found at skokie.org/electoralreferendums. Income was not a defining principle and is not a Voting Rights Act issue.
No. Village budget dollars or Village services will not be distributed or organized based on districts. Although districts are intended to give specific individuals and geographic areas a distinct voice, district trustees will continue to serve with the fundamental and overarching goal of the unified and harmonious operation and progression of the Village as a whole.
Outside of the initial implementation costs of $50,000 and redistricting costs every 10 years following the completion of the census (estimated at approximately $15,000) there are no real costs to the Village of the three referendums or the new electoral system. There will likely by an increased time commitment on the part of the Village Clerk depending on how many people file to run for trustee or the number of petitions that are challenged.
The citizen-initiated referendums called for a hybrid representation system with four districts. As Skokie is a home-rule municipality, the referendum supersedes this section of State election law.
Mapping consultant Peter Creticos from the Institute for Work & the Economy, attorneys Jason Guisinger and Scott Uhler, partners at Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Village Manager John Lockerby, Assistant Village Manager Nick Wyatt, Management Analyst Alex Franz, Purchasing Director Michael Aleksic, Communications Manager Meredith Gioia and Communications and Community Engagement Director Patrick Deignan.
The Village appreciates the partnership of the Skokie Public Library in providing a meeting space large enough to accommodate the more than 100+ attendees who attended the August 14 public meeting, as well as the upcoming meeting planned for September 11. Village staff are working within the technological capabilities of this very large meeting space and have made several adjustments to improve audio quality for the September 11 meeting broadcast.
Yes, the Skokie Public Library will be providing hearing assistance devices for in-person attendees who request them. Please see a member of Referendum Implementation Team to receive a device.