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April 24, 2024

Rantoul Referendum to Abandon District Representation is Premature –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 22, 2022

Rantoul, IL. (ECWd) –

In the fall of 2018, voters in the Village of Rantoul approved a referendum to elect village trustees by district (instead of at-large) as provided for in the Illinois Municipal Code.

During the Spring 2021 election, village trustees were elected by district, and were sworn into office in May 2021.

This is important: May 2021 is when the village first started “operating” under district organization.

On December 1, 2022, different Rantoul residents submitted petition sheets for a referendum to abandon electing village trustees by district. This referendum is currently scheduled to be on the April 2023 ballot in Rantoul.

Under Section 3.1-25-85 of the Illinois Municipal Code, a referendum may only be submitted after a municipality “has operated for more than 4 years under the provisions of Section 3.1-25-75” –

” . . . Any municipality that has operated for more than 4 years under the provisions of Section 3.1-25-75 may abandon its method of electing trustees under that Section and elect its trustees under the provisions of Section 3.1-25-5 then applicable to villages, by proceeding under this Section . . . “

Plain reading of the statute would indicate the village must have first operated for more than 4 years under district representation prior to any referendum for abandoning district representation.

Rantoul would have only been operating under district representation for 23 months if this referendum makes it on the 2023 ballot, which is why we believe this referendum is premature and must wait until more than 4 years after the village trustees were sworn into office (May 2021) and started operating under district representation in May 2021 (Spring 2026 should be the earliest for new referendum).

Village of Rantoul 23CE

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