Our League Takes Positions on StAte and LOCAL Issues
THAT ARE of Interest to Our community.
Forms of Local Government Consensus (1976)
Do you see sufficient benefits to the Manager-Council or any other forms of local government sufficient to warrant a change in the form of Glen Ellyn’s government?
A different form of government is not needed. The present President-Trustee form with the Village Administrator provides both professional administration and a flexibility which allows the President and Trustees to determine how much time they wish to put in above the minimum time necessary.
Do you favor election by wards or at-large?
We favor at-large election of Trustees. The Village is neither so large nor so diverse as to warrant election by districts.
Village Planning Consensus (1978) (revised 2003)
The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn believes the following procedures facilitate the planning process:
Boards and commissions should have formalized operating procedures, guidelines, or by-laws consistent with one another and the Village Board. New members of boards and commissions should receive training so that they may fully understand both their responsibilities and their limitations.
Boards and commissions should prepare and circulate annual reports. Each board or commission should meet annually with the Village Board to review their annual report and to discuss plans for the coming year. When major reports are completed and submitted to the Village Board, the Village Board and the Commission in question should meet for full discussion.
The Village Board should report in writing to the members of boards and commissions the action it takes on each of their reports or recommendations. Boards and Commissions should appoint observers to Village Board meetings to report to their membership the actions of the Village Board.
Home Rule for Glen Ellyn Consensus (1983) (revised 2003)
The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn supports the concept of Home Rule for Glen Ellyn.
Village Budget Study Consensus (1987) (revised 2003) (revised 2010)
Glen Ellyn’s budget should be designed to provide services desired by a predominantly residential community. The basic form and underlying principles of the budget should be adequate and appropriate for serving the Village into the future.
Human services are an important part of the Village budget, and it is appropriate to fund these from general revenues. League members expressed particular concern for the continuation of services for seniors, adolescents and people who are disabled. Any expansion beyond the current level of human services should be carefully weighed.
Village revenue should come from a variety of sources, including property, sales and utility taxes, among others, and user fees when appropriate. The Village should encourage the development of vacant land to its optimum use as income producing property, as well as encourage Central Business District enterprises that might increase sales tax revenue with a minimum increase in demand for services. The Village should be alert to ways to increase revenue without increasing the tax burden on residents, and should examine home rule revenue options and adopt appropriate ones when possible. The Village should constantly seek to limit expenditures by encouraging increased efficiency, by increasing privatization of services where feasible and cooperating with other units of government like the Park District to avoid unnecessary duplication of services.
Although the Village budget process is careful and thorough, public input is actively sought only after the budget is almost complete. The Village should seek and the League should offer public input early in the budget process, instead of only at the end.
House Size in Relation to Lot Size Consensus (January, 1993)
The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn supports zoning that ensures the preservation of open space, light, air and accessibility in the Village of Glen Ellyn. New and add-on single family house construction should maintain the diversity of the community. We support housing improvements that are consistent with these principles. We support the following sections of the 1989 Glen Ellyn Zoning Code as amended, that control house size in relation to lot area size:
Setback minimums and height maximums.
Setback minimums for lots less than 66 2/3 feet.
We favor the following additions to the Glen Ellyn Zoning Code that would limit the bulk or volume of a house in relation to the lot area while maintaining flexibility for the property owner:
Footprint or lot coverage maximum which limits the area of the house to a percentage of the lot area.
Floor area ratio which limits the volume of a house to a percentage of the lot area.
Socio-Economic Study Consensus (1994) (revised 2005) (revised 2012)
Is there a need for more affordable housing (i.e., to meet needs of those with lower incomes) in Glen Ellyn? If so, to what extent is this need being met?
Some rental housing is available as smaller units (one and two bedrooms) in price ranges affordable to lower incomes along Roosevelt Road. Some ownership opportunities are available as smaller condominiums and townhouses (two bedrooms) to moderate-income households. However, larger housing units (three or more bedrooms) are not available to larger households at affordable prices, either as rental or ownership opportunities. The gentrification trend of tearing down older and smaller and building expensive larger houses has reduced the number of affordable housing units substantially and raised the prices of the remaining stock.
Is there a need for more temporary shelter in Glen Ellyn?
There is a need which is not being met in any real sense. There is a major need for shelter with case management to help homeless persons become situated in adequate residences. The temporary shelter is not available in Glen Ellyn seven days a week. The homeless are expected to move several miles every day to a new location in DuPage County, often by foot as transportation is problematic for this group of people. This is very insensitive to the plight of the poor in our midst.
Is employment a problem in Glen Ellyn?
Glen Ellyn has programs that assist people looking for employment; however, unemployment, the fear of unemployment, and underemployment has many negative effects on individuals, families and the Glen Ellyn community.
Is there a need for improved public transportation in Glen Ellyn?
The public transportation system in DuPage County needs to be better coordinated and possibly enlarged.
How have the needs of senior citizens changed? Are the identified needs being met?
The infrastructure exists to help seniors manage everyday life and stay as long as possible in their homes. Many programs, however, are under-funded; and inadequate funding reduces the quality of help for seniors. Transportation, particularly, continues to be a problem.
Are childcare and support services for Glen Ellyn’s young families adequate?
Childcare and many support services are available, some on sliding fee scales. Lower-income families needing financial assistance to pay for preschool childcare may experience waiting lists of several months. Before and after school care and summer and vacation programs for children of families in all income categories seem to be adequate. Latchkey children may be a problem in Glen Ellyn, but there is no data available to document the numbers.
For many children in Glen Ellyn, our public schools are becoming the most stable part of their lives. Schools are being asked to provide more and more support services. But as funds for academic programs diminish, such services as social workers and counselors are being cut.
Are services for 6th through 12th graders and their families adequate and comparable to those
offered in other communities of similar socio-economic composition?
Drinking, smoking, substance abuse, emotional problems, teen pregnancy and vandalism are serious issues among 6th through 12th graders in Glen Ellyn. That these behaviors are also commonplace in the junior high and high school age group reflects the inadequacy of our response as a community.
Non-academic, “support” programs in our schools are under-funded; yet need in the community for family education, support groups and counseling is at an all-time high. Data demonstrate that junior high age is the time when drinking, smoking and experimenting with other drugs begins. The limited programming currently offered to this age group through public funded sources such as the schools and Park District must be improved and expanded. In agreement with our 1977 consensus, we see need for improved knowledge of the availability of all services that exist in Glen Ellyn. The new computerized community database to be located at the public library is an important beginning.
The Relationship of Local Government and Local Business in Glen Ellyn Consensus (1996) (Updated 2011) (Updated 2013)
A. The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn believes that the Village government should:
support, as a funding priority, economic development in business and retention.
support a professional business recruiter in the office of planning and development.
evaluate tax rebates and increments carefully, case by case, as to their impact on all aspects of
encourage maintenance of the Roosevelt Road Aesthetic Plan (proposed 1996), and continue
emphasis on aesthetics in the Central Business District.
B. The League also believes that it is critical to educate the residents of Glen Ellyn about the value of supporting local business by promoting:
shopping in the Village.
using tax revenues to sustain a healthy business climate.
Comprehensive Plan Consensus (2000 – revised 2003 – revised 2015)
Revision reflects the adoption of the new comprehensive plan in 2001. All of the points of concern from our 1987 and 2000 studies are presented here, organized in the order of appearance in the plan. Reference the need for a stoplight at Spring & Rt 53 eliminated (accomplished!). Items 1, 2, 5, 7, 11 are from the 1987 position, the rest are from the 2000 position.
The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn strongly supports the need for continual review and updating of the Comprehensive Plan for the Village of Glen Ellyn (current version adopted April, 2001). As the plan is used and implemented, LWVGE particularly supports and/or is concerned about the following elements (listed in Plan order, not in order of importance):
Providing for ecological balance and maintaining Village character through preservation of trees and reforestation. (Sec. 1, p. 7, objective 10)
Providing access to parks and open space for all residential neighborhoods. (Sec.1, p. 10, objective 6)
Encouraging residential development that provides for a range of housing types and costs reflective of the present and anticipated future needs of the Village’s population and that maintains the current 60/40 ratio of single-family to multi-family dwellings and incorporates Illinois affordability ratios. (Sec. 2, p.13)
Zoning that ensures preservation of open space, light, air and accessibility; and that specifically controls house size in relation to lot size and limits bulk or volume. (For LWVGE’s complete position on teardown-related issues, Sec. 2, p.14 of the Comprehensive Plan, see the 1993 House Size in Relation to Lot Size Consensus.)
Using density definitions for guidance in the plan and for implementation in the Zoning Code that specifically include 10 to 18 units per acre for medium density housing, and 6 to 10 units per acre for low density attached housing. (Sec. 2, p.16) LWVGE strongly advocates development of a similarly clear definition of high density housing for downtown that is acceptable to the community.
Continuing to seek ways of broadening the tax base while maintaining the basic character of the Village. (Sec. 2, p. 18)
Working with IDOT to limit widening of IL Rte 53 to no more than three lanes with a plan that complements adjacent land development, enhances the Village’s image and character, and is safe and convenient for bicyclists and pedestrians as well as motorists. (Sec. 2, p. 33)
Providing solutions to parking problems in the central business district that conform to the Village’s environmental standards and character. (Sec. 2, p. 33)
Pursuing the feasibility of providing public transportation to link various key locations within the Village. (Sec. 2, p. 33)
Working cooperatively with DuPage County to develop the proposed trail along the East branch of the DuPage River, including a grade-separated crossing and a 10-foot riparian buffer. (Sec. 2, p. 33)
Continuing development of the proposed north/south trail connecting the central business district and the College of DuPage, eventually linking to other trails. The bike lane that has been created on Lambert Rd. between Roosevelt Rd. and COD is a step toward achieving this goal. (Sec. 2, p.33)
Developing/implementing zoning in the downtown area that promotes the co-existence of retail, commercial, office and residential dwellings. (Sec. 3a)
Restricting buildings in the central business district to 3 or 4 stories, when possible; and, otherwise, requiring that they be of the same scale as adjacent buildings in height and mass and consistent with factors for consideration as outlined in the Village’s Comprehensive Plan. (Sec. 3a)
Continuing and maintaining the beautification of the Roosevelt Road corridor. (Sec. 3b)
Providing ample opportunities for public/community input to plans for revised traffic flow at Five
Corners, which must be coordinated with DuPage County. (Sec. 3c)
Glen Ellyn Selection of Village and Library Board Offices (2008)
It is the consensus of the League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn that the Civic Betterment Party (CBP) serves the purpose of identifying and selecting candidates for Village office (Village President, Village Trustee, Village Clerk, and Library Board). We believe the CBP’s objective is to seek candidates for these positions and believe the organization’s intent is to be inclusive of all who reside within Village corporate limits. We agree the CBP process has yielded many qualified candidates who may not have considered a run for political office had they not been encouraged by a member of the CBP.
However, we are concerned that many of the citizens of the Village are not knowledgeable about the CBP and that there is a false perception that the process is exclusive when in fact it tries to be inclusive. We encourage the CBP to increase publicity and awareness of the organization by developing and maintaining a website and that they partner with other civic organizations to identify candidates for their nominating committee and to promote participation in the bi-annual town meeting. We also suggest that the CBP consider dropping the word “party” from their name and substituting either committee or organization to better reflect their function.
We are further concerned that the CBP does not have detailed written procedures for all of their processes (i.e., selection of members of the nominating committee; selection, nomination and slating of candidates for public office; voter eligibility; and early voting procedures). We strongly suggest that the CBP prepare these documents and that these procedures be readily available to the public and monitored for compliance.
Lastly, we are concerned that the time between when the nominating committee first convenes and when the town meeting occurs is too short. According to the CBP bylaws, the nominating committee must meet by the September 1st preceding the town meeting which historically takes place at the end of November. This is frankly too short of a period of time to organize the committee, develop questions to be asked of the candidates, interview candidates, and decide on candidates. It is suggested that this process begin no later than the spring preceding the town meeting.
It is the consensus of the League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn that the current “Guideline for Participation in the Local Nominating Process,” as published in the policy section of its handbook, is still valid.
Criteria for Evaluating Referenda by Local Taxing Bodies Other than Schools
Is the funding request consistent with the other positions of the LWVUS, LWVIL, and the LWV of Glen Ellyn?
Has the Governing Board communicated the reasons for seeking additional funding through accessible public channels, for example open meetings, web sites, news releases, community mailings, pamphlets, etc.?
Has the opportunity been provided for citizens to respond to the Board’s proposal for increased local funding?
Has the Board demonstrated fiscal responsibility in the following ways?
Implementation of cost-effective measures, including but not limited to identifying operating inefficiencies such as utility costs and outside contracts;
Long range planning (within a range of three to five years), including projections of income and expenses and their effect on reserves, programs, and personnel;
Continued evaluation of the need and cost-effectiveness of programs;
Search for other suitable sources of revenue, e.g., state and federal grants;
Pursuit of intergovernmental cooperative agreements for improved delivery of services or cost savings.
Do income and expense projections indicate current and/or future financial difficulty? Consider the following:
Budgeted expenditures have exceeded budgeted revenues more than one fiscal year;
The debt incurred is not being systematically retired;
There has been repeated postponement of (1) maintenance actions, (2) capital purchases, or (3) program implementation;
There has been late payment of debt service, salaries, or contributions to pension funds (signaling that a fiscal crisis has already occurred);
The bond rating has changed (signaling a fiscal crisis has already occurred);
Have unique financial hardships been imposed on the governing body (e.g. tax caps, TIF
Districts, other unfunded state and federal mandates)?
6a. Is passage of the referendum essential to maintain, restore or achieve the established program goals of the governing body or necessary public services?
– OR –
6b. Is passage of the referendum proposal essential for maintaining the physical plant for health, safety and environmental needs? (eg. Increased space needs, asbestos abatement, compliance with ADA requirements)
In determining the amount of the referendum, were the governing body’s current reserves considered? Is any portion thereof being used to reduce this referendum? If not, why not?
Are there unique community factors that could affect the League’s position on the referendum? For example, have demographic trends which may require additional funding been considered?
PARK DISTRICT POSITIONS
Glen Ellyn Park District Length of Term Consensus (1988) (Updated 2013) (Updated 2014)
The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn supports a four-year term of office for Glen Ellyn Park District Commissioners. The role of the Commissioner is that of policy maker. The professional staff is there to handle day-to-day activities and implement policy. A four-year term makes board members more responsive to the community. Constant updating of ideas and procedures necessitated by new board members helps to keep the board as a whole and the staff accountable to the community. Our community is very mobile. More people are willing to make a four-year commitment than a six-year commitment. Four years is long enough for people to learn a job and be effective board members. The Glen Ellyn Park District Board changed the length of term of Board members to four years in June of 1996.
Glen Ellyn Park District Long Range Plan Consensus (1989) (revised 2005)
Glen Ellyn Park District Mission: The Glen Ellyn Park District is driven to foster diverse, community- based leisure opportunities, through a harmonious blend of quality recreation programs, facilities and open space which will enhance the quality of life into the future.
Land Acquisition and Park Development: The League supports the continued exploration of land acquisition to meet the park district mission when financially feasible and appropriate, including scattered vacant lots or unique parcels.
The League encourages the Glen Ellyn Park District to continue to pursue annexation of properties contiguous to current boundaries.
There is currently no incentive for neighborhoods outside the Glen Ellyn Park District to seek annexation to the district. We encourage the Park District to explore a fee structure that would more fairly represent the tax costs to residents, thus encouraging the annexation of neighboring areas.
Intergovernmental and Public Cooperation: We encourage continued cooperation and open dialogue between the Park District and other public and private facilities for the public benefit. Continued intergovernmental cooperation is to be encouraged between the Glen Ellyn Park District and other government bodies, such as other park districts, the Glen Ellyn Recreation Commission, school districts, Village government, and the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.
Recreation and Facilities Development: The League of Women Voters recommends that the Glen
Ellyn Park District actively seek broad community input during the planning process and before adoption of the Long Range Plan. We encourage a continuing dialogue with the community to ensure informed support of Park District facilities, services, programs, and financing.
We applaud the Park District’s willingness to foster emerging sports and accept responsibility for management of recreation programs that have become too large for volunteers to manage effectively such as Glen Ellyn Baseball.
However, we are concerned that “Pay to Play” philosophies may be inhibiting participation.
We are concerned that a scarcity of playing fields could inhibit participation in organized sports, something the public seems to want.
Park maintenance: We agree that the Glen Ellyn Park District should follow a well-planned program of maintenance of existing parks and equipment.
Organization and staffing: We support the practice of funding Glen Ellyn Park District staff salaries through operating funds rather than bond issues. It is difficult to assess the full amount of salaries and compensation of staff using the current published budget layout. While we applaud that practice, we would appreciate being able to assess at a glance the full compensation of all salaried administrators and staff.
Future Finances: We encourage a broad financial vision. We appreciate that the Park District is clearly delineating capital projects from on-going operations.
We affirm support for the direction the Glen Ellyn Park District’s financial planning has taken since the 1989 study. The District’s finances are based on a solid foundation of responsible planning and forecasting. We would like to see the district go further in expanding free and low cost programming for low-income families, even setting a measurable threshold to meet each year for percentage of dollars and percentage of services designated to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
We urge a continuing dialogue with the community to ensure informed support of Park District financing.
Although not addressed in the long-range plan, we agree with the Park District’s decision to establish a foundation which enables tax-free donations to be made. Major recipients of these donations are low- income children. However, we are concerned with the openness of the governing board of the foundation, the application process to the board, and the board’s process for deciding who benefits from the donations. The foundation’s contributions to the park district and the expenses the park district incurs for the foundation should be clearly noted in budget documents.
School Consolidation Study Consensus (1984)
It is the consensus of the League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn that the League not encourage consolidation of Elementary School Districts #41 and #89 at this time. We do recommend continuing cooperation between the districts and expanding cooperation wherever possible.
Consolidation of Elementary Districts #41 and #89 is feasible. Both districts have similar tax rates, financial resources, demographics, facilities, educational philosophies, programs and administrative structures. However, no overriding advantages were determined that would lead the League to encourage consolidation at this time.
Philosophy and structure of certain special programs, including gifted education and special education, differ substantially and would be difficult though not impossible to reconcile.
Possible expansion of curriculum in a consolidated district would require increased transportation of students.
There would be some reduction in administrative costs, but this would probably be offset by increases in the cost of teachers’ salaries and benefits due the fact that the two districts have differing contract packages.
Consolidating Elementary District #41 and #89 would result in a single elementary district encompassing almost all of Glen Ellyn and its planning jurisdiction. However, such a district would also include parts of Wheaton, Lombard, Downers Grove, Glendale Heights and Carol Stream, as well as large unincorporated areas. Moreover, the students of this district would continue to attend two different high schools, Glenbard West and Glenbard South.
School Referenda Criteria Consensus (2005)
Use the School Referenda criteria adopted in 2005 to evaluate the current status of our school districts in the event of a referendum. The criteria act as a basis on which to examine districts in areas of finance and program, but will not prohibit a broad-based study in the future.
Criteria for Evaluating School Funding Referenda
Is the funding request consistent with the other positions of the LWVUS, LWVIL, and the LWV of Glen Ellyn?
Has the school board communicated the reasons for seeking additional funding through accessible public channels, for example open meetings, web sites, news releases, community mailings, pamphlets, etc.?
Has the opportunity been provided for citizens to respond to the school board’s proposal for increased local school funding?
Has the school board demonstrated fiscal responsibility in the following ways?
Implementation of cost-effective measures, including but not limited to identifying operating
inefficiencies such as utility costs, outside contracts, transportation routes;
Long range planning (within a range of three to five years), including projections of income and
expenses and their effect on reserves, programs, and personnel;
Continued evaluation of the need and cost-effectiveness of programs;
Search for other suitable sources of revenue, e.g., charitable foundation grants;
Pursuit of intergovernmental cooperative agreements for improved delivery of services or cost
5. Do income and expense or enrollment projections indicate current and/or future financial difficulty? Consider the following:
Budgeted expenditures have exceeded budgeted revenues in one or more funds and in more than
one fiscal year.
The working cash fund has been closed out and (1) has been combined with repeated shortterm
borrowing, or (2) the debt incurred is not being systematically retired.
There has been repeated postponement of (1) maintenance actions, (2) purchases of instructional
materials, or (3) program implementation.
There has been late payment of debt service, salaries, or contributions to pension funds (signaling that a fiscal crisis has already occurred).
Financial institutions have imposed a limit on borrowing. The school district bond rating has changed (signaling a fiscal crisis has already occurred).
Have unique financial hardships been imposed on the district (e.g. tax caps, tax exempt properties, TIF districts, rapidly increasing enrollment, property reassessment, and other unfunded state and federal mandates)?
Have future educational or demographic trends which may require additional funding been considered, e.g. increasing use of technology, increasing special education costs, “at-risk”, bilingual, special needs?
6a. Is passage of the referendum essential to maintain, restore, or achieve the established educational goals of the district? Consider the following in comparison with comparable districts:
(1) Cost-per-pupil expenditures, as defined in the State Report Card, are within an acceptable range.
(2) An acceptable student-teacher ratio and student-administrator ratio, as defined in the State Report
Card, are offered.
(3) Salaries for teachers and administrators are competitive enough to attract highly qualified,
(4) The curriculum and program are competitive and of a high enough standard to prepare students
for their future.
– OR –
6b. Is passage of the referendum proposal essential for maintaining the physical plant for health, safety, and educational needs, e.g. increased enrollment space need, asbestos abatement, compliance with ADA requirements?
7. In determining the amount of the referendum were the district’s current reserves considered? Is any portion thereof being used to reduce this referendum? If not, why not?
8. Are there unique community factors that could affect the League’s position on the referendum?
The Status of Facilities in School Districts 41 & 89 (2013)
Based on the information provided by the District, it was determined that the current facilities in CCSD89 are adequate to meet both current and projected enrollment needs. Current facilities are also adequate to meet both current and long-range program needs, although some space may need to be repurposed to meet changing program needs. The infrastructures in all CCSD89 buildings were updated in 2008-2009 to include HVAC system upgrades, new boilers, and technological, electrical, plumbing, security, and mechanical system upgrades.
Information provided by D41 indicates that its current facilities are not adequate to meet either current or projected enrollments, nor are they adequate to meet current or long-range program needs. One cause of the D41 facility inadequacies was seen to be the extensive use of portable classrooms throughout the District. At the present time, D41 utilizes 32 portable classrooms to house more than 500 students. While portable classrooms provide additional space for regular and some special use needs, they are intended, by the Illinois School Code, to be temporary. More than one third of the portables are due to be replaced between 2013 and 2015. In addition, portables present safety issues with regard to severe weather conditions and security concerns.
The original D41 buildings were small schools built on small lots. All schools have had additions over the decades. The original buildings were designed and built to house smaller student populations, therefore the general space areas such as bathrooms, media centers, gyms, lunchrooms, and areas for therapy and special needs are inadequate in size to serve the needs of a significantly larger school population. All buildings are in need of upgrades to their infrastructures. The district faces heating and ventilation, roofing, and parking lot repairs relating to aging facilities and inadequate acreage. There is a need for flexible space and labs to accommodate the new curriculum demands of the Common Core standards adopted by the State of Illinois.
The D41 enrollment figures are projected to remain stable for the foreseeable future. Due to changing demographics though, more space may be needed to accommodate students with special needs, such as English Language Learners, students with individualized education programs, and students needing social services and various therapies. D41 is currently unable to house all of its at “at-risk” early childhood students.
The D41 facilities could be improved in many ways. Each of the following would require further study and consensus in order to be supported by LWVGE in any manner: building a new school; renting or leasing a suitable facility from another entity; consolidation with another contiguous district; building additions to existing schools; realigning D41 boundaries with another contiguous school district; staggering the school day; and adopting a year round school schedule. Upgrading and updating the current portables was proposed as a last resort option, but it was not considered an acceptable way to improve conditions in the schools.