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Our View: Questions posed to Campton Hills

Published: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 10:35 a.m. CDT

Campton Hills voters will encounter a loaded ballot Nov. 6.

A binding referendum will determine whether the clerk position becomes an appointed job rather than an elected position. Currently, salaries for the position have to be established 180 days before an election, and there are no requirements for the clerk to approach the job as a full-time position. That discourages the village from offering enough compensation to provide incentive for a larger time commitment.

Campton Hills Village President Patsy Smith said making the position an appointed, full-time post would attract more qualified candidates and allow the clerk – currently paid $6,000 a year – to undertake tasks beyond taking meeting minutes. Among the envisioned roles are keeping up with expiring village contracts, certifying or signing documents in a timely fashion and publishing new ordinances and amendments.

We encourage village residents to base their vote on whether they view an expanded role for the clerk as an essential component of the village conducting its business.

One of two advisory questions asks whether the village should enter into a franchise agreement with Nicor that would help pay for emergency sirens. The franchise agreement would allow the utility company right of way to work on roads within the village and, in return, Smith said the village could generate the estimated $175,000 to $200,000 it would cost to purchase seven to nine early-warning sirens for disasters such as tornadoes. A cost of about $3.50 a month would be added to the bills of Nicor customers for up to a year, beginning in May. This seems like a reasonable opportunity for residents who consider sirens an important priority.

Another advisory question will ask whether the village’s video gambling ordinance, in effect since 2009, should be lifted. Old Towne Pub requested the village revisit the issue.

We continue to believe expanding gambling in the area is a bad idea. The limited and uncertain economic benefits it might provide are not worth the societal problems that often accompany gambling.

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