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Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox Results

Effort continues for disabled services referendum

Published: Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Show You Care Kane has formed a Community Leadership Team to encourage voters to approve a tax increase on the March 18, primary ballot to aid developmentally disabled Kane County residents.

Advocates have gathered more than 20,000 signatures to get the question on the spring ballot, and they said the effort now is seeking support.

Voters will be asked to support a 0.1 percent property tax levy increase for housing and other services for developmentally disabled adults.

A Developmental Disabilities Services Board would administer the estimated $12 million in revenue the tax would raise to provide services.

John Knewitz of Burlington is one of 10 community leaders who will be available to speak to groups about the referendum.

Knewitz recently retired from St. Charles District 303, where he was director of special education.

Knewitz said schools serve students with disabilities, but not once they age out as adults at age 18 or 22. 

State and federal funding is inadequate, he said.

“From my way of thinking, that is not acceptable,” Knewitz said. “These are our fellow citizens, and they need our support. Some have been on a waiting list for services for more than 10 years.”

Former St. Charles Mayor Fred Norris also is on the leadership team.

Norris’ 53-year-old developmentally disabled daughter lives in a small group home.

“This is strictly a local situation,” Norris said. “The need is profound to help people with development disabilities find proper housing, activities.”

Other members of the leadership team are Kane County Board members Michael Donahue, R-Geneva; Drew Frasz, R-Elburn; John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles; Jennifer Laesch, D-Aurora; St. Charles school board member Corinne Pierog; retired AT&T director Richard Poulton; owner of Northern Illinois Builders Inc. David Reece; and director of the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Marilyn Weisner.

To get a speaker for a club or group, call Marklund President and CEO Gilbert Fonger at 630-593-5476 or 312-568-9219 or email gfonger@marklund.org.

Information is available at www.showyoucarekane.com.

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