Home Rule in DeKalb…County


Here’s another one for the “better late than never” file: Some candidates for the DeKalb County Board want Home Rule for the county.

We’ve discussed the flaw in Home Rule law as practiced in Illinois previously. Since posting it I’ve had six more months to consider the workings of government and, meeting by meeting, have become ever more convinced (and dismayed) that the people in charge are not the ones we elected.

IMO it’s been a case of informational asymmetry (knowledge is power) combined with bureaucratic careerism, manipulation, and electees’ neglect of traditional housecleaning duties with the turnovers of regimes. But, however it might have happened, clearly power has become concentrated in the hands of administrators—people the voters can’t get rid of after four years—and this is true at the county level, too. Do we want to place Home Rule powers in those hands?

The idea also smacks of an end run around the voters on the jail question. The voters said “no,” twice now, to a sales tax for a new jail but with Home Rule, the County could impose it anyway. It’s undemocratic, and I’m furious.

I know which of my County Board candidates supports Home Rule for DeKalb County and which one does not. Do you? It may be the most important question you can ask of them this election cycle.

Another post on home rule is here.