Voters give nod to Homer Glen proposal to eliminate township government

People vote at the Homer Township Public Library on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

Homer Township — Voters in Homer Glen appear to have approved a referendum seeking input on whether the village should “take appropriate action and pursue appropriate efforts to potentially dissolve or discontinue township government.”

The measure is strictly advisory, and there is no clear legal path or precedent for a village or city to dissolve a higher level of government.

The measure passed by 236 votes, accounting for 52.6% of voters. The thin margin came on an election night with only 15.5% of voter turnout in Will County.

Homer Township, like all Illinois townships, is 36 square miles, and its borders are determined by the state. Although certain townships provide more services to their residents than others, all residents – incorporated or not – are taxed equally by their townships.

Homer Township maintains multiple miles of roads and also provides services for senior citizens and residents with disabilities.

Although the Homer Glen question asked whether voters wanted the village to take actions to “dissolve” the body, the question was not posed to township residents from outside Homer Glen, which make up about 40% of its population.

Homer Township Supervisor Steve Balich has asserted that there is nothing Homer Glen can do to eliminate the township’s jurisdiction, although he said he has offered to unincorporate all township-owned property that is inside Homer Glen.

This proposition was rejected by Mayor Christina Neitzke-Troike.

Neitzke-Troike declined to comment on that offer and did not offer an explanation of what she intended to do to pursue separation from the township if the referendum passed.