Lansing voters narrowly reject Park District referendum

2013-04-10T12:54:00Z 2013-04-11T00:34:08Z Lansing voters narrowly reject Park District referendumGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 10, 2013 12:54 pm  • 

LANSING | The one-quarter of village voters who turned out in Tuesday’s municipal elections narrowly rejected a referendum that would have permitted a property tax increase for the Lan-Oak Park District.

With votes in all 23 precincts counted, the referendum for the Park District that would have raised money for capital improvements at local parks received 2,397 votes of support, with 2,455 people voting against the proposed increase, a 58-vote difference.

Park District Executive Director John Wilson said he takes some solace in the fact that the vote this time was closer to passage than the referendum has come in the past.

According to the Cook County clerk’s office, the issue failed by a vote of 812 votes in favor to 1,789 votes opposed in the April 2011 elections.

The referendum was defeated by a vote of 1,920 votes for and 3,095 votes against in April 2009. It was crushed when it came up in November 2008 elections and the final vote was 2,827 votes for and 7,812 votes against.

Whether the issue is brought up for referendum in future election cycles has yet to be determined.

Wilson said Wednesday he has yet to talk to Park District board members. But he said he expects the issue will be a primary subject of discussion when the board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Administration Office, 17551 Chicago Ave.

“We might decide where we will go from here,” Wilson said.

The Park District’s referendum asked local voters to approve a 10-cent increase in its property tax levy to raise money to pay for long-overdue improvements to local parks. But it was not the only question on the ballot for Lansing residents.

On the referendum involving electricity aggregation, 3,071 people supported the idea, while 1,710 opposed it. Village officials now will be able to begin negotiations to try to develop a bulk rate for all Lansing residents that could result in lower utility bills sometime this summer.

In all, 5,040 ballots were cast in Lansing, according to the Cook County clerk’s office. That is 25.57 percent of the 19,712 people who are registered to vote in the village.

For village president, incumbent Norm Abbott won a second term by taking 2,755 votes, compared to 2,225 votes for former Village Trustee Donald Sciackitano. Lansing voters also largely voted for village officials who were aligned with Abbott to serve as village clerk and as trustees.

Although the largest vote-getter among the trustee candidates was Michael Manno, a former Lansing police officer who was aligned with Sciackitano. He received 2,563 votes, and will replace Dan Lyzenga — who finished fourth with 2,496 votes.

Two incumbent trustees, Terry Kapteyn and Mikal Stole, won re-election to four-year terms on the Village Board with identical 2,560 vote totals.

In other Lansing elections, Suzanne Long, Robert Wood, Chuck Taylor and Jeffrey Kiester were elected to four-year terms on the Lansing School District 158 School Board, while Robert Bonifazi was elected to a two-year term.

Lansing voters also had a say in the composition of school boards for Sunnybrook District 171, Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215, and the Lansing Public Library board — but all of those candidates ran unopposed.

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Dates and Times

Primary Election: May 6, 2014
Election: Nov. 4, 2014
Poll hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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