Carpentersville Support for ‘Official English’ Weakens

June 19, 2007

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A proposal to make English the official language of suburban Carpentersville returns to the village's board tonight.

But at least one trustee who initially backed the measure seems to be wavering.

Chicago Public Radio's Chip Mitchell reports.

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The proposal says requiring English for all village business would encourage unity.

About 40 percent of Carpentersville's 37,000 residents speak Spanish.

Four of the village's seven trustees initially expressed support for the measure.

But the board put it on hold last month to hear from village departments.

Police, Fire, Public Works and others have since argued against it.

They say requiring English at all times would endanger public safety and hamper day-to-day operations.

Trustee Keith Hinz says those points have changed his view.

He won his seat in April after campaigning for a crackdown on Carpentersville's undocumented immigrants.

But he said this afternoon he could support the English measure only with qualifications.

I'm Chip Mitchell, Chicago Public Radio.