An Orthodox Jewish school has lost a legal battle with the City of Evanston over their bid to open a new facility there. The group filed the lawsuit six years ago claiming religious discrimination, but Evanston aldermen said it came down to a declining property tax base.
Communities are having a problem with vacant properties in this recession. They’re struggling to generate tax revenues, properties are deteriorating with neglect, and neighboring property values are plummeting. Most towns are scrambling to find new tenants for these buildings: businesses,
The idea behind a referendum is to give voters a direct voice in making their community better. These ballot questions can cover anything from stem-cell research to the fate of an empty lot. They may be binding or just advisory. Last month, referenda were on ballots in nine Chicago precincts.