Fall Election 2014: Several local referendums on ballot

paper-ballot-webThe fall partisan election typically doesn’t hold a lot of significance when it comes to strictly local issues.

Sure that election decides state and federal offices — even president every four years — and those are important offices, but they’re not local.

This year, that’s definitely not the case with a countywide referendum and referendums in three municipalities on controversial issues.

Here’s a summary:

Silver Lake — Even if you don’t live in Silver Lake, you likely are aware of these referendums. Voters in that village will be voting– in two separate referendums — on whether the village can contract with Salem for rescue and fire services and whether the village government should be dissolved. To take effect, the Silver Lake dissolve vote will have to pass with a two-thirds majority. If it does pass, the property in the village will become part of Salem. The fire/rescue referendum needs only a simple a majority to pass. Conveniently, Silver Lake’s Village Board has a regular board meeting the next day. But the Silver Lake dissolution referendum result — which could have a big impact in Salem — is also on the agenda of a Salem Town Board Committee of the  Whole meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Salem — Though the Town Board will no doubt be keeping a eye on the Silver Lake results, they have their own referendum on the ballot as well — on ATV use on designated town roads. The referendum will not include what roads. Public sentiment on the issue has seemed pretty split when discussed at public meetings. The referendum will be non-binding, but board members said they felt they wanted the vote to gauge sentiment of a larger sample of town residents.

Paddock Lake — Paddock Lake got the whole referendum trend started back in March when the Village Board decided to put the contentious issue of whether to allow golf carts on village streets with certain restrictions to a vote. Before that, the board had considered drafting an ordinance regulating the carts, then looked like it might formally ban golf cart use, then after backlash from that course of action decided to hold the vote.

County wide — Voters throughout Kenosha County will be able to vote on a minimum wage question put on the ballot by the County Board. The question will be “Should the State of Wisconsin increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour?” A yes vote means that the County Board is advised to support the proposal that the State of Wisconsin should raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. A no vote means the County Board is advised not to support the proposal.



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