Message from the President
Posted by the Community Affairs Department
November 17, 2014
André B. Ashmore

Message from the Village President

Fellow Residents:

Earlier this year, the Elected Officials of the Village of Matteson voted unanimously to seek a Home Rule referendum for our community.

Before seeking that status, we spent time learning more about what Home Rule could mean for Matteson-from quality of life improvements to economic incentives for developers, increased authority over rental properties to a more diverse base of tax revenues to fund our government.

We undertook and endeavor to educate the community about Home Rule and connected with thousands of residents through flyers, website content, social media posts and dozens of presentations to homeowner associations, church groups and community organizations. Throughout that effort, we attempted to make clear the circumstances facing the Village of Matteson if the Home Rule referendum passed and if it failed.

On Tuesday, November 4th residents voted against Home Rule by a 188-vote difference-51% to 49%.

The nearly 6,500 votes cast represented a substantial turnout and I want to thank each of you who took the time to vote. Though it was the closest Home Rule decision in the entire state, the majority of those who voted decided against making the Village of Matteson a Home Rule community and each of us must respect the will of the voters.

A vote for Home Rule would have allowed Matteson to continue operating at the high standard you expect, while also keeping your property tax rates lower than nearly all of our neighbors. But as a result of this vote, we are now preparing to take steps that will likely change the face of the community that we call home.

These are not decisions that will be easy to make, but each of us was elected to represent you and your interests. We have made difficult decisions in the past. Four years ago, we had reduction in force of 21 employees and froze 4 additional positions as part of an effort to cut spending by 20%. Just a few months ago, we faced the possibility of another 15% cut and considered laying off dozens more police officers, firefighters, public works crews and administrative staff. Instead, we borrowed money and opted to seek Home Rule status.

Now, with Home Rule rejected and limited revenue sources available, we are preparing to cut millions of dollars from our annual budget.

The next few months will not be easy and the decisions made will likely have a lasting effect on our community. Still, it is my hope that we can work together to minimize that impact and continue to ensure that Matteson remains a vibrant, strong and unified community for generations to come.

On behalf of the Ashmore Family and me, we wish you GODSPEED until we meet again.

Andrè B. Ashmore, Village President
Village of Matteson

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