On Monday night Rockford aldermen approved adding the option of Home Rule to the March 2018 Ballot. Voters will now decide if the city should institute home rule.
Alderman Linda McNeely was the sole "no" vote.
"I just don't think it's good for our city overall," says McNeely. "I have some real concerns about this body doing what's right for the city overall."
McNeely says she has concerns Home Rule could mean higher taxes or burdens on tax payers, adding she's not confident in what the current council will want to vote through.
Meanwhile supporters, like Mayor Tom McNamara, say it's a tool that will help the city reduce its property taxes. He says Home Rule cities that are similar in size to Rockford have lower property taxes. McNamara also stressing that voters will have the chance to hold him and aldermen accountable, letting them know what they want to see in their city. He says right now it's state leaders who hold all this power.
"Home Rule is a tool that all major cities have. We are the largest city in the state of Illinois that does not have Home Rule. We're one of a few communities that does not have Home Rule. It's a tool that we use to move forward. If I don't use that tool properly fire me, don't fire home rule. We have to have home rule to move our community forward."
Voters will now get the chance to weigh in on this issue in March.