Norman Walzer

nlihc.org

Nowhere in the United States can a person working full time at minimum wage afford a simple two-bedroom apartment. While that is a problem in itself, it raises concerns far beyond just having a place to live. In this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Victor Yehling looks at details of the situation in Illinois and Wisconsin and possible resolutions.

neindiana.com

A northern Illinois economic development group is working on what’s being called a “code of ethics” for its member communities.  They’re not alone. In this WNIJ Friday Forum, Guy Stephens looks at  codes that are being created and what they can mean to economic development.

Striking a balance between competing local interests to achieve a benefit of all long has been a mantra of regional economic development. No one involved seems to disagree. Still, it has been deemed necessary to “get it in writing.”

Victor Yehling /WNIJ

Voters in Tuesday’s primary election rejected the effort to re-implement home rule authority in Rockford. WNIJ spoke with people on both sides of the issue about what this means for Rockford’s future.

The Illinois Constitution grants home rule authority to municipalities that have at least 25,000 residents. Others can gain that authority through a direct ordinance. Rockford naturally qualified in 1970 due to its population, but a referendum removed home-rule status in 1983.

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One of the more unique forms of government in Illinois is townships. They provide some services beyond those of a city but, in this frugal budget climate, some see township functions as redundant. 

Back in 2010, the city of Peru was emerging from the national financial crisis. To cut back on expenses, Mayor Scott Harl met with his counterparts from LaSalle and Oglesby.  

“We were looking at consolidation of our safety services, our dispatch for police, fire and 911," he said. "That took effect after six years. September of 2016.”   

What Consolidation Means for Sub/Urban School Districts

Jun 13, 2016

Illinois has more than 8500 individual government entities – including a large number of community school districts, ranging from stand-alone elementary schools that feed into stand-alone high schools, or a completely centralized urban network of institutions.  This week, Chase Cavanaugh explores how the processes that play out in rural communities doesn’t necessarily apply in the cities.