Highwood explains Fire Department referendum language for March 15 primary election
A referendum on Illinois’ March 15 primary election ballots, regarding Highland Park providing fire and ambulance services to the city of Highwood, includes language that needs clarification.
Contrary to typical referendums, the exact wording in the document was set by state-level statutes rather than local; consequently, the language may be potentially confusing, and the purpose of the ballot item itself may not be evident.
The language of the referendum reads as follows: “Shall the city of Highwood Fire Department serving the citizens with the city of Highwood cease to provide emergency services and be dissolved and discontinued?”
The city explained that if the referendum passes — meaning a majority of “yes” votes — then the city of Highwood will have fire and ambulance services provided by the city of Highland Park’s fire department.
If the majority of voters oppose the referendum with a “no” vote, then the city will be required to seek out a contract with a private company called "PSI" for fire and ambulance services.
Highland Park has a reputation for excellent emergency service, with its fire department having achieved international accreditation. If passed, the referendum will save the jurisdiction more than $9.3 million over the next decade, not including auxiliary savings derived from future investments in equipment and other capital purchases.
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