The process is defined in the Illinois Municipal Code. 65 ILCS 5/3.1-25-75, 80 & 85.
The process is not complex. The basic steps are;
Illinois Municipal Code. 65 ILCS 5/3.1-25-80
Sec. 3.1-25-80. Referendum; districting and election of trustees. If a petition signed by not less than 5% of the electors of a village with a population of 5,000 or more requests that the question of districting the village and electing trustees, one from each district, be submitted to the electors of the village, this question shall be certified by the municipal clerk to the proper election authority, who shall submit the proposition at the next general state or municipal election in the village. The petition shall be presented in accordance with the general election law.
The proposition shall be in substantially the following form:
Shall the village be divided into 6 districts with one trustee elected from each district?
If the question receives the favorable vote of a majority of all votes cast on the proposition, the board of trustees shall proceed to district the village, and the election of trustees for the village thereafter shall be in accordance with Section 3.1-25-75.
65 ILCS 5/3.1-25-75. Districts; election of trustees.
(a) After a village with a population of 5,000 or more adopts the provisions of this Section in the manner prescribed in Section 3.1-25-80, the board of trustees by ordinance shall divide and, whenever necessary thereafter, shall redistrict the village into 6 compact and contiguous districts of approximately equal population as required by law. This redistricting shall be completed not less than 30 days before the first day for the filing of nominating petitions for the next succeeding election of village officers held in accordance with the general election law.
(b) Each of the districts shall be represented by one trustee who shall have been an actual resident of the district for at least 6 months immediately before his or her election in the first election after a redistricting, unless the trustee is a resident of a newly incorporated municipality. Only the electors of a district shall elect the trustee from that district.
If the voters approve the Districting question then the Town Staff or a commission will draw and present options to the Trustees. The Trustees will vote to approve the District map. The public will have an opportunity to provide input.
If voters pass the referendum, then the Town must comply with the will of the voters.
Yes, after 4 years of the District system, voters can pass a Referendum to go back to the at-large system.
Any municipality that has operated for more than 4 years under the provisions of Section 3.1-25-75 may abandon its method of electing trustees under that Section and elect its trustees under the provisions of Section 3.1-25-5 then applicable to villages, by proceeding under this Section. (65 ILCS 5/3.1-25-85)
Yes, Rantoul IL recently followed this same process to switch from an "At-Large" to a "District" model. Some of the key people in their initiative have been invaluable in helping with Normal's initiative. Here are some links to articles about Rantoul's initiative.
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