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Oswego president leads area government group : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Oswego president leads area government group
Metro West Council serves 35 municipalities in Kendall, Kane, DeKalb counties

by John Etheredge


Oswego Village President Brian LeClercq was recently elected to a one-year term as president of the Metro West Council of Government.

Metro West is an association of municipal and county governments serving Kendall, Kane and DeKalb counties that works to foster regional governmental cooperation on issues such as transportation, growth, water conservation and economic development.

To participate in Metro West, the village of Oswego and other units of government pay annual dues to the association based on their local populations.

Referring to Metro West, LeClercq said, "It's a great organization and I'm honored to be part of it."

LeClercq's one-year term as president began last month and will end next October.

LeClercq said he enjoys serving with Metro West because its members work to support each other and work cooperatively on issues of common concern.

"There are so many groups that just seem to meet to meet and I'm not interested in that," he said, adding, "With Metro West we are very active."

LeClercq noted the Metro West municipalities often share information on common issues.

For example, he said Oswego used another Metro West municipality's video game ordinance as a template for the village's ordinance, which reduced the village's legal fees.

Listed as the top priority on Metro West's list of legislative positions for the coming year is passage by state lawmakers of the Municipal Authority Modernization Act. The association supports the act based on the belief it will "increase the effectiveness and efficiency of municipal services provided to the public for all municipalities."

LeClercq noted the act is sometimes referred to as "home rule light."

He explained that currently municipalities like Oswego and others in the state are automatically granted home rule status when their populations surpass 25,000. Home rule status provides the larger municipalities greater authority to govern themselves and to impose taxes.

LeClercq said the Municipal Authority and Modernization Act has been referred to by some as "home rule light" because it would grant the small municipalities more power to govern themselves, but without the taxing authority granted under home rule status.

At a Metro West meeting, LeClercq said representatives of the non-home rule municipalities asked about the pros and cons of home rule status.

"We had an open discussion about home rule and we thought they should all have the (same home rule) authority, but we agreed the taxing authority should go to the voters," he said.

Steve Jones, village administrator, estimated that between 75 to 80 percent of Metro West's focus is on legislative issues with the balance on sharing information.

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