Kenmore Mayor John W. Beaumont has announced his opposition to a referendum question on the Nov. 4 ballot which would change the date of the bi-annual village elections from March to November.
In a prepared statement released over the weekend, Beaumont said the change would threaten the integrity of village government, obscure the debate of local issues and save considerably less money than claimed.
"In a November election," Beaumont said, "village candidates would be placed in the very last positions on ballots that could have as many as 13 candidates in front of them. . . . Village issues and candidates will almost certainly be lost in the shuffle."
He added that the cost of bi-annual village elections last March was $5,644.12, which amounts to 17 cents per resident per year. Those who petitioned for the referendum said a November vote would save $5,000 to $10,000.
"It's difficult for me to find any credibility in a referendum that would have no measurable impact on our village tax rate, especially when management initiatives to streamline our work force, renegotiate insurance coverages and restructure our departments are producing savings in the neighborhood of $70,000."
Mayor Beaumont said in August that he would have "no problem" with putting the measure on the November ballot if it could be thoroughly explained and publicly discussed.
The petition for the referendum was spearheaded by Neighbors to Preserve Kenmore, a group started by village Democrats.
Democrats hold a slight registration edge over Republicans in the village, but the Village Board is all-GOP.
The Democrats, who traditionally do better at the polls in general elections, hope that changing the election to November will give them the edge they need to win seats on the Village Board. The Republicans, who do better in non-general elections, are fighting the switch.