According to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau: “In an advisory referendum, a legislative body places a proposed measure on the ballot to gauge the opinion of the electorate. The results of an advisory referendum are not binding, and governing bodies are not required to act in accordance with the majority opinion.”
Once the results of the referendum have been tabulated, the next steps for this project will be determined by the Village Board. But, to be clear, the Board is not limited by the referendum results. A good way to look at an “advisory referendum” is that it allows the Board to best understand the opinion of the public on a matter. That’s why high voter turnout is important. The higher the voter turnout, the more accurate the results are in reflecting true public opinion. Typically, November general elections in our community yield 80% - 90% voter turnout.
If desired, the Village Board also has the ability to go back to the voters again with another “advisory referendum” when a site, final design, and firm budget are determined.