Term Limits Left off Ballot

Article excerpt

Byline: Melissa Silverberg msilverberg@dailyherald.com By Melissa Silverberg msilverberg@dailyherald.com

The Arlington Heights Village Board has passed up its last chance to put a term limits referendum on the April ballot.

On Tuesday -- the deadline for a municipality to put a referendum on the ballot -- the board declined to put forth an initiative calling for term limits for municipal officials.

A citizen-based referendum calling for term limits got nearly 2,700 signatures but was thrown out by the electoral board earlier this month, in part because the wording was unclear.

Trustees said it was impossible to know what each person who signed the petition thought it meant.

"I'm very uncomfortable putting something on the ballot that voters may or may not want," said Trustee Thomas Glasgow.

"The petition was not denied on a technicality. I'm a lawyer, and I can't discern what was intended from that petition."

Trustees said the resident who circulated the petitions, Bill Gnech, should have gotten legal counsel before going ahead, to make sure he didn't face these problems.

Gnech's petition called for Arlington Heights trustees and the village president to be limited to two 4-year terms over the course of their lifetimes.

Although it had enough signatures for the ballot, the village electoral board upheld a challenge, saying it was not worded as a question and that the exact intentions were not clear. Gnech did not specify when the term limits would go into effect or if someone could serve eight years apiece in several offices, or eight years total. …