Arlington Heights resident wants term limits on 2014 ballot
An Arlington Heights resident who has battled with the village before isn't giving up his quest to get a referendum on term limits for elected officials on the ballot.
Bill Gnech said he has been talking with the village clerk to get the rules straightened out before he starts passing around a petition for signatures in the next few weeks with a goal of having the question before voters during either the primary or general election in 2014.
Gnech obtained more than 2,700 signatures from residents who wanted a term-limit referendum on the April 2013 ballot, but it was thrown out by the village election board in January because of concerns about the way the question was phrased, the legality of some of the signatures and other issues.
Gnech wants elected officials to only be able to serve two, four-year terms in each position, meaning someone could serve eight years as trustee and eight years as mayor, but then would have to step down.
"It's not against anybody that's in office," Gnech said. "I think it's good for any town to have term limits, it gets new blood in there."
While he hasn't hired a lawyer because of the costs, Gnech said he has had lawyers look at his petition, which he worded similarly to a referendum that was voted on in Naperville recently.
"It's looking good so far," he said. "The people who have looked at the rough draft said it's more likely to get on the ballot this time. We just want to let people vote on it, but they make it hard to get on the ballot."
Gnech said he will be circulating the petitions at train stations, the senior center and the library once he makes sure the wording is correct. He said he also has help from some people he met while volunteering with Ron Drake's bid for Arlington Heights mayor earlier this year.
"We're very organized this time," he said. "Once we get it on the ballot, if the people don't want it at least we tried."
During the April election, both Drake and mayoral candidate Mark Hellner supported the term limits petition, while the race's winner, Mayor Tom Hayes, did not.
"We already do have term limits ó every time people go in the voting booth, they decide," Hayes said. "The voters decide how long the term of elected officials should be."
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