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posted: 9/1/2014 5:01 AM

Arlington Hts. board should put term limits to voters

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The denial of the term limit petition presented by Bill Gnech is really quite a disappointment. But really more worrisome is the fact that the village board of Arlington Heights acted with such supine indifference over the last few months when they knew very well that Mr. Gnech was out there pounding the pavement getting over 2,700 signatures.

This was his second attempt. The language in his proposition was apparently insufficient by legal standards. But the board could have avoided this by having directed their attorneys to draft their own question for the board to put on the ballot which I'm sure would have met any legal challenge.

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But our board just sat there -- evidently unwilling to submit this question to the voters -- the true rulers of this village.

In stark contrast, the City Council of Naperville came up with its own ballot proposition back in 2010 as residents were circulating petitions on their own. Tinley Park has also recently approved a similar ballot question for this November as well. Those two local government bodies should be commended for both their leadership and their commitment to greater democracy.

One can debate whether term limits are a good policy. But one big argument in their favor is they would prevent trustees from getting so entrenched and isolated from their constituents that they ignore two populist appeals to put a referendum on the ballot.

What an embarrassment for our village! Mr. Gnech may have lost the battle in the legal forum, but he has won the moral case for change in our village.

I urge the board to put this measure on the ballot themselves and let the citizens decide. This would go a long way toward redeeming the board's stature with many of us.

Frank J. Biga III

Arlington Heights

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