Objection filed to Arlington Hts. term limit petition

Updated 8/12/2014 6:22 PM

An Arlington Heights resident has filed an objection to a petition asking that voters decide whether the village's elected officials should be subject to term limits.

The electoral board -- made up of the village clerk, Mayor Tom Hayes and the village's more senior trustee, Bert Rosenberg -- will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday to hear the objection and decide if a term-limit referendum will appear on the November ballot.

Jim Constantine filed the objection with Village Clerk Becky Hume on Friday afternoon, citing issues with how the public question is worded and how term limits would be implemented.

The proposed ballot question submitted in a petition by resident Bill Gnech asks, "Shall the Village of Arlington Heights limit the number of terms of office for Village President and Village Trustee to no more than two consecutive four-year terms for each position?"

More than 2,700 names are signed on the petition.

According to the objection, "the public question fails to state when term limits would take effect."

"The public question, as presented, is vague and ambiguous and unable to stand on its own without additional information being added to the public question and, thereby, causes extreme voter confusion," Constantine states in his objection.

This is the second time Gnech has tried to get term limits on a village ballot. His 2013 petition was criticized as poorly worded and thrown off the ballot during a similar electoral hearing.

Gnech said he consulted with several lawyers this time and took the wording straight from a Naperville referendum on term limits. Naperville voters approved term limits in November 2010.

"This worked in Naperville, so there's no reason it shouldn't work here," Gnech said last week.

The question is written as a binding referendum using the word "shall." Gnech believes limits, if passed, would not be retroactive to current elected officials.

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