Mayor: Niles Board To Consider Term Limits
After 1,018 Niles residents signed a petition asking for term limits, the village objected and a judge ruled to quash it, term limits will finally get a hearing.
After three months of drama, term limits--which 1,018 Niles citizens supported by signing a petition--will get a hearing just prior to the next village board meeting on Oct. 23.
Mayor Robert Callero announced Tuesday at the village board's monthly meeting, "Now that the judge has ruled on the term limits petition, I have set discussion for the pre-board meeting on October 23."
Pre-board meetings usually take place at 6 or 7 p.m. on the night of monthly village board meetings, with the regular meeting starting at 8 p.m. Trustees and the mayor discuss pertinent topics, but do not take votes. Votes are held during the regular meetings.
The issue of term limits arose this summer, when a citizens' group led by resident Joe Makula gathered 1,018 signatures on a petition demanding that a referendum on term limits be placed on the November 2012 ballot.
Makula said Thursday he wondered how many people would show up, and how many even know where the village board holds its meetings.
"A lot of people are intimidated to speak at a meeting like that, or even to come to it," he said. "But I talked to 950 people. And people tell me two things. That they want a term limit of 16 years. And that they associate the three with more than 16 years (Mayor Robert Callero, Trustee Louella Preston and Trustee Andrew Przybylo) with (former mayor Nicholas) Blase."
Blase, who was mayor for 47 years, was sentenced to federal prison time for fraud for accepting kickbacks in an insurance scheme. He was released in March 2011.
A University of Illinois study earlier this year concluded that long-serving suburban public officials like Blase had a greater chance of engaging in corrupt activity.