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Judge Weighs Niles Petition On Term Limits

Attorneys for both sides presented their arguments Thursday. 1,018 Niles voters signed a petition to get term limits on the ballot; the village turned it down. Will it get on the ballot?

 

Cook County Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon heard arguments from attorneys for both a Niles citizens group and the village of Niles Thursday on whether a citizens' petition, requesting a referendum on term limits, is valid.

The judge is expected to rule by Sept. 20 whether the election ballot will contain a question asking citizens whether term limits should be imposed on Niles elected officials. 

The village of Niles filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit a few days ago, and on Thursday the judge denied that motion, said Adam Lasker, an attorney for Joe Makula of the citizens' group.

Earlier:

Both attorneys presented their full cases to the judge.

"The judge wanted time to review the cases and briefs and continued this case for status and a possible ruling on the merits to next Thursday morning at 10:30 am," said Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, an attorney for the village of Niles, in an email.

Lasker said that the citizens' group had a strong case. Whether the signatures on the petition are genuine is not being challenged, he said; instead, the matter concerns whether the language on the petition matches the language in election code. The judge must decide whether to apply a "substantial compliance" standard, as the citizens' group hopes, or a "strict compliance" standard, which Lasker said is what the village used in rejecting the petition.

"When courts make a decision, they're supposed to lean in favor of ballot access," Lasker said. Illinois appellate court and the Illinois Supreme Court have articulated that in many decisions over the years, he noted.

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CK September 15, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Hang in, Mr. Makula. We all thank you.
sherwin dubren September 15, 2012 at 02:52 AM
This is another case of the Blase dynasty trying to prolong itself. They pulled this stunt a few elections back where they managed to delay a referendum so long that it could not be included on the ballot. Instead, written hand outs had to be submitted at the polls, which certainly was not a convenient way to vote. The current Niles officials are good at getting their way. They managed to convince Lou Lange to change Illinois law to allow the owner of the White Eagle to run for mayor. That owner is a trustee with a long record of support for ex-mayor Blase. They also got the law changed to allow the owner of Kappy's to run for office in Niles, although he has convictions on his record. These guys are a self perpetuating machine.
Harry Gio September 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Sherwin, Baby... Quit throwing mudddd, duuuude.......
Harry Gio September 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Kappy's is a GREAT place to visit... Gus is such a nice, nice man.......
Harry Gio September 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM
The last time I was at Kappy's, I saw BUBBA COHN eat an entire 12 Egg Omelet ! BUBBA COHN loves their "All You Can Eat" Specials.............
sherwin dubren September 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I never said Kappy's was not a good place to eat. I used to go there quite a bit for breakfasts. However, I was trying to make a point that there may be preferential treatment for some people and not others. Also, I think missbehavior as a youth should not be simply sluffed off. He was not that young. How many people do we know that had their records expunged? I think the politicians played a role in this expunging of George's record. I like the guy, but if I were voting in Niles, I would certainly consider his record in my choice of candidates.
sherwin dubren September 16, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Pat, would you vote for Obama or Romney if they had an expunged felony on the record, even as a youth? State law bars felons from holding municipal office in Illinois, but Governor Quinn pardoned George. This may have not been political, but there is an appearance of some favors being granted. Would George owe anything to the Democratic Party that would influence the way he would vote in Niles? Maybe yes and maybe no, but the residents of Niles should be thinking about this.
sherwin dubren September 16, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Pat, do you really think Gov. Quinn is going to sue me for slander? Who is dillusional now? There is no slander here, just politics as usually practiced. I did not accuse anyone of anything, but suggested there is an appearance of playing favorites. Also, quit trying to portray yourself as my friend. You are not my friend and your comments are annoying. This is what the Sun Times reported on George's conviction: He had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal damage to property for his role in the pipe-bombing of Wolfy’s restaurant on the North Side on Christmas Day 1983. While on probation for that crime, Alpogianis and seven other members of the Insane Popes street gang attacked three men outside a party with 30-inch pipes and pieces of wood outfitted with protruding nails, records show. These are serious crimes and do not fall into the usual crimes youth's are involved with like stealing cars for joy rides. I can appreciate all the good things George has done in his later life, but I don't think he should hold public office.
Patch reinstates deleted accounts! September 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I don't know 'George' or Mr. Dubren, so this is an unbiased comment. I looked up the definition of slander since I was having a hard time finding how what Mr. Dubren was writing would be considered slanderous. I learned that it would be libel, since slander is oral defamation and libel is in print, TV, radio, etc. Regardless, the definition for both is to say/write "an untruth about another which will harm the reputation of the person defamed. Some statements such as an untrue accusation of having committed a crime, having a loathsome disease, or being unable to perform one's occupation are treated as slander per se since the harm and malice are obvious." Additionally, anything said in the Comments section are just that. We are not publishing anything. Just day-to-day citizens marking comments. I think there is a much lower standard of libel/slander by non-journalists. Now, if I were to say that I've seen George buying drugs, THAT might be libel. But bringing up a well-published criminal background, and opinions of how a town's political offices are run is COMMENTARY. That's my OPINION.
sherwin dubren September 16, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Exactly how did George pay his debt to society. Did he serve jail time? I don't think so. He had no problem working at the family owned restaurant business, so that was not a problem. It is George's decision to run for office. Doing so, he must accept criticism, as would any other candidate. Personally, I like the guy, but running for office is another matter. George was not the only politician who was given a pardon by the Governor. It appears as if there was at least one other, maybe more. I think in this case, giving George a pardon was strictly so he could run for office and get around the Illinois law prohibiting prior fellons from holding office. There was no other reason to give him a pardon, since he is self employed and doesn't need a clean record. Pat has gone from feeling sorry for me, warning me about law suits, and now being ashamed of me. What other tactics can he employ?
Jac Charlier September 18, 2012 at 01:38 AM
This case should be ruled in favor of allowing the initiative on the ballot and letting the voters decide the issue at hand. That is the real issue that so many worked so hard to get out there, not the technical aspects of administrative rules vs. a government of, by and for the people. In the arena of civic engagement, reasonable efforts to satisfy legal requirements should take precedence over a rule-bound process. In other areas, maybe not as much. Excited for the voters and for Niles!
HARRY ACHINO September 18, 2012 at 01:57 AM
YOU ARE ALL WRONG. EXCEPT HARRY GIO, WHO IS PLAYING WITH YOU. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS, THE PEOPLE WHO INSTAGATED THE PETTION HAVE A PERSONAL BEEF WITH ANYONE ASSOCITED WITH THE FORMER MAYOR. ARE THEY ALL CURRUPT? THE BOTTOM LINE IS, TERM LIMITS ARE FINE, AS LONG AS THEIR NOT RETOACTIVE. MANY PEOPLE IN NILES BELIEVE THERE IS ONE POLITITION WHO WILL BENEFIT(IF YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO GUESS, I WILL TELL YOU IF YOU ARE CORRECT). IF THIS PERSON AND HIS CRONIES STEAL THE UPCOMING MAYOR ELECTION WE ARE ALL IN BIG TROUBLE. I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO MAKE SURE THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN,
Danny September 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Congratulations to Village Clerk Marlene Victorine for knowing how to do her job when she rejected the petitions. It is a shame that certain people accused you of following the direction of others in your process. Shame on them, they all owe you an apology. Hey Harry, were you talking about C.H.?
CK September 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Are you an insider? If some one is going to steal an election you should tell us and not have us gues. I read that Loverde and Prrzybylo are running. Which one is goning to steal the election? You must warn us so that we're careful especially if you are going to do every thing in your power. We wait. Tell us.
R C September 21, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Sherwin, don't kid yourself...the new trustee who purports himself as a "white knight" crusader wants his own feifdom....so let it happen, and see how well Niles prospers.
sherwin dubren September 21, 2012 at 06:01 AM
R C - better several fiefdoms than one dynasty. The village clerk's job is not to throw road blocks in front of people who want better government. She apppears to be part of the dynasty.
Jac Charlier September 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM
The question now for the term limits issue is what's the next step? The path has turned, not ended. Another question to ask, is this related in any way (behind the scenes) to the State legislation (now a new law) that allows holders of liquor licenses to run for mayor? What may seem unconnected, may in fact not be. Comments?
CK September 21, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Nothing in politics happens by accident at the same time especially with madigan and his stooges and I don't mean Larry, Moe and Curly who actually had some form of talent.
CK September 21, 2012 at 05:36 PM
When I was a kid I watched Dynasty just before it went off. Maybe we can have a new Series NILES and it could be about local royal families who sell food to people and give orders and pretend all the time they dont want to be kings and emperors. All of them would try and make us worship false idols.

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