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Niles Term Limits Question Quashed, for Now

Resident Joe Makula collected more than 1,000 signatures to require term limits for trustees and the mayor; the village clerk recently ruled the petition could not be certified due to Illinois Election Code requirements.

 

The challenge to the lack of term limits for elected officials will not go forward, for now.  

That after Village Clerk, Marlene Victorine, determined she could not certify a petition submitted by resident Joe Makula, based on requirements of the Illinois Election Code.  

"After reviewing the petition as well as reviewing it with our attorney, it was found to be non-compliant with Illinois Election Code requirements and I am not able to certify it for the upcoming November election," Victorine said. 

In a letter to Makula dated Aug. 8, issues Victorine cited included that the petition "stated an incorrect standard for determining the number of signatures required."

Victorine also stated the petitions submitted failed to certify, "the person circulating the petition was 18 years of age of older", "the signatures on the sheet were signed in the circulator's presence" and "that the signatures were genuine." 

The deadline to resumit the petition in line with election code standards was Aug. 6, Victorine said. 

Below is Makula's written response to the decision, provided to Patch:

In not meeting and certifying the Petition for Term Limits in Niles you are trampling on over 1000 Registered Voters in Niles requesting to put this on the Ballot. You are also not giving 16,000 other voters the opportunity for their voices [Vote] to be heard on this issue. You are in effect stealing as many as 17000 votes. Is this what you are and want? Voting is one of the most priceless cornerstones of our Democracy and collective heritage in this country, at all levels of Government. Your failure to recognize this is unforgiveable and your actions border on the criminal.

There is nothing illegal in these petitions and no good reason to keep these off the ballot. Common Sense shows they meet all the Standards and Qualifications required. Certify this Referendum now and let the Voters decide this issue on how they wish to be Governed.                 

Victorine said the petitions could again be considered, and if completed according to IEC, a referendum could make it onto the April ballot. 

"I think this is an important issue," Victorine said. 

Makula said he is unfettered by the recent developments.

"April is really, just around the corner," he said. 

John August 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Since it appears that the current administration will do anything they can to keep this referendum off the ballot, perhaps the best thing to do is replace all of them in the next election with new blood that does not believe in "the good old boys" attitude that has prevailed over the past decades.
BadGer August 13, 2012 at 08:16 PM
If Mr. Makula efforts were for naught, it's no one's fault but his own. If there are guidelines in place (Illinois Elecltion Code) they are there for just such an event. Don't cast aspersions. If it's done "by the book" then Mr. Makula would have had a leg to stand on. I admit I tried reading through the code: it's long. If Mr. Makula had a family-based lawyer to help him he would have succeeded. Better luck next time because now YOU KNOW what must be done.
Jac Charlier August 14, 2012 at 01:43 AM
This is very troubling but the overwhelming silence surrounding the ballot initiative not being certified is even more troubling. What if the law on ballot initiatives leaned towards allowing instead of excluding citizen-initiated initiatives? In the tension between needing some administrative rules for this procedure (which should be very light) and the spirit of our great democracy (yes, I know it is a republic), I say repeatedly, lean always, always for the citizens, towards transparency and for inclusion. Why not? What is the real problem? In these situations, can rules count more than the ability of the people to govern? A government of the rules, by the rules and for the rules can stand no more than a house divided against itself. Let the ballot initiative through for the voters to decide.
John August 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM
BadGer please see this quote from another artocle on this subject/ “I think his petition was in substantial compliance with the election code,” said Maryam Judar, a community lawyer at the Citizen Advocacy Center, who contended that the circulator statement “doesn’t need to state” that Makula is at least 18 years old. “I think Niles is putting up barriers to putting it on the ballot,” Judar said.
CK August 30, 2012 at 06:26 PM
MAKULA FOR MAYOR! The guys got the u-know-what to stand up to these career politicians who think they own the job and US. Blaze was in for 47 years...what kind of ego is that?

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