Niles voters heartily approved two referendums on term limits in Tuesday's election.
However, they are different, and there is no clear guideline in law or precedent as to which should apply.
"This has never happened before in Illinois, and I expect it'll be decided in court," said Joe Makula, who -- to create the petition version of the referendum.
He said if that version applies, it would bar Mayor-elect Andrew Przybylo from serving.
The petition version limits individuals' service as trustee and/or mayor to 16 years, and Makula said it would be retroactive. Since Przybylo has already served 24 years as a trustee, Makula said it would require Przybylo to step down.
The other version of the referendum was created by ordinance by the village board. It limits any one individual to three terms as trustee and two terms as mayor. (Each term is four years.)
The petition version received 3,186 votes, or 82.9 percent; the ordinance version received 3,114 votes, or 83.4 percent, according to the Cook County Clerk's office.
However, Makula said his attorney, who specializes in election matters, said those small percentage differences would not matter; what matters is that both passed.
Niles' village attorney, Joe Annunzio, is seeking outside counsel to sort out which term limits provisions would apply, according to the Journal & Topics.
Makula noted the ordinance version of the referendum would not cause any official to end his or her term of office until 2021 at the earliest.
"I talked to 2,000 people in Niles about term limits when I was gathering signatures," he said. "They don't want it in 2021. They want it right away."