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Niles Term Limits Raise Red Flags

Two conflicting referendums on term limits passed in Tuesday's election and it's unclear which will apply. The creator of one said he believes it would prohibit Mayor-elect Andrew Przybylo from serving.

 

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.

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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."

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mmm April 12, 2013 at 02:55 PM
You're right Niles Concerned Cititzen, as you say "the people have spoken," They voted for term limits with 80 plus percent of the vote, so what's your problem ??????
BadGer April 12, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Mr. Makula's ego and braggadocio has caused a tremendous amount of problems. Now look where we are. I hope they stick him with the bill of sorting this mess out.
John Q Sense April 12, 2013 at 09:50 PM
You can't prohibit the Mayor-elect from serving this upcoming term to which he was legally allowed to run for, plain and simple. Makula's question is vague and does NOT state "retro activity". I hope his attorney is working pro-Bono on this one, because it's a loser in court. And as for the village attorney, where does he get the audacity to search for a law firm at the tax-payers expense without village board approval? More waste! Spend more on flowers please!
Jac Charlier April 13, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Either way, one side will be happy and the other not, but at least, term limits will be in and that is a necessary evil for several reasons. The path to this point has been anything but a straight line, yet it is soon to arrive. Kudos to those who made it a reality. While I favor term limits in the times in which we live, it would seem odd and not in line with common sense if it would apply right now to Mayor-elect Przybylo. At least in this term, it doesn't sound fair to him.
Lois A. MacAdam April 13, 2013 at 03:29 AM
I agree that it was confusing. If each individual can serve three terms as trustee (that's a total of 12 years) and two terms as Mayor (that's a total of 8 years), then that grand total is 20 years. So, how can these two versions have a different number of years that a person may serve? What am I missing here? I noticed this before I voted but didn't question it. Guess I should have.

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