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Bill Gnech’s Hard Work for Request for Term Limits Ballot Proposition May Come to Decision This Evening

Thu August 14 2014 3:48 pm
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The Arlington Heights electoral board meets today at 4:00 p.m. and is expected to decide whether a term limits proposition for the mayor and trustees will be on the November ballot.

Scheduled to meet at the electoral board meeting are Mayor Tom Hayes, Bert Rosenberg, and Village Clerk Becky Hume.

Arlington Heights resident Bill Gnech, who has worked hard on the streets near Arlington Heights train stations, near the library, and even near Frontier Days at Recreation Park has collected more than 2,700 signatures.

Gnech’s proposal asks, “Shall the Village of Arlington Heights limit the number of terms of office for Village President and Village Trustee to no more than two consecutive four-year terms for each position?”

Gnech tried to get a term-limits initiative on the ballot in 2013, but faced an object that the electoral board upheld. which The objection criticized the wording of his referendum, but this time around Gnech has consulted several lawyers and studied Naperville’s term limits referendum, which was approved in 2010.

In the Naperville case, City Councilman Steve Chirico expressed concern that term limits would have the result of giving too much power to government staffs, saying that “staff would be the only continuing element” in government.

At Frontier Days at Recreation Park in July, someone notified the police of Bill Gnech’s presence and signature collection activities at or near the park, and police made sure he was not on park property while gathering signatures. Gnech said he had tried to proactively clarify guidelines for his acceptance in the area, but that police were not the friendliest in their response to his presence on or near the park. Gnech has worked politely in a number of locations around town to gather signatures for his term limits ballot petition.

Many residents of Arlington Heights resonated with a message for term limits with mayoral candidates Ron Drake and Mark Hellner in support of term limits. As a mayoral candidate, Mayor Thomas Hayes expressed his opposition to the term limits proposition. Three major concerns of residents that were perceived as possibly benefiting from term limits, and the resulting disruption of a political machine, were potentially large expenditure for a proposed new police station, a slow process for getting business approvals, and flooding concerns. The perception in Drake’s campaign that resonated with some residents was that the old guard did not address concerns of residents, and did not adequately listen to the concerns of residents.

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