Jeopardy? Last time, Bill Gnech’s attempt to get a term limits vote on the ballot was rejected because it wasn’t written as a question.
This time around, the proposal was rejected because the electoral board voted that the question wasn’t specific enough regarding the time frame of the term limits — enough that the objection filed by an Arlington Heights resident said the proposal would cause extreme voter confusion.
All three members of the electoral board — Mayor Tom Hayes, senior Trustee Bert Rosenberg, and Village Clerk Becky Hume — voted Thursday evening to uphold objections filed by resident Jim Constantine.
Constantine’s objection? The 2014 proposal — written as a question this time — is “vague and ambiguous and unable to stand on its own without additional information being added to the public question and, thereby, causes extreme voter confusion.”
Constantine’s lawyer, Thomas Bastian argued, “The question posted by Mr. Gnech’s petition has no effective date. It doesn’t say if it’s retroactive, it doesn’t say if it commences immediately, it doesn’t say it’s prospective. The voters don’t know if it’s effective today, tomorrow, next week or three consolidated elections down the road.”
The term limits petition had been signed by more than 2,700 registered voters in Arlington Heights, who apparently weren’t confused about the proposal.
The local Arlington Heights ruling just might align with the criticism of law in America today — that the death of common sense in the legal world is suffocating U.S. citizens. Some believe that law with overly complex procedural rules stifles individual initiative, innovation and creativity. Whether the task involves widening your driveway, putting a sign on your business, or getting your business approved for a specific location or with a specific decor; the little guy often faces mandated perfection and rejection in the name of health, safety and the perceived or biased benefit to the community.
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