Elmhurst City Council Makes a Move Monday on Dual Elected Duty
Alderman Mark Mulliner breaking council's silence on whether Mayor DiCianni should be allowed to simultaneously serve as mayor and DuPage County Board member.
City Council members are taking the first step in the process to prohibit all elected Elmhurst officials from holding more than one elected office. The proposal, put forth by 7th Ward Alderman Mark Mulliner, is expected to be referred Monday, May 7, to the city's Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee for review.
The issue has come to the forefront since Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni has said he will retain his position as mayor if elected to the DuPage County Board in November. DiCianni won the March Primary for DuPage District 2, along with Elaine Zannis and Sean Noonan. DiCianni received 7,033 votes (15.71 percent) in the eight-candidate pool.
Mulliner's request reads as follows:
"To Mayor DiCianni and the Members of the City Council,
The United States was founded on the idea of a representative government. One person, one vote. The same is true of those who are elected to represent the public.
As a representative of the people, elected officials should be focused on the needs of the people who elected them. If a person is elected and holds overlapping offices, whom is that person going to be representing?
I respectfully request that the appropriate committee (Finance and Council Affairs) develop an ordinance that will restrict all elected members of the city of Elmhurst to holding [only] one office at a time."
In January, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin issued a legal opinion that said DuPage board members cannot simultaneously hold another elected office with another government body with which the board has a “contractual obligation.”
DiCianni responded that mayors can—and do—serve in dual elected roles, and he has continuously vowed that he will serve in both positions if elected. He said he would give up all mayoral compensation, but he would accept compensation and pension benefits from the county position.
"I'm willing to do two for one. I'm considered one of the hardest working mayors in DuPage," he said at a February candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
Since Berlin's opinion, Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th, Oak Park) introduced legislation—first in the Senate, then in the House—that would allow dual elected duty.
The issue has been the topic of debate in town—and on Elmhurst Patch—for months.
If the council on Monday refers Mulliner's request to the Finance and Council Affairs Committee (of which Mulliner is a member), that body could begin its discussion as early as next Monday, May 14. The other committee members are 4th Ward Alderman Stephen Hipskind, chairman; 4th Ward Alderman Kevin York, vice chairman; and 5th Ward Alderman Scott Levin.
The committee eventually will make a recommendation to the full City Council, which will vote on it.