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Elmhurst Committee Wants Legal Opinion on Dual Elected Duty

Question is, what can the city do to limit elected officials to one office?

Elmhurst's Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee on Monday asked city staff to get a legal opinion on if and how the City Council can limit the number of elected offices an official can hold at one time.

Aldermen never mentioned Mayor Pete DiCianni's name during the discussion, saying that the issue would be the same no matter who had prompted the question.

But 7th Ward Alderman to examine the dual-duty issue following DiCianni's repeated statements that if he is successful in his bid for the DuPage County Board in November.

Last January, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin that said DuPage board members cannot simultaneously hold another elected office with another government body with which the board has a “contractual obligation.” But then Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th, Oak Park) introduced legislation—first , then in the House—that would allow dual elected duty.

DiCianni, who was not present at the meeting, won the March Primary for DuPage District 2, along with Elaine Zannis and Sean Noonan. (15.71 percent) in the eight-candidate pool. 

Mulliner's main query for the lawyers was simple: As legislators in a home-rule community, can aldermen change city code to limit elected officials to one office at a time?

But other questions also arose: If so, how would this be done? And, if state legislators approve bills that would allow dual-elected duty, what could the city do then?

Committee members agreed that the city should seek this opinion from an outside firm and not city attorney Don Storino.

While committee members never mentioned DiCianni, residents did.

During a public forum before the discussion, resident Ann Frolik asked the committee not to waste city money on an issue that was currently before state legislators. 

She also said it was up to voters to decide the issue.

“How dare you usurp my vote?” she said.

Michelle Garcia-Melind praised DiCianni's work for the city and the community, and said she did not have a problem with him serving in two elected positions.

But Claude Pagacz said he wondered, if dual-elected duty was allowed, what was to stop any alderman from also running for governor?

First Ward Alderman Paula Pezza expressed concern that the meeting was turning into a “campaign commercial,” and Mulliner said he was disappointed that the discussion had to take place at all.

“I was hoping that this would—I hate to say it—go away,” he said.

Pamela Wendt May 15, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I dont think its right to hold two positions. Maybe the people voted for him on County Board so he would leave Elmhurst. I would vote against this, I really dont see the benifit to Elmhurst for Dual Duty is not right for any one including Mayor DiCianni...
E. L. Foust Co., Inc. May 15, 2012 at 02:37 PM
No man can serve two masters!
Karen Chadra (Editor) May 15, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Clyde, I have heard no official announcement from the mayor that he will resign his mayoral seat if elected to the County Board. Do you know something I don't know?
Bill Angel May 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Let's give Mayor DiCianni an opportunity to present the legal opinion he stated several times he claims to have obtained from his legal advisor in support of holding two elected offices collecting two pensions and two salaries and no conflicts. This would put an end to the issue. No past or current elected official has endorsed DiCianni in writing in support of the double duty scheme. Even Donny Harmon finds the whole matter very troubling. Would Gov. Quinn veto the Harmon legislation with all the pension issues we face?
D L May 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Advice to our Mayor......One or the other.....Please !
Kathleen Sullivan May 17, 2012 at 03:37 AM
You are always generous Mr. Meneses in quoting the percentage of the vote that was received. Sadly, that percentage multiplied by the turnout would calculate the small percentage of registered voters it takes to garner a nomination. So, I agree that no votes were usurped. In fact, each voter who casts a ballot is very powerful. Let's all remember that this November.
Jim Court May 18, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I must say, what an energetic guy. I don't know how any one person could have enough time in the day to be a Mayor, County Board member, businessman, Father, Husband, son, and a sibling as well as a friend. The endless events would wear me out and I am highly energetic. Pete, if you have figured out the secret to cloning, please let me know. I could use a few copies of myself.

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