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Legislation Would Ensure DiCianni Can Serve as Mayor and County Board Member

Democratic Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park filed the amendment in response to State's Attorney Robert Berlin's opinion that the two positions are incompatible.

Illinois Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th, Oak Park) has introduced legislation that spells out in no uncertain terms that an official may simultaneously hold the offices of mayor and county board member.

The Illinois Channel, which provides unedited coverage of state government proceedings, announced via Twitter Wednesday afternoon that the measure was working its way through a Senate committee.

DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin had previously . Berlin issued that opinion at the request of the DuPage County Board. Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni has said he wants to serve on the DuPage County Board in District 2 (if elected) and as mayor of Elmhurst. Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, who is running for a seat in DuPage District 3, also wants to retain his mayoral position if elected to the County Board.

If the proposal is approved by the full Senate, Berlin's opinion would be moot.

Harmon's measure is an amendment to Senate Bill 3332, the Public Building Commission Act.

The amendment (attached to this article) states: "The General Assembly finds and declares that questions raised regarding the legality of simultaneously holding the office of county board member and elected office of another unit of local government are unwarranted; that the General Assembly viewed the elected office of another unit of local government and the office of county board member as compatible; and that to settle the question of legality and avoid confusion among such counties and other units of local government as may be affected by such questions, it is lawful to hold the office of county board member simultaneously with an elected office of another unit of local government."

The amendment would allow a mayor to hold elected office on the DuPage County Board as long as there is no "disqualifying contractual relationship" between the county and the other unit of government.

Contractual relationships that are allowed, according to the amendment, include:

  • contracts involving Homeland Security programs
  • emergency management and assistance
  • storm water management and assistance
  • environmental protection or enhancement
  • energy conservation programs
  • mutual aid agreements regarding crime prevention or law enforcement activities
  • grants administered by a county or unit of local government funded by either the federal or state government

Those uses, among others, are "not disqualifying contractual relationships," according to the proposed amendment.

An article in the Daily Herald said the legislation does not address the issue of elected officials' pensions.

"The legislation is silent" on whether elected officials can receive multiple pensions, said Terry Pastika of the Citizens Advocacy Center in Elmhurst.

DiCianni said last month if he is elected to the County Board, he will give up his $6,000 mayoral pay and only collect the $50,000 County Board salary. He also said .

"I'm willing to give up my mayoral pay, compensation and pension to do this job. I'm willing to do two jobs for the price of one," DiCianni said.

It is not clear whether the mayor is legally able to give up his city pension.

MIKE March 08, 2012 at 11:10 AM
King Petey should do us all a favor if he does make DuPage county board, RESIGN from Elm. mayor. He is no good as mayor.
Dan March 08, 2012 at 01:56 PM
With all the problems Illinois is facing this is what our leaders invest their time in?
Dan F. March 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Springfield "fixes" a problem.
Doremus Jessup March 08, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Reminds me of that old saying about monkeys... how they won't let go of one branch until the have a hold of another.
Bob Santini March 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM
kind of ironic how this "legislation" is being originated/supported by democrats for the benefit of DiCianni; makes me wonder how much of a DuPage Republican Pete really is ... wasn't Pete in full support of D. Conroy's smear campaign against D Reboletti ? forget the monkeys .. he's a wolf in sheep's clothing !
TROMALS March 08, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I read an article recently that questioned how - if elected - DiCianni could run his own business, the business of the County and the business of Elmhurst all at the same time. I suggest we put an end to the question and just allow him to run his own business. Don't vote for DiCianni for County Board and vote him out next time he runs for Mayor
MIKE March 08, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Right TROMALS, yes - we urge all voters NOT to vote for DiCianni in the coming March 20th primary. His political career is coming to a close.
NancyC March 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I smell a rat in this legislation and especially in its timing. "Birds of a feather flock together" so Dems must be the Mayors true flock. Sure explains his love affair with local tax hikes. Make sure you communicate with your State senator and ask him to oppose this legislation in whatever way is most expedient.
Mark S March 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM
DiCianni is too full of himself. Like most politicians. He came from citizen interested in helping Elmhurst to a blown out cardboard figure of what we all can't stand about politicians.
Duke of York March 08, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I can not agree with these sentiments more. If Cook County Democrats stepping in to help Pete DiCianni double dip isn't a giant red flag, I don't know what is. I call upon every elected republican official in Dupage County - both political (committeeman, township chairman, etc.) and governmental (State Rep/ Senator, mayor, alderman, county board member, etc) to rise in unison and call for a boycott of voting for Pete DiCianni
Mark Heisler March 08, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Yet another example of the distractions that Mayor Pete DiCianni is willing to cause government for his own benefit at the cost of us taxpayers. When will Mr. DiCianni finally realize that we don't need distractions from our elected officials we need leadership and solutions to the very real problems we face every day. Making this proposed double-dip "legal" doesn't make it right.
Edward March 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Well you got to admit he is one heck of a drama queen. I would suppose a reality TV show is in the works. All kidding aside you have to remember we put him here, those of us who voted and more importantly those of us who did not. You mix a less than 20% turnout in the last Mayoral election and five people running and this is what you get. We do have the power to correct it, and it starts March 20th 2012. Look and see who the Daily Herald has endorsed and go to the polls and vote that ticket. Then in do it again in April and the problem will be solved. He will be gone. If you don’t Elmhurst you only have yourself to blame, and I suspect it will only get worse. A nice town is a terrible thing to waste!
Deke March 08, 2012 at 10:30 PM
You make some good points. Certainly voter turnout in municipal elections is often disappointing. I would not put much stock in newspaper endorsements one way or the other, though. The best approach is to find out as much as you can about the candidates from as many sources as possible (and of course you have to be discerning -- there is a lot of junk on the net), talk to your committeeman if you have one, and make up your own mind.
Pat March 08, 2012 at 10:50 PM
I think what Edward is saying is there are eight people running for three slots. This is how he got elected in the first place. You start splitting up the vote and it will happen again. At least the Daily Herald has done some due diligence, and they did not endorse him. I am going with Edward and I think he is right vote people vote.
Darlene Heslop March 09, 2012 at 12:25 AM
there were only 4 candidates for mayor: rose, levin, sczpaniak, and dicianni. rose got 25% and dicianni 39%, and the remainder split between the other 2.
Jim Court March 09, 2012 at 03:20 AM
In spite of all of the dour warnings, name recognition alone and massive signage may be enough to see Mr. DiCianni elected.
Darlene Heslop March 09, 2012 at 04:31 AM
name recognition can work both ways...right now...the negative far out weighs the positive...people are not impressed anymore with who has the biggest signs, and who has the most signs...if anything...it's a turn-off...i've heard more people complaining about the oversized signs than ever before... .
Dan March 09, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Jim, I would say it is all but a sure thing he gets elected for the reasons you listed. I honestly don't see why they don't clarify the law by only allowing one office per elected official. It isn't like there is a shortage of people who are willing to serve. Du Page County has over 900,000 people and only 33 Mayors and 18 board members. Why should four of these positions be held by two individuals? I've followed the county board off and on for the last 4 years and I will guarantee you more often than not the board is merely a rubber stamp on proposals brought before them not taking the time to read the packets of information. How could you if your running a business, campaigning for multiple offices, serving in multiple elected offices. raising a family, and working down state to get pet projects put into law? In the end the citizens get short changed. I think we are better served when 51 different people with 51 different perspectives hold these offices. If the 2 Mayors who want to hold dual offices feel they would be more effective as county board members God bless go run for county board and let some one else fill the responsibilities as Mayor. Right now our city is talking about hiring an assistant village manager when the previous manager seemed to do just fine on his own. Maybe instead of hiring an assistant manager we need a full time Mayor.
Dan March 09, 2012 at 05:05 AM
There really should be a political sign tax that could fund a few folks around election time to monitor sign placement taking down those in areas prohibited and checking to make sure they have permission to place them on private property. I bet there are many more citizens upset about the political signs than say the inability of a Mayor to hold two offices. Maybe could give Senator Harmony a call and see if he will write a bill to create a political sign tax.
MIKE March 09, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Agree with Duke of York, don't vote for DiCianni, what a tool. HIs political future is going to be short. Most people are disgusted with king pete, he is greedy, egotistical and inept. Did I miss something..........
Darlene Heslop March 10, 2012 at 12:51 AM
he's "ethically challenged"... .
inspired March 10, 2012 at 05:15 AM
You are "morally challenged".........................................................................................
Darlene Heslop March 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
to have high moral character indicates that one tries to lead a life that tries to seek the truth and live by it...and that isn't a liar or hypocrite.... "inspired"...at least i have the moral character to sign my own name to each and every posted comment...it is very easy to call someone "morally challenged" whey you know that no one knows who you are. try doing it when you can put your real name forward and then have comments put out there by others...it isn't quite so easy... .
inspired March 11, 2012 at 01:18 AM
O disregard I am not going to answer, there is no hope for you.
Diana June 24, 2012 at 04:17 PM
I am so sorry I voted for DiCianni if I had known the deals that he has pulled as Mayor and now trying to be on the County Board it shows nothing but greed one elected office is enough. Diana

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