Wednesday, June 27, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Former Illinois governor Pat Quinn. | Wikipedia
Two years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court sided with a group of Broadview residents who wanted to impose mayoral term limits. The case, Johnson v. Ames, allowed for residents to vote on whether or not the mayor should be limited to two terms. Two years later, the case is still making waves.
During the Nov. 8, 2016 election, Broadview voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ballot measure, with more than 65 percent voting in favor of the term limits and 43 percent voting against the measure.
The vote kept former Broadview mayor Sherman Jones, who was in his second term, from seeking a third one in the 2017 elections, paving the way for Katrina Thompson to run and ultimately secure a place in the town’s history (she was the first African American and first woman elected as mayor).
Now, Johnson v. Ames — named for Maxine Johnson, the Broadview resident who filed the petition for the term limit referendum, and Matthew Ames, the village’s public works director who filed the objection to Johnson’s petition — is resonating even beyond Proviso Township.
Former Illinois governor Pat Quinn evoked the case during his recent attempt to force mayoral term limits in Chicago onto the November ballot.
“In a 2016 case in the village of Broadview, Johnson v. Ames, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the voters’ right to impose mayoral term limits in a binding referendum immediately before the next mayoral election,” Quinn pointed out in a media release on June 26.
But unlike Johnson, Quinn hasn’t had much success in his attempt to put a binding referendum on the ballot to limit Chicago’s mayors to two terms (which would mean that, like Jones, two-term mayor Rahm Emanuel would be effectively retired from that office).
On June 25, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Council allies on Monday used a now-familiar political ploy to crowd off the Nov. 6 ballot former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s long-shot, binding referendum … Instead of being asked whether Chicago mayors should be limited to two terms, the Rules Committee agreed to ask voters three nonbinding questions.” VFP
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