I wish to clarify and amplify a few items related to term limits. First, no board has the unilateral right to create term limits for elected officials. This can only be done through a referendum and with the direction of the voters.
Research indicates that term limits are overwhelmingly popular in the general public, but are clearly not preferred by elected officials. There is a long tradition of term limits in Riverside that were influenced by the Caucus and it has served the village well.
Unlike most governments at every level, Riverside has a long history of being non-partisan. Trustees and the president act more as stewards of the community, not politicians, as a result.
I cannot understand any opposition to giving voters the opportunity to choose whether term limits should be enacted – especially when it is a long held tradition of the village. Imagine if more elected officials were open to term limiting themselves in the founding fathers’ spirit of citizen statesmen.
Second, I do not see any conflict between Trustee Jisa’s comments and mine. My point is that if trustees and the village president were allowed to serve for generations, there would be less interest for others to get involved.
I support the tradition of the Caucus but acknowledge that more transparency is always better than less, despite the best of intentions, similar to any organization.
Finally, it is my understanding that there hasn’t been any trustee or president elected for three consecutive terms in at least two generations and possibly since the formation of the Caucus in the 1920s. I believe President Meksto was appointed to one of his terms.
With very few exceptions, and possibly none, no trustee or president has proven bigger than the village and that tradition should remain. The current board, with three retiring trustees along with support from sitting trustees that will be continuing onto the next Board, has a unique opportunity to promote the ability of the electorate to express their desire on the matter.
Michael Sedivy, village trustee
Ed. note: Edward Meksto was appointed to the village board as a trustee in 1972. He was elected president three consecutive times, in 1977, 1981 and 1985.