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DiCianni Announces he will Step Down as Mayor if Elected to DuPage County Board

He cites the need for unity as the reason for his decision.

Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni announced Monday that he will step down as mayor if he is elected to the DuPage County Board in November.

"When I ran for mayor, I did so because I love this town and I wanted it to continue to flourish," he said at a scheduled press conference. "My heart and mind told me I'd be mayor as long as the voters would have me.

"I have been saddened to see the division and distraction my decision to run for the County Board has caused in some parts of our community, as well as on the City Council," he said to the 40 or so people gathered in back of City Hall.

The matter of dual elected positions has created controversy since DiCianni that he wanted to serve both positions.

Seventh Ward Alderman for discussion, and the city hired an outside attorney to provide a legal opinion on the matter.

The opinion, , said the city, since it is home rule, can pass an ordinance preventing a council member from serving more than one elected position, but the matter should first be brought to the community for a vote via referendum.

DiCianni in his speech on Monday cited a 1995 statute that has "allowed for this type of dual representation" and has supported other mayors in dual positions.

"Since my decision to run for County Board, a contingent has challenged the 1995 statute," he said. "Illinois Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan and the state Legislature has moved to clarify and protect the statute, which has the full support of municipal organizations, including the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference."

Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th, Oak Park) in the Senate  in March to support dual elected duty. This was in response to an opinion by that the two positions are incompatible.

DiCianni said it has become more important to strive for unity than to pursue the dual roles.

"It is my hope that this decision will unite the council and the community, as there is still a lot of work to be done to make Elmhurst a better place," he said.

The decision was difficult and has "left my heart heavier than imaginable," he said.

"My heart is first and foremost always with Elmhurst, and I will continue to work to make Elmhurst a better place to live, whether I serve at a local or county level," he said.

DiCianni also spoke about his achievements as mayor, including "seeing the community through one of the worst recessions ever and balancing finances for the first time in many years." He mentioned the floods of 2010, and that declaring Elmhurst a federal disaster area was an event that "shook me to the core."

First Ward Alderman Diane Gutenkauf said the mayor's announcement was "clearly a campaign speech."

"I'm disappointed that the city seal and city equipment was involved," she said. "I think it's totally inappropriate to use the city seal for what was clearly a campaign speech. It was completely unethical and I'm sorry that it happened."

Mulliner said the mayor's announcement on dual elected duty that is before the Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee Monday night.

"This won't affect the committee meeting in the least," he said. "This issue is much bigger than one person. It was brought to our attention by one person, but the reality is, it's an issue that's still there and will continue to be there until we resolve it."

Darlene Heslop June 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
a friend of mine sarcastically referred to it as "pleasantville"...looking at other communities that have an even better downtown area, like oak park, which has only 10,000 more people, i can see it. it's easy to balance a budget by raising taxes, which is what was done (fact), rather than making any kind of decisions which may have proved to be unpopular in order to cut the expenditures to where they needed to be. his accomplishments as mayor are negligible at best - what has he really done that has increased significantly the quality of life or the cash flow in this town? the ford dealerhsip is gone, has been for almost 2 years...all that tax revenue lost to bensenville...and mariano's is not going to bail this town out of it's financial difficulties. he currently has the people of this town literally over ruling the majority of his finance committee, residents are actively collecting signatures in order to put a referendum question on the NOVEMBER ballot. if unity is what he seeks, then it would be in everyone's best interests if the finance committee supports what the people want. i want what is best for this community, however, i disagree with how the mayor has gone about everything since taking office. he's brought the "cook county way" into a community that doesn't need it nor deserve it. i follow politics like many follow baseball...i know the good, the bad, the ugly, those that play by the rules and those that don't, the pros from the amateurs (continued)
Darlene Heslop June 30, 2012 at 08:34 PM
the wannabes, and the one-hit-wonders. i try to put things in terms that others can readily understand, i admit, sometimes involves such things as sarcasm and comparison to the familiar - it's a lot easier to explain trying to get 3 men to either act like the 3 musketeers (all for one and one for all, as in support this...) or, consequently, when it gets done anyway, run the risk of looking like those 3 guys whose initials are m, l, and c. i ACTIVELY try to make this town better, by showing up at city hall, by writing letters to the editor, by calling aldermen and other representatives to discuss issues that are relevent - i don't consider sitting through a city council meeting to be a waste of my time, considering i can put it on my computer and watch it at any time, including fast forwarding through the endless jibber-jabber that the mayor invariably gets into. i think that one fabulous idea that can realistically be implemented and accomplished, with the efforts of others of like mind, such as this referendum question, is worth more than 300 "ideas" written here that will go no where because they need someone to implement them, not just think them up.
Darlene Heslop July 03, 2012 at 03:45 AM
peggy..., you are one wise woman and very observant...i have to agree with everything you wrote. thanks :-)... .
Melissa D November 14, 2012 at 07:47 AM
I don't know if anyone monitors these old threads - that is, if all comments show up for moderation regardless of the age of the article and other comments. However, as a recent transplant to Elmhurst, it would be great if the editors would consider NOT removing comments if they disrupt the flow of the comment section. I realize that sometimes things get flagged and removed much later than when posted. I appreciate that some comments might violate terms and need to be removed. I just wish there were some way to see what Peggy and this Mr. Howard (I assume it is the Jim that Jim Beauchamp refers to) had said that Ms. Heslop and Mr. Beauchamp were responding to. I understand I am months behind this article but this would apply to current articles as well, where someone coming in only a day or two later will miss half the conversation due to post removal. I understand that fairness and civility may and even should take precedence over comment continuity and I thank the staff whose job it is to oversee this...I just wish I could read the other side of the argument.
Karen Chadra November 14, 2012 at 07:59 AM
Hi Melissa, The only time I ever remove comments is if they are offensive or in some way violate our terms of use. All comments do show up in a moderation queue no matter how old the article is. The only other way they would have been removed is if the commenter removed their own. I don't remove comments just to maintain the "flow" of the thread. Bottom line is, I don't know what happened to Peggy or Jim.

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