Burr Ridge president pushes elimination of mayor title
Updated: March 15, 2013 12:41PM
BURR RIDGE — Acting Village President Robert Sodikoff doesn’t want to be called mayor. On Monday, he saw to it that future village leaders won’t be, either.
The Burr Ridge Village Board approved a controversial ordinance amendment eliminating that choice. The change, which because of the absence of one trustee required Sodikoff’s vote in order to pass, was rejected by trustees Al Paveza and Len Ruzak.
“I don’t know why we are messing around,” Paveza said.
With an election less than two months away, Paveza and Ruzak suggested waiting to let the new board, which could include a new president, consider the issue.
Ruzak said the title of mayor makes sense.
“We belong to the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference,” he said, not the village presidents conference. “I don’t understand why we should change the ordinance at all.”
Others said the title of village president is a matter of tradition.
“I’m for going back to our roots, and our very humble beginning,” Trustee John Manieri said.
Trustee Robert Grela and Sodikoff were among the trustees who voted to change the ordinance back in 2005, allowing then-president Gary Grasso to be called mayor.
Grela said the change has accomplished nothing other than to “enhance the ego” of the former mayor.
Newly appointed Trustee Guy Franzese said the dual titles have created nothing but confusion.
While resident John Serafin agreed that some of his neighbors are confused by the use of the two titles, he suggested the decision be left up to the new board.
“We’re so close to an election,” he said.
That election is part of Sodikoff’s reasoning for asking for the amendment now.
“The ballot says village president. If people are looking for where to vote for mayor, they’re not going to find it,” he said.
“That’s where the confusion could be.”
He said the title of village president more accurately defines the role as a representative who serves all of the people of Bur Ridge.
“The term ‘president’ connotes a fiduciary duty,” Sodikoff said. “I don’t personally think (the change) has a detriment to it.”