Munsey Park board OKs term limit for mayor

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Munsey Park trustees have voted to adopt term limits for the village mayor, fulfilling a promise that the new mayor and two trustees made during their campaigns.

The move, which limits the mayor to three consecutive two-year terms and requires a waiting period of at least two years before that mayor can run again, was approved Wednesday on a 4-1 vote, with trustee Susan Auriemma dissenting.

The vote followed a spirited 20-minute discussion on the issue between the board and residents.

Mayor Frank DeMento, who defeated 17-year incumbent Harry Nicolaides in March, said voters were receptive to the idea of term limits during his campaign.

"It was a popular issue and most people seemed to agree," said DeMento, whose slate included new trustees Patrick Hance and Sean Haggerty.

But Auriemma said the measure was unnecessary.

"I think you guys have demonstrated that the two-year term works," she said.

Vincent Syracuse, a former member of the board, agreed.

"If there's somebody here too long, the way you defeat that person is through the ballot box," he said.

Trustee Matthew Seidner wondered what harm would come from the measure, and thought it would spur more residents to get involved in government.

"It potentially lights a fire under people to say, 'Well, you know what? Maybe we should start thinking of a changeover.' "

Also at the meeting, Seidner announced he will leave the board this summer because he is moving from the village. He said he would step down upon his move, planned for August, or sooner if the mayor chooses a new trustee before then.

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