Tinley Attorney Announces Mayoral Candidacy

If elected, lawyer Steve Eberhardt wants to cut away unnecessary village expenses and make Tinley Park's government more responsive to residents' concerns.

Steve Eberhardt, a Tinley Park lawyer who recently petitioned to have an advisory referendum on village term limits added to the November ballot, announced over the weekend that he was running for mayor in April.

Running with a theme of fiscal responsibility, Eberhardt said he wants to streamline village finances by cutting away unnecessary expenses that are passed on to taxpayers.

READ: Petition Filed for Referendum on Term Limits in Tinley Park

"If I were mayor, no taxpayer money would be spent by me, my wife or anybody else on tickets to Christmas parties, golf outing dinners, gala dinners, gala fundraisers or festivals," he said in his YouTube video declaring his candidacy. "No taxpayer money would be spent to buy gifts, like Waterford clocks."

For the past few years, Eberhardt has been examining village government spending and policies by gathering information through Freedom of Information Act requests. This led to a successful legal battle in 2010 to stop the village from putting up a senior housing project near 179th Street and Harlem Avenue. He also has released his findings on his Tinley Sparks website.

The decision to push for change from the inside by running for mayor came recently, Eberhardt said in an interview Monday. As he was collecting signatures for November's term limit referendum, he listened to residents talk about how Tinley Park was run, with community members offering complimentary, as well as critical, perspectives about the current state of affairs.

VOTE: Should Local Elected Officials Have Term Limits?

"I never seriously considered doing it until basically I talked to a lot of people," Eberhardt said.

Ultimately, though, it was the comments from people who felt local officials were dismissing their concerns that persuaded Eberhardt to throw his hat into the ring. Despite having used FOIA requests and his websites in the past to get those concerns addressed, Eberhardt said he didn't think that was enough anymore and that if he wanted real change, it would have to come from within the system.

"If nobody keeps up the pressure, they revert back to their old ways," Eberhardt said. "If you want it to be changed, if you feel it needs to be changed, you take the next step."

"Someone's got to do it. … I'm not necessarily the person who wants to do it, but I don't hear anybody else saying they will," he added.

And yes, Eberhardt said he would limit his terms in office if elected mayor, even if the referendum fails or the board decides not to institute them.

The mayoral election will be April 9, 2013, along with elections for some local school and village board seats. Mayor Ed Zabrocki, who has served in that office since 1981, has not announced yet if he is running for re-election. The deadline for filing candidate petitions is between Dec. 17 and 24.

Here's a look at Eberhardt's past experience and accomplishments:

  • Graduated Brother Rice High School, Loyola University of Chicago and the John Marshall Law School.
  • Worked as a full-time police radio dispatcher and a part-time officer in the Tinley Park Police Department.
  • Worked as an assistant state's attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney Office.
  • Began his own local law practice—Eberhardt Law—in 1992.

Go to Eberhardt's campaign website for more information.


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The Guru October 02, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Ohh boy do i have some questions. And quite a few comments. First, Does Mr. Eberhardt have any pending litigation against the village? I know there was a matter in court a while ago, but I don't know what happened with it. If he does wouldn't that be a conflict of interest? Second, if elected would Mr. Eberhardt look into the fact that certain trustees like Pat Rea treat the village like one giant PR campaign for themselves. Mr. Rea has a personal secretary at the village and touts his "brigadier general" status to host "foreign dignitaries" some times at the villages expense under the sister cities program.......and uses village assets and personnel for personal favors. Perhaps Mr. Eberhardt could look into the massive nepotism at the village. Just take a look at how many employees have the same last name... that should be rather easy.
Paulie Gualtieri October 02, 2012 at 12:36 PM
We also need a mayor that is willing to stand up to Rahm Emanuel and his water rate increases! My grandfather get his water cheaper that I do and he lives in Arizona in the middle of the desert.
mr.joe October 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM
its time for a change in tinley park...when they give village employes huge 30 thousand dollar raises-let village dept heads take cars on 750 mile out of town trips -spend 12 million on a train station that is locked- buy themselves tickets at a 100 bucks a piece for various events- dont bid out the garabage contract so the mayors pal who prints his campain signs gets another 4 years of garabage collection- and the list goes on and on .
TP Resident October 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM
This is one guy I will NOT be voting for!! I also believe I have read he had NO interest in being Mayor. hmmm
Mary Rothenberg October 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Ever wonder why those disgusting hanging fake flower baskets keep showing up hanging from the village light posts? Could it be that the mayor's secratary's daughter owns the flower shop that provides them? Are there still the flowers on the tables in the Oak Park Ave. train station? Ever wonder why we need flowers in a train station?
allen roth October 02, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Is this the same M. Rothenberg who was let go from opama??? Maybe because she talked before she knew what she was talking about. I on the other hand did some checking and Alsip Nursey did the "disgusting hanging fake flower baskets". Wonder where she got her misinformation from?? Also, I take the train from the OPA station every day - I haven't seen flowers anywhere for some time - I sort of liked them, another time where M. Rothenberg does have much taste. No wonder she is for the "other guy". Still out of work I assume.
Heather's Haus Florist October 02, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Allen, you are correct. The baskets M R referred to are from Alsip Nursery. As far as flowers in the train station, the last time we saw any flowers there, it was for the Easter events going on, and those were supplied by Classy Flowers.
Mary Rothenberg October 02, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Hmm. Seems I hit a nerve. I never mentioned any name of a florist.
Heather's Haus Florist October 02, 2012 at 08:46 PM
No Mary, you didn't hit a nerve. We've never hidden the fact that Mom works for the village. Most everyone that knows us, knows that fact. And since it's public knowledge, your insinuation couldn't have been more subtle had you rented a billboard. So to set the facts straight, we chose to clarify the issues you seem to have with flowers in town.
TP Resident October 02, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Here's a question. I would like to know if this guy used the village dollar to get his schooling to be an attorney paid for while he worked for the village. Didn't seem to have a problem taking tax payer dollars for that.
TP Resident October 02, 2012 at 09:08 PM
This guys credibility was destroyed when he tried getting his nitwit neighbor in as a trustee. But the nitwit and this guy had no idea you need signatures from both cook and will counties to make the petition legit. Oops forgot all about the Will County residents. Hey Mr. Joe why don't you tell the people on this post who Mr. Joe really is....
Titan Dad October 03, 2012 at 03:55 AM
i announce.....i am running for mayor of tinley park. write in "beav". and i want harry callahan as my running mate. together we will put an end to the decay of a once proud town!
The Guru October 03, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Beav, you can't I am running for Mayor. My platform? Since government creates jobs im going to employ every person living in the village. Everyone will be a police officer, fire fighter and public works employee. So if there is a problem its everyone elses responsibility. Problem solved. Guru 2013 !!!
Chester Rook October 04, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Haha! That's awesome. One alias telling another alias to identify himself. Classic hypocrisy.
Chester Rook October 04, 2012 at 09:08 PM
So you're asking if this guy paid for his schooling using the money he earned while an employee of the village? My guess is yes. And ya know what, he probably also paid his mortgage, car payment, electric bill, and bought his groceries with funds from his paycheck, too! How dare he not work for free!
TP Resident October 04, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Chester, I am not the person running for Mayor. There is no need to know my name. I am not asking if he used his own money for schooling. I am asking if he used village money (tax payer dollars) to go to school. Village employee education incentive.
Progress October 20, 2012 at 02:04 PM
My understanding is that there is a surplus each year . While I think surpluses are good in any operating budget I much rather see a more even keel approach . Either lower more fees for TP residents on current services . Another idea would be to issue a credit like Crestwood did to its residents in form of a relief check. One last idea hire some illegent detectives to finally close the case on the Lane Bryant murders it's been way too long and this is a real threat to our safety in many profound ways to our community.
Johnny on the spot December 05, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Heather Haus I'm bringing my business to you from now on.Your local !!!! Paulie Gualtieri Rahm water nope it is the water reclamation districts water with their own voted in members ,As far as the Garbage ,I work for a much larger competitor and our sales department could not handle the additional amount of homes had with our scheduled pickups as well ,plus it cost us more in fuel and maintenance thats why our cost far exceeded the other contracts ,next time before you people open your mouths take your foot out of it first ...........


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