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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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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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