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Village Keeps Quiet on Term Limits Report For Now

The Tinley Park Term Limits Commission turned in its final report Wednesday, but commissioners wouldn't say whether or not they recommended capping the terms for elected village officials.

Tinley Park Term Limits Commission Chairman Kenneth Slater hands the panel's final report to Deputy Clerk Laura Godette on Sept. 18. | Credit: Joe Vince
Tinley Park Term Limits Commission Chairman Kenneth Slater hands the panel's final report to Deputy Clerk Laura Godette on Sept. 18. | Credit: Joe Vince
After a process that has lasted about six months, Wednesday's final meeting of Tinley Park's Term Limits Commission was the definition of anticlimax.

No final presentation or summary on what the commission had decided for the handful of residents in attendance at the Village Hall. No comments about the panel's final recommendation from the commissioners. Just thank-yous for those who participated in this examination of whether Tinley Park should adopt term limits for its elected officials.

Chairman Kenneth Slater, a former state Appellate Court and Circuit Court judge, handed the 70- to 80-page report containing the commission's recommendations to Deputy Clerk Laura Godette, and that was it.

READ: What You Need to Know About the Term Limits Commission

The report now goes to the Village Board trustees, who will review it and decide on what action, if any, they will take, Godette said. The report will be released after trustees have had time to see it, Godette added. The board has 60 days to act on these recommendations. 

After the meeting, Slater would not comment about his experience on the commission or the report's final recommendation.

Although the commission's final verdict on whether the village should adopt term limits wasn't revealed at the meeting, some attendees speculated that the commissioners might have tipped their hand during their previous meeting in August. At that time, Douglas Cantor, a University of Chicago graduate student tasked with researching the effectiveness of term limits, reported that capping the span of an elected official's time in office had an upside. But some commissioners voiced their disagreement with that idea.

READ: Tinley Park to Mull Term Limits

"As I recall, [Cantor's] bottom line findings were benefits from term limits outweigh the disadvantages," Steve Eberhardt, a local attorney and former mayoral candidate who spearheaded the petition that put term limits advisory referendum on the November 2012 ballot, said during the meeting's public comments. "But after he made that presentation, a number of the board members, particularly the commission members who are from Tinley Park or have an association with Tinley Park, gave their personal opinions.

"The way I counted up the votes, 72 percent of the people who voted in the November election said yes to the term limits referendum, and zero percent of the commissioners said yes that term limits would be a good thing in Tinley Park," he added. "That is notable and interesting to see the difference between the voters at large and the members of the commission. "

READ: Voters Pass Advisory Referendum on Term Limits for Elected Village Officials

After the meeting, Eberhardt said he was disappointed that the commission did not give a final presentation that included its recommendation for the village. He also indicated that other village residents had expressed interest in organizing an effort to place a binding referendum on the ballot next year.

Other Term Limits Coverage on Patch:
Jan - Rich September 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Is there any doubt what the report said???? Of course not!!! Will they follow the recommendations??? Of course not!!!

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