Voters Pass Advisory Referendum on Term Limits for Elected Officials (Updated)

The resolution asks the Tinley Park Village Board to consider imposing limits to how long an elected official can serve. But the board doesn't have to take any action on that request.

UPDATED: 1:29 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7

Although the referendum is non-binding, the message from Tinley Park voters when it comes to term limits for elected village officials was clear: They want them.

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

An advisory referendum asking the Village Board to discuss imposing term limits for elected officials passed Tuesday, Nov. 6, by a 16,126 to 6,386 margin.

The question on the ballot asked the following: “Shall the Village Board of the Village of Tinley Park pass an Ordinance imposing term limits on all elected officials?” Because it's only an advisory referendum, the board is not required to take any action on the request.

READ: Tinley Attorney Announces Mayoral Candidacy

The referendum was added to the ballot after . In late September, Eberhardt announced he was running for Tinley Park mayor in April. He will face off against longtime Mayor Ed Zabrocki.

While the referendum did pass overwhelmingly, some voters reported issues with it not appearing on ballots at two Tinley Park polling places, precinct 70 at Faith Church and the Bettenhausen Recreation Center. Officials at both precincts said the referendum was listed on the proper ballots.

VOTE: Should Local Elected Officials Have Term Limits?

At the rec center, the confusion stemmed from a voter asking for federal-only ballot but wanting to vote on the referendum as well, said poll worker Lawrence Throne.

Election judges from precinct 70 contacted the Cook County Clerk's Office on Tuesday about the confusion, said Courtney Greve, a spokeswoman for the clerk's office. Because of the length of the ballot—taking up two pages on paper and more than a dozen screens electronically—and because the referendum was listed toward the end, some voters thought the term limits item was missing.

"People simply missed it," Greve said, adding that voters tend to stop voting the further down the ballot they go, instead of making uninformed choices on races.

The clerk's office verified the referendum was on electronic and paper ballots, Greve said.

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William Baikie November 07, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Look, I simply don’t understand why term limits are needed. A term limit is when the electorate votes someone out of office. That’s always been the way it works. Term limits are the equivalent of your boss coming up to you and saying, “I know you’ve done a good job over the last few years, but I’m sorry, I have to let you go because you’ve reached your employment limit.” When the voters are tired of an elected official they make their choice on election day. That is the ultimate term limit. W.B. - Tinley Park
Anonymous Poster November 07, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I 100% disagree. The argument that if the voters wanted someone out of office they could simply vote them out doesn't hold water. Our forefathers did not envision the kind of career politician we have now. They were people who ran their own businesses, and served their community for a specific time, then went back to their ordinary lives. If an eight year term limit is acceptable for the President of the United States, how is it not acceptable for our local officials? In the words of George Mason - "nothing can be so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation (of its members)."
Kelly Gee November 07, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Well said William! Don't these people who voted for term limits realize that they have had the power to limit an elected officials term just by going and voting? The whole term limit scenario is a waste of time and resources when the constituents have always had that right. It just takes the focus away from other more important issues!
William Baikie November 07, 2012 at 04:16 PM
The founding fathers did not include term limits in the US Constitution did they? And career politicians only last as long as they hold favor with the voters, correct? So with all due respect, I reiterate my position; term limits are unnecessary. W.B. - Tinley Park
Eric Blair November 07, 2012 at 08:28 PM
W.B. you're wrong. Your point is only valid on the surface. Underneath the surface incumbents gain way too much power after more than two terms. With that power comes the money along with the capability to destroy any opponent who might challenge them. This is why we only get scumbags for candidates. Truly good people refuse to do what it takes to get elected - lie, cheat, steal, dig up dirt on their opponent, and use it. Throughout history its mainly been sick psychopaths who elevate themselves to power, modern times are no different. Once entrenched they build their "machine" (Daley, Madigan for ex.) where the number of people depending on the incumbent outnumbers any challenge ensuring repeated terms. They build their power by bribing the majority of their powerbase with taxpayer money, money unavailable to any potential challenger. Unfortunately the majority of voters can't see beyond tomorrow, thanks to modern education they have lost the ability and will to think. I understand your thought, however it no longer works, we need term limits.
William Baikie November 07, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I understand your point, but I don’t believe it gives enough credit to both political challengers and/or the electorate. Maybe I’m naïve but I do believe in our political system, and while I don’t always agree with the outcome, I believe in the process. The automatic termination of leadership could potentially allow a candidate to rise that would otherwise be unable to stand on their own abilities and make their case to the voters. I also feel that presented with credible information, voters can and do act responsibility. W.B. - Tinley Park
The Guru November 08, 2012 at 07:27 AM
I think the public spoke up and was heard. I guess we will find out exactly how the mayor values its constituents voice. If they approve the term limits then we know they actually care. If they fail to act on it or table it forever we know exactly what we have had for the last 20 years.
robert klabough November 08, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I believe you are naive , illinois is the most crooked state in the union and it is because governors and speakers of the house can rig the ballot boxes and continue to win year after year. Thats we put every other gov in prison and madigan can get his daughter hired as states attny. so he dosent get investigated for cotrruption.
Look for the Truth December 12, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I guess I disagree the public has spoken. More people ignored this issue by a large factor than actually voted on it. Again indifference is the American way when they have no issue with status quo. Don't read victory into apathy folks. Big difference. As far as term limits, I find it amusing that as I stood in line to vote, people were thinking the vote was for statewide offices too, and like the above and below folks, they referenced Madigan and Daley as the problem they wanted to fix. I corrected a couple folks as we waited, but another jerk in line said I was wrong and just supporting the current mayor. The heck with voter ID laws, we need voter IQ laws. I like the mayor and most of the rest of the board, but I certainly think they have made mistakes over the years. Like the kids not being allowed to play ball in the street issue from a couple of years ago. Big mistake on handling idiot neighbors. This issue alone got Eberhardt his first running mate. What I don't want is this guy Eberhardt to get elected. His personal and employment history is dicey, but he has certainly found some issues with the village that need explaining. We need people like Eberhardt involved, just not running the show. If Tinley was run badly it would be like Crestwood or Country Club Hills. It's not run poorly, it just needs more of us to go to meetings, learn, ask questions and get involved. If you vote be informed or just stay home. Google the candidate names and see what you find.
Look for the Truth December 12, 2012 at 02:02 AM
RK I agree on the State level on your point because overcoming the incumbent in an election statewide is impossible but at a village level where few people have real issues and desire to get involved watch out for what your asking for. How many of us go to village meetings and give feedback or join commissions and help shape issues? Don't paint everyone with the same brush over aggregation with the Springfield, Chicago and Cook County clowns. Don't react in anger, think, get informed, think again, then vote.
Look for the Truth December 12, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I think the big hole in your argument on "machine" politics is Tinley is small. We live here and can go to the meetings which are held at night in our town. Not during the day, not in Springfield or downtown Chicago. The issues are local and so are the answers. We shouldn't burden local politics with statewide and big city issues. We should attend meetings, join commissions, and otherwise engage people who give up their nights to make the village a better place. I'm tired of seeing Ed Z getting bashed when all he ever did was spend his days guiding students, his nights doing village meetings and his weekends going to block parties.


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