Updated: February 11, 2013 7:21AM
A Tinley Park Village Board committee on Tuesday night approved forming a seven-member commission to study mandatory term limits for all elected officials.
The budget committee vote was in response to an advisory referendum in the Nov. 6 election in which residents overwhelmingly approved the idea — 16,808 votes in favor of term limits and 6,635 opposed.
The full board is expected to vote on the committee’s recommendation at its Jan. 22 meeting. Village Clerk Pat Rea said commission members would be appointed by Mayor Ed Zabrocki and approved by trustees.
The commission would have up to six months to study the pros and cons of term limits, including gathering information from municipal governments that have such limits and reviewing studies conducted by universities, Rea said.
The commission would give a written report to the village board, which would decide the next step to take. Trustees could put the idea to the public in the form of a binding referendum or they could choose to reject term limits.
“The board must act within 60 days of receiving the report,” Rea said.
Trustee David Seaman, chairman of the budget committee, said if recommendations are made by the commission, as opposed to a pros-and-cons report, he hopes the village board “gets a sense of the thinking of the group.”
“There’s not going to be unanimity in (the) opinion,” Seaman said.
Trustee Greg Hannon opposes term limits, saying “we already have term limits. They’re called elections.”
Trustee Brian Maher said the goal is “trying to educate ourselves about term limits. I’m not sure where it’s going to go. I’m not sure how much will be in the report.”
He said another concern was that village trustee “is not a high-paying position. There haven’t been a ton of people who’ve been interested (in serving on the village board).”
The term-limits referendum was held Nov. 6 after a petition drive led by attorney Steve Eberhardt, who is running for mayor against Zabrocki in the April 9 village election. Zabrocki was not at Tuesday night’s board meeting but has said previously that he sees no reason for term limits.