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Voters to decide on Oak Lawn term limits

Updated: January 18, 2014 6:29AM



If voters approve this spring, elected officials in Oak Lawn would be limited to three consecutive terms in office —but the current crew need not worry much.

That’s because the plan to impose term limits approved by the village board wouldn’t kick in until the next village election in April 2015.

A referendum on term limits will be on the ballot in the March 18 primary election. If the ballot measure is approved, those now in office won’t be limited in their terms until they win their next election. That would be 2015 at the earliest, so someone elected that year would be able to seek re-election in 2019 and 2023.

The ordinance was approved by a 4-2 vote at last week’s village board meeting. Trustees Tim Desmond (1st), Alex Olejniczak (2nd), Terry Vorderer (4th) and Mike Carberry (6th) voted in favor of term limits, while trustees Bob Streit (3rd) and Carol Quinlan (5th) were opposed.

Streit said “everybody knows the answer” if voters are asked to approve term limits for elected officials.

“The American system of term limits is we have an election every four years. The voters can decide whether they keep you or not,” said Streit, who is in his fifth term as trustee.

Quinlan said she was going to support term limits until the board declined to delete from the wording of the referendum proposal that term limits would aid in “promoting diversity in officeholders.”

The term limit question was supported by Mayor Sandra Bury and the trustees aligned with her, making it no surprise that Streit and Quinlan, political opponents of the mayor, voted against it.

During the Dec. 10 meeting, several trustees and Bury noted that they ran for office this year with the promise that term limits would be adopted in the future for the village’s elected officials.

Village clerk Jane Quinlan would be included in the mix. She was elected in April to a new four-year term, her third, so she would be eligible for three more terms if term limits are required.



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