Updated: April 15, 2014 6:26AM
An Oak Lawn trustee who supports the term-limit referendum proposal in the Tuesday primary election said the effort isn’t intended to target any particular official.
Oak Lawn voters will decide whether to set a maximum of three, four-year terms for those elected to village office. If approved, the restriction would apply to the mayor, clerk and trustees, starting with those elected in April 2015.
The measure effectively resets the clock for the village’s elected officials, who will be eligible for up to three more terms if voters re-elect them in that election.
Trustee Tim Desmond (1st) believes that imposing term limits would invigorate the village government. An elected official who stays in office for years prevents others from getting a turn, he said.
“How many more people never got the chance because the people who are there stayed there?” Desmond asked.
The village board approved the referendum measure by a 4-2 vote in January. Desmond, Alex Olejniczak, Terry Vorderer and Mike Carberry voted in favor of putting it on the ballot, while trustees Bob Streit (3rd) and Carol Quinlan (5th) were against it.
Streit (3rd) — the longest-serving trustee, having served since 1991 — has said term limits are not needed because voters get a chance every four years to decide whether to keep someone in office.
Desmond was elected to the village board in 2013, as were Carberry and Vorderer. Desmond said he hopes village voters support term limits and that Oak Lawn’s vote encourages other towns to hold such a referendum.