Updated: March 2, 2013 12:01PM
He’s a heavy underdog with comparatively little campaign cash going up against a well-entrenched political party in Tinley Park’s April election, but Steve Eberhardt already is shaking things up. Good for him.
Eberhardt, an attorney, has been quite the gadfly in recent years — filing lots of freedom-of-information requests for village records, questioning various decisions and actions and generally irking village officials.
He led the opposition in 2010 to a senior citizens apartment building at 179th Street and Harlem Avenue that he and nearby residents didn’t think fit the neighborhood and was behind a successful drive to hold a Nov. 6 advisory referendum on term limits for the village’s elected officials — a proposal that drew overwhelming support from voters.
Now he’s running for mayor against 32-year incumbent Ed Zabrocki and has three trustee candidates challenging three village board members whose terms are up for election.
Zabrocki has rejected Eberhardt’s call for at least one mayoral debate. That’s unfortunate.
We understand that, as the favorite, Zabrocki thinks he might have more to lose than gain in a debate, but voters deserve a chance to hear them outline their views in such a setting.
The latest flap was over Zabrocki and his slate mates using their village photos, paid for taxpayers, on their Team Tinley campaign website. Eberhardt’s group filed a complaint Monday with the state elections board.
Three days later, the official photos were off the site, replaced with some not taken at public expense. Village Clerk Patrick Rea said that had nothing to do with the complaint, that Team Tinley planned to replace the photos and the timing was coincidental. Riiiiight.
The issue is not a big deal but shows how a knowledgeable opposition can bring things, big and small, to light and ensure that public officials are held accountable.
They may not have a good shot at winning, but it’s good there are challengers this time in Tinley Park.