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Oak Lawn Voters Say ‘Yes’ To Term Limits

Residents vote resoundingly in favor of term limits for Oak Lawn Village Baord members in Tuesday's Illinois primary.


A small turnout of civically engaged voters passed a binding referendum imposing term limits for Oak Lawn Village Board members in Tuesday's primary.

Of Oak Lawn’s 35,770 registered voters, 5,777 of them cast votes limiting the number of consecutive terms that elected officials can serve in any one particular village board office to three.

Unofficial vote tallies available on the Cook County Clerk’s website Tuesday night, showed 4,691 voters in favor of the measure, and 804 opposed, or 86 percent to 16 percent..

The binding referendum takes effect starting with the April 7, 2015 election, when three village trustee seats are up for renewal in Districts 1, 3 and 5. The term limits referendum applies to the village president, clerk and trustee offices.

The term limits referendum was spearheaded by Tr. Mike Carberry in the sixth district, who was elected into office last April.

Four village trustees supported putting the term referendum on the Illinois primary ballot.

Mayor Sandra Bury said that Oak Lawn voters spoke in a loud and unified voice.

“I think Oak Lawn residents would not like to see career politicians as elected officials on the municipal level. I hope it resonates further,” the mayor said. "Four trustees supported putting the referendum on the ballot; the ones who didn't, it's important to note that one is a career politician. I think this sends a message."

Election officials were shooting for 25-percent voter turnout in suburban Cook County. In Chicago, preliminary voter turnout in the primary was a dismal 15 percent, the Chicago Tribune reported.

About 16 percent of Oak Lawn’s registered voters cast votes for the term limit referendum. Bury said she’d wish more residents would turn out to vote in local elections.

“This is why need term limits because of voter apathy,” Bury said. “You can’t always get the change you need from voters. If there aren’t a lot of people engaged in the process, this ensures that the process would continue in a fresh way. Someone newly elected will view it as, ‘I’m not here forever,’ and get down to work.”

Elsewhere, Plainfield voters in Will County supported a referendum imposing term limits for park district board commissioners.

Patch will provide a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of the village-wide referendum vote when numbers become available from the Cook County Clerk’s Office.


Oak Lawn Resident March 20, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Hurray for the people of Oak Lawn for setting term limits. Elections don't determine term limits. If they did, you wouldn't have politicians spending millions of dollars on political campaigns for jobs that pay $130,000. It's the problem we have with the U.S. Congress. More congressmen today are millionaires than ever before. They get sweet benefits, they vote raises for themselves, they get free travel and they do very little work. Rod Blagojevich knew the value of a $enate seat. Like Andy said, Bob Streit isn't going to have to worry with term limits, he barely survived the last election. Things will be different next time. If Mayor Bury had the cure for cancer, Bob Streit would oppose it.
scouter March 22, 2014 at 12:22 AM
With only 13% turn out - it was not a LOUD and clear voice! This was a shameful voter turnout. The voters are just tired of the CRAP that this board is doing and want all of this FIGHTING and WHINING to stop. Come on, Mayor - you said you were going to be different! Let's see it. Quit punishing the residents and start working with the WHOLE board.
frank March 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM
Things haven' t changed in Oak Lawn. Moved out in 1990 and crybabies are still there. Good Luck! ##############
andy skoundrianos March 22, 2014 at 04:41 PM
Go back to complaining about the pots on the propaganda site Scouter You sound more concerned on that post

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