This November voters could decide to change the way local officials are elected and how they serve. One question on the ballot asks voters if they want to impose term limits on Naperville’s city council and mayor.
Another question asks the voters if they should elect council members at large, establishing new voting districts in Naperville.
Doug Krause is one of the longest serving councilmen for Naperville’s City Council. He has served for six terms.
There is no limit on the length of time a council member can serve. If the referendum on November’s ballot is approved, any future mayor or council member would be limited to three consecutive four year terms beginning with the April 2011 election.
“I believe every time I am up for re-election it is a referendum on me because I have a voting record,” said Councilman Krause. “If you are running for office you can promise anything you want but there is no guarantee that you will follow up on that.”
As for other Councilman they see the potential advantage for term limits.
“No one should hold an incumbent seat for life,” said Councilman Jim Boyajian.
“There ought to be some kind of mechanism for turnover. My point is so people vote and that it tends not to provide the frequency of turnover that would be healthy.”
The other question that will appear on the ballot is, should the city draw boundaries so that five council members would be elected by district. The mayor and the three other council representatives would still be elected at large.
The Naperville Chamber of Commerce and Naperville League of Women Voters oppose term limit questions as well as the idea of drawing districts in town.
“Our position is it could actually decrease accessibility which is a danger,” said Naperville League of Women Voters President, Jane Barnes. “If you have a feeling that you are assigned to one councilman and is only responsible to that one area.”
For Naperville voters it is a mix reaction on both questions.
“If they are there and they really want to go ahead and find benefits for what their motives are and they are tight then I think they should not have limits for that person,” said Naperville resident, Sherri Mitchell.
“I believe they should redistrict because there are a lot of new areas who need representation,” said Naperville resident, John Long.
“I think shorter term limits will be more appropriate with new ideas and new voices,” said Naperville resident, Joan Park.
If term limits are approved, the entire city council and the mayor would face election in April of 2011. The districts would have to be drawn and approved in time for the 2015 election.
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