Des Plaines term limit ban knocked off ballot

By Ames Boykin
Daily Herald Staff
Published12/4/2007 1:04 PM

A question asking Des Plaines voters whether they want to eliminate term limits for elected officials is off the February ballot.

A city electoral board - made up of three Des Plaines officials who will have to leave office because of term limits - today found there were insufficient signatures to put the question on Feb. 5 primary ballots.


Mayor Tony Arredia, 1st Ward Alderman Patricia Beauvais and City Clerk Donna McAllister took the advice of City Attorney Dave Wiltse in barring the question from ballots.

Resident Brian Burkross had challenged the petitions to put the question on the primary ballot, saying resident Beverly Becker hadn't submitted the required signatures.

Burkross said the binding referendum needed at least 3,085 signatures to get on the ballot, or 10 percent of the number of registered voters in Des Plaines.

"It's a basic numbers game. There's just not enough signatures," said Ellen K. Raymond, Burkross' attorney.

Becker had submitted 123 pages of signatures, or 8 percent of the Des Plaines voters in the last governor's election, or about 1,200.

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"I was absolutely positive that I had enough (signatures)," Becker said.

But since it's a binding question, Wiltse said it needed the 10 percent.

When asked whether she will make a similar push for November ballots, Becker said she's considering it.

In 1998, Des Plaines voters overwhelmingly approved limits of two terms for elected officials. Rolling Meadows is the only other Northwest suburb with term limits.

Former Des Plaines resident Vince Powers attended the hearing at city hall today - a decade after he pushed for term limits. He said he still supports the limits, and believes that all elected offices should have limits of two consecutive terms to mirror the law governing the U.S. president.

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