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updated: 11/18/2011 7:52 PM

Term limits up for another vote in Lombard

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In April, Lombard voters supported a nonbinding advisory referendum to establish term limits for elected officials.

In November 2012, the same question again will be on the ballot, only this time voters will be playing for keeps.

A binding referendum question asking voters if they support limiting the village president, clerk and trustees to three consecutive 4-year terms will be added to the Nov. 6, 2012, general election ballot, the village board decided Thursday night.

Voters backed the nonbinding referendum 3,190 to 781, according to official April 5 election results. That support led the village board to ask the question again, with the voters' response this time actually determining whether term limits will be implemented.

If approved, the terms of any village president, clerk or trustee will begin to count toward the limits in April 2013. That means any terms served before then would not count, but all terms that begin then or later will.

Trustee Laura Fitzpatrick, who used to lead the village board's community relations committee, said she wants the village to educate voters by providing research about the effects of term limits in other municipalities and a clear description of the limits proposed for Lombard's elected officials.

At an October village board workshop, village attorney Tom Bayer said any information provided through use of village funds will have to walk a fine line of providing information without "using public money to advocate a yes or no." Statements published in a format paid by village funds, such as the Lombard Pride newsletter, cannot directly or indirectly attempt to sway voters' opinions on term limits or any other matter up for a vote, Bayer said.

The community relations committee, now led by Trustee Keith Giagnorio, may develop a voter education plan for Bayer to check before possibly providing any research or information about term limits to residents.

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