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posted: 10/19/2012 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Yes to Elmhurst ban of holding dual offices

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Yes to Elmhurst referendum

The city of Elmhurst is asking residents whether its mayor, aldermen, city clerk and city treasurer should be prohibited from holding other elected office simultaneously. Voters elect government officials expecting that person to represent their interests -- both within the governmental body and as it deals with other units of government. We believe elected officials can be effective serving in only one role at a time; any more inevitably creates the potential for conflicts of interest as well as for unnecessary expansions of power and influence. If a city official is elected to the county government, which role takes priority when the entities are at odds over a land-use issue? How would a state representative also serving on the city council balance the needs of the state as a whole against the interests of his hometown? An official serving simultaneously in two governments also would be in a unique position to lobby both entities, concentrating more influence and power in a single person than other elected officials would hold. Should Elmhurst prohibit its city officials from serving another government? We recommend voting yes.

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