2010 seems like a long time ago. President Obama had been in office for only two years, the Cubs had yet to hit the skids with record setting losing seasons, and Osama bin Ladin was watching reruns of the Gong Show. 2010 was the year that Naperville residents voted by a landslide in favor of term limits for city council members. It definitely caught Naperville city officials by surprise, as did the referendum in favor, also by a landslide, of district representation over at-large representation.
Stunned by the results, Naperville city officials were able to have a do-over vote on the ‘representation’ issue. Simply by changing the wording of the referendum, city officials were able to confuse voters just enough to reverse the results of the first vote, thereby keeping at-large representation.
Naperville city officials were able to slow down the implementation of term limits by saying they didn’t have enough time to get their ‘ducks in a row’, hence delaying the first effect or casualty of term limits until 2021. Depending upon your position on councilwoman Judy Brodhead, she is either the first effect or casualty of the landslide vote. Hence the bad news or the good news is that she is out in 2021. That’s a full 12 years after she was first elected. That’s only one month less than the longest serving President of the United States (Franklin D. Roosevelt).
The 22nd Amendment passed by congress in 1947 and ratified by the States in 1951 set two terms (8 years) as the limit for Presidents. If eight years is enough for the President, then it’s surely enough for a Naperville council member.
Councilwoman Brodhead is not a proponent of council term limits, meaning if it wasn’t for the term-limit referendum passing in 2010, she could have been on the council long after the Buffalo Bills won a Super Bowl.
Brodhead being elected for another four years said she won’t need to take into consideration how the next election will be affected by how she votes. “Since I am not running again, that’s not something I have to ponder”. She went on to say “but I try to vote my conscience on every issue”.
‘Trying’ to vote her conscience, is not the same thing as ‘voting her conscience’. There is a difference between trying to lose weight, and losing weight, or trying to exercise, and exercising.
Naperville voters didn’t try to vote for term limits, they did so in an absolute landslide.