128 Days And Counting

The World Series just ended, followed by the Presidential election, then Thanksgiving, now we are racing towards Christmas, New Year’s, the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and then appropriately April Fools Day coming just three days before the Naperville Municipal election in just 128 days.

Four current city council members are running for re-election. They include Judith Brodhead, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Gallaher, and John Krummen. They also happen to be the four lowest vote-getters during the last municipal election two years ago.

New candidates throwing their names into the hat include Julie Berkowicz, VP of Knoch Knoll’s Home Owners Association, and Michael Isaac, a member of the Naperville Financial Advisory Board. An additional seven people with petition packets may also be joining the race.

Of the four current council members, Kevin Gallaher would be the last to submit the petition for filing. No one has ever accused Gallaher of showing high energy. Gallaher would be the equivalent on a local level, of being ‘Low Energy Jeb’. Even on election night two years ago, a local TV station had to track him down at home for his response to the election, and he appeared more concerned about the pizza in his oven. It was never determined if it was pepperoni, or sausage.

The Presidential election gave us a lot of new nicknames including, Crooked Hillary, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Crazy Bernie, Goofy Elizabeth Warren, and 1 for 38 Kasich, referring to winning one primary out of 38 for Kasich, and of course Low Energy Jeb. Typically things never get that colorful in a local election, though it would be interesting to wonder what other colorful and appropriate nicknames the four current council members would generate.

Two of the four lowest vote-getters running for re-election are first term council members; Coyne and Krummen. Gallaher was a council member previously and decided to step away, and then re-surfaced two years ago. Judith Brodhead has been on the council since 2009 and apparently has no intention of leaving on her own. Brodhead, along with councilman Paul Hinterlong would be the poster-people for why the term-limit referendum was approved by a 72% to 28% landslide in 2010.

Here is where it gets tricky.  Term limits are for three consecutive full terms beginning at the April 2011 election. A full term consists of four (4) years in office. Brodhead, as a low-vote getter was elected to a two-year term, not four, hence her term-limit clock could reset, which means she could get three more four-year terms (another 12 years) keeping her in office until the year 2029; that’s 20 years in office. Brodhead is a classic example why term limits are necessary. She has become like bubble gum on your shoe on a hot August day. She simply won’t go away.

The good news is that voters will have the opportunity to exercise the beauty of term limits by voting the rascals out of office. Why wait for 12 years, just do it in 128 days.

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