Term Limits, A Thing Of Beauty

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.

Show 5 Comments


  1. Mike Thommes

    Hmm…”conscious” or “conscience” or maybe both. *;) winking

  2. Nathan

    NO! Rethink term limits I have done some studying on term limits as debated by our founding fathers I believe they did not put them in the constitution because they knew that they would limit the people’s voice. In My research, I learned what they were trying to accomplish while debating term limits. I think I have had an epiphany an Evolution of term limits I call Term Gaps a time out of politics and government a time to be one of the governed. As you may already know there are plans to have a constitutional convention. One the main things they are trying to pass is a constitutional amendment, term limits. Term limits will limit the people’s voice!
    Look this up Mexico his head term limits since 1910 the people’s voice is severely limited because of it. And remember professional politicians will not be stopped by term limits bureaucrat don’t have term limits and neither do lobbyists! Term Gaps in brief 12 years in office 4 years out of office before one could any elected or appointed office again. Please think about this or do your own research on term limits as
    debated by our founding fathers THEIR INTENT was to get citizen legislators in an out of office with experience in the real world and in government to create citizen legislators Statesman, servants of the

    • Jim Haselhorst

      I would like to know your source for saying our founding fathers were against term limits. I have read the constitution and the federalist papers; nothing in them implies they would have opposed term limits. It was George Washington himself, that stepped down after 2 terms, that gives us the clearest picture of our founding fathers thoughts on “professional politicians”. His actions set a precedents that was honored for over 150 years. It is clear that our founding fathers wanted to establish a democratic government modeled on the ancient Greek Republic.

      There were no “professional politicians” in ancient Greece because of the strong belief that elected office was a duty, a responsibility, to represent your neighbors within the government, to be their voice and not to be used to build as power base to perpetuate remaining in office.

      Term limitations are the voice of the people. It is the idea of “professional politicians” that use their office to build political alliances, corporate contacts, and gerrymander districts for the purpose of building a campaign war-chest and voter base that insure they remain in office that not only severely limiting the people’s voice but corrupting the very principles of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence; making a mockery of everything the founding fathers strived to accomplish.

  3. Bea Seech

    Two words; Mike Madigan. Poster boy for why we need term limits in Illinois. He has parked himself there, dug in deep, and poured a concrete base. Nothing gets done in Illinois with him and his cronies obstructing everything until he gets his piece of the pie.

    • Not happy with Madigan either!

      AMEN!!! Death and Taxes (his own) – he may be able to avoid one of them. So we wait and wait for the Grim Reaper or get term limits on the ballot.

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