O’Fallon is exploring whether setting term limits for elected officials would benefit the city.
Mayor Herb Roach had brought the subject up during his first town hall meeting July 19 and again at the Committee of the Whole meeting July 30, after residents mentioned the idea during his mayoral campaign. Recently, the Finance and Administration Committee discussed the issue.
In a separate interview, the mayor said the Committee of the Whole meetings are to look at the city with an eye to the future.
“We want to see not just where the city has been and where it has been going. It’s good to see where there are some needs, and to prioritize. We had 12 departments there,” he said.
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“We’re considering the pros and cons of term limits. I’m a believer that it is a good thing. It’s an invitation for a fresh set of eyes. It’s always good to have new eyes, fresh ideas and new concepts. Sometimes, people who have served become stagnant over a long period of time. It also keeps people on the straight and narrow.”
Roach plans to have four town hall meetings a year as an opportunity to hear input from the residents, too.
“We want feedback,” he said. “Now, the Finance and Administration Committee are taking a look at term limits.”
Derek Sherman, an intern from SIUE who has been working with the city, informed the committee Aug. 22 of his findings. He said 19 Illinois towns have established term limits.
Roach said there are towns as small as 6,000 and as large as 150,000 (Schaumburg) that have established term limits. Most towns are in northern part of the state. Close to home, Fairview Heights adopted a term limit of three terms following a public vote in 2011.
“We’ve learned that a majority of cities have set limits for two or three terms,” Roach said. “There are a number of good pluses for it. We have to give it thorough consideration, and we have to go through legal channels before we go before the general public. We’re reaching out to our city and community. We want to work with them to maximize our dollars together in a comprehensive manner.”
The next Committee of the Whole meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 30, he said. On the fifth Monday of the month, he intends to gather the aldermen and city department heads for the informal meeting.
“It’s always good to get other opinions and input,” Roach said.
The committee has not recommended any action as yet.