There were many, including myself, who experienced déjà vu when PEP announced their 2021 slate of candidates. Is this 2017? What about 2009? You don’t need 20-20 vision to have seen this movie before.
Although the village of Brookfield has term limits, candidates are permitted to run again for the same position after a two-year grace period upon completing their final term. The result is that the same individuals are slated for different positions over and over again.
Trustee Michael Garvey has also previously served as a trustee from 1998 to 2001 and went on to serve as village president from 2005 to 2013. As a current trustee, he cannot run for re-election for that same position. Instead, he will again run for mayor.
Kit Ketchmark has served as a trustee from 2001 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2013. He was elected president in 2013 and, due to term limits, cannot run for re-election for that same position. Instead, he will again run for trustee.
Bridget Weber, the incumbent clerk who will seek re-election, was first named clerk by then President Garvey in 2006 and continued until term-limited in 2013. Once her two-year grace period was over, she again ran and was elected to a new term as clerk in 2015.
While the competency of these candidates is not currently in question, there should be a good discussion about the village’s municipal code on term limits. Currently election of trustees is subject to the Illinois municipal code (65 ILCS 5/3.1-25-75 et seq.). Altering municipal term limits in any capacity would need to be passed via referendum where a majority of Brookfield residents voting approve of the question on the ballot.
Our current system gives the perception of transparency and fairness, yet the result is a shuffling of the same people. If PEP is focused with maintaining their candidates in office and the voters of Brookfield are content with their leadership, why not put the question to referendum?
It would be a much more honest approach to the public management of the village instead of continuing to play a game of musical chairs.
Brookfield resident Christopher Crisanti is the founder and executive director of Prairie State Policy. He holds a MPA and graduate certificate in informatics from Northeastern University.