Now that early voting for the Nov. 6 General Election is beginning, Elmhurst voters should be aware that they will see on their ballots two different and distinct referendum questions on the topic of "dual duty," whether an individual should or should not be allowed to hold multiple elected public offices at the same time. One question was initiated by DuPage County and the other was initiated by the City of Elmhurst, and that's the order in which you'll see them on the ballot.
The wording on each of the two questions is different, and no matter which side of the issue you support, you'll probably find that you'll want to answer one question "No" and the other question "Yes." So it's really important to read each question carefully.
The DuPage County question is a general one on the concept of dual office-holding: "Should Illinois law PERMIT an individual to hold two or more public elected offices simultaneously?"
After considering issues such as conflicts of interest, pension double dipping, and real-life time constraints, I believe many will conclude that the simultaneous holding of multiple elected offices by one person is generally a bad idea. If you think as a general principle that elected officials in Illinois should hold one and only one elected public office at a time, then vote "No" on this question, holding simultaneous elected offices should NOT be PERMITTED by Illinois law. The County referendum question is advisory only, so no action will be required on anybody's part whatever the results of this public opinion poll.
The City of Elmhurst question applies specifically to Elmhurst elected officials: "Shall the Mayor, Aldermen, Clerk and Treasurer of the City of Elmhurst be PROHIBITED from simultaneously holding other public elective office in the State of Illinois after November 6, 2012?"
If you think that our city elected officials should hold one and only one elected public office at a time, then vote YES on this question to indicate your agreement with PROHIBITING the simultaneous holding of any additional public elective office by Elmhurst elected officials. This referendum is binding, so if it passes with a YES vote, then it would become the explicit policy of the City of Elmhurst that elected city officials hold one and only one elected public office at a time.
Let's pass the Elmhurst referendum with a YES vote and clarify for the future that "One Person—One Office" is the rule.
—Tamara Brenner, Elmhurst