Lawrence Village OKs trustee term limits

Lawrence Village Hall at 196 Central Ave. in Lawrence Village Hall at 196 Central Ave. in Lawrence on April 17, 2012. The village has a population of more than 6,400, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Photo Credit: Brittany Wait

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Lawrence Village's board has approved a law that would limit the number of consecutive years that a person can be elected or appointed as village trustee to eight.

The board voted 3-1 after a public hearing Thursday night to amend the village code. Mayor Martin Oliner, who is already term-limited to three two-year terms, did not vote.

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Any service as village trustee before July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015 would not be considered in calculating ineligibility.

The new law would allow the trustees currently serving two-year terms another eight consecutive years on the board. The law will take effect immediately once it's filed with the Secretary of State. The village election will be on June 17.

"I do feel that this exception [for current trustees] is totally unwarranted," village resident Larry Kolodny, 36, said during the hearing. "Right now, there is no one" in office who would be affected by the change, he noted.

Deputy Mayor C. Simon Felder initially sponsored the law to restrict trustees to a maximum of six consecutive years on the board. The board held a hearing on the proposed law at its Jan. 9 meeting, but voted to redraft the legislation to amend the village code for term limits to eight consecutive years for trustees.

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"There were no statements of support at two hearings that the village held on this issue," trustee Michael Fragin said in a statement Friday, after calling the legislation "flawed" during the hearing. "I opposed the law because term limits should be decided by a vote of the people, not just my esteemed colleagues who have exempted themselves from the 8-year limit that was imposed upon everyone else who serves in the future."

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