It’s an Illinois truism: Holding office for too long breeds corruption. We see it at every level of government, yet the solution seems to be as elusive as a traffic-free day on the Kennedy.
And so it was a remarkable day in August when the Chicago City Council enacted term limits for the role of Chicago’s inspector general. The new law, recommended by my organization, the Better Government Association policy team, as well as the ethics committee and Inspector General Deborah Witzburg, will limit any holder of the office to two, four-year terms.
Adding term limits to any position in Chicago or Illinois is progress, but the stature of the inspector general role makes this particularly significant.
The inspector general is the most important oversight role in Chicago. The office investigates wrongdoing and oversees all elected officials in the city, including the mayor and aldermen. Advocating for term limits for an office you hold is not the norm. Witzburg deserves praise for starting what we hope will be a trend for those in public life.