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Vote No on term limits

October 29, 2014
Pine Island Eagle

Lee County voters are being asked whether they would like to limit the number of consecutive terms a Lee County commissioner may serve.

Specifically, voters are being asked whether the county's governing document should be changed to limit service tenure to three four-year terms. As tendered, the limit would be firm, prohibiting the ability to run again after the limit was reached, even if the official took a term or more off as is typical where such limits have been imposed.

The measure was brought to the voters unanimously by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners after a less stringent proposal was brought forward by Commissioner Brian Hammon and public input was garnered.

Proponents say there should be a limit on the number of years one can serve on the elected board vested with setting policy as well as overseeing Lee County's $110 million General Fund budget.

To that argument, we say that limit "protection" already exists.

It is called the ballot box and voters have the option of limiting any and all terms each time an incumbent is up for re-election.

Which is how it should work at the local level where "career politicians" are non-existant as demonstrated by the number of terms county commissioners have historically served by choice - either the voters' or the elected official's.

History tells us it's a scant handful who have served more than the number of terms proposed, meaning the current system works: Lee voters hold county commissioners accountable while those who serve have never made a career of it.

If it isn't broke, don't fix it - and don't attempt to "fix" it with a measure that actually would impose "lifetime" term limits on those we may want to call back into service.

Vote NO on term limits. Don't limit the ability of voters to decide each election day whom they would like to serve.

Ballot language

County Charter Revision regarding setting consecutive terms of the Board of County Commissioners

County Charter Amendment Section 2.2A "Legislative Branch The County Commission"; limiting the number of consecutive terms of the Board of County Commissioners; amendment would limit County Commissioners to serving no more than three (3) consecutive four-year-terms in office excluding terms of service prior to January 1, 2015.

Recommendation: Vote NO on County Charter Revision regarding setting consecutive terms of the Board of County Commissioners

- Eagle editorial



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