Term Limit Hearing/Vote Coming.

Posted by MJ

LUSJ reported a public comment session and council vote are coming on term limits.

...The arguments raised for and against term limits locally are fairly standard.
Proponents say term limits would encourage more people to run for city offices, by clearing the path of incumbents every so often. They say incumbents enjoy electoral advantages — name recognition, political clout and greater campaign resources — that discourage competitive elections.
Term limits also would break up the “good ol’ boys club,” Willow Street resident Jean Kiene said.
It’s too easy (for incumbents) to get complacent and just go with the old boys; you can’t help but become jaded, or too close to the employees to put (residents) first,” she said. “A new broom sweeps clean.”
Opponents of term limits don’t dislike them across the board. They frequently favor term-limiting state and federal elected offices but assert it’s not necessary at the local level. PACs and special interest groups don’t buy clout in a small city like Lockport, they say; election campaigns are grass-roots and low-cost. The citizen legislature — by the people, for the people — still directs local government; term limits compromise the ideal by limiting people’s choices...

As I mentioned before, I don't see the need for term limits in a small area like this where you could walk over to the person's house or easily see them down at city hall. On the state and ferderal level I feel the opposite is true and somthing like this would be beneficial.

UPDATE 02/18/10:
LUSJ report on vote delay
Buffalo News report on vote delay


wrightontime said...

What better reasoning for term limits than some of the comments by the established ol' boys network. Kibler, Tucker and Schrader and Green before do not care what people think. Do has I say, (term limits for State and Fed), but not as I do (not in my neighborhood).

Anonymous said...

Being involved somewhat in politics in the past, I must admit that I am for city term limits. It is very intimidating for someone new to run against an established politician- Especially in a city such as Lockport, where the good ol' boy network is predominent. Too much time networking- (wheeling and dealing), adding substantial more funds to campaigns, etc. makes it very difficult for many fresh new people to want to give it a try. As we all know, politics can be very dirty (even on the local level) minor party line endorsements are usually pre-arranged by the ones in control, regardless of what the candidate truely represents. Why would anyone put themselves out there? I could not believe how much money was spent during the last week of elections this past year endorsing candidates that were barely doing anything. (thousands of dollars!) The average person does not always have that ability.

Rocketboy said...

Wrightontime... There's nothing stopping you for not voting for an incumbent. But to focus on the elected official is to lose sight of the bigger picture. At ALL levels of gov't, it's the political party that holds the most clout over the elected official, and it's the special interests that control the parties. And when you rotate who's holding the seat, the party has that much more control, because the individual never has the chance to make their own connections. It's easier to be 'owned' if you are new to the position.

So, I'm against term limits. I do my best to limit the terms of the people that I don't agree with at the voting booth. Everyone else can as well.

LockportGal said...

Unfortunately Rocketboy, most people aren't like you. They continue to vote in the same ole, same ole....

Thats why I am FOR term limits. Maybe the state and the city wouldnt be in such a mess if there were term limits. So, we can agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

It's sad when it's been proven that voters choose people on their looks, or if they've heard their name more, or even if they feel sympathetic to them when they've done something morally unethical(like being unfaithful to their spouse!). The more money that you have to campaign, the more you can influence the voters- even when campaign platforms are false! It's amazing that people believe what they read or hear rather than doing the research. Just like in the last election, when everyone jumped on the bandwagon of not wanting to raise taxes and how they understood the tough economic times we were up against. Yet then they voted for increases on all kinds of stuff! Maybe it's campaign reform that we need to push too, but term limits could actually help that. Then again the powers to be would sink their money into a new puppet! Let's face it, politics are dirty.

Anonymous said...

and don't forget the people that only vote "their" party line irregardless...

MJ said...

All good points are made. Especially true is the bigger beast of the political party machines themselves. Political pawns are seen being lifted up and being kicked to the side regularly. We see the hissy fits and retaliation that happens when somebody from one party endorses someone from another party or votes across lines.

All the current politicians were at some point “fresh faces” picked by all the reasons listed by commenters above. Everyone has laid out their goals and ideals only to fail to provide. Cycling thru more of these people in the same way every six years will not offer us anything, accept maybe the fact that we can be happy someone is not living off us for too long. They can then move on knowing they only had to because of the term limits and not the will of the people.

What this will do is also ensure that if we do happen to get a good talent into the system that they will also be tossed aside in 6 years (or in the proposed case given a time out for 2 years.) The best companies/organizations find a way to retain talent. We have all most likely worked at places with no continuity and high turnover. It’s never a productive atmosphere. When we finally are able to work under some great people in leadership roles, I doubt we’d want them to have to be moved out after a certain time frame.

The power lies in information; easy to obtain, dissect and compare. The greater push should be to turn ELockport.com into an information resource for us to make informed decisions from. In our electronic world there should be nothing stopping the city from uploading all public information for us to see: minutes, contracts, proposals, voting records, etc. It is already all electronic. It’s not that hard to upload a PDF file for anyone to read. Only then will we be able to be informed voters picking who we want to stay for as long as (or short as) we want them too.

The political machine is a big beast overall. Here in Lockport it is relatively small. Our best path is to be informed, spread facts (instead of the rumors and half truths we get for political ads) and vote based off of them. Maybe then we can add additional stipulations like term limits etc if needed.

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