Term Limits Resurrected

Posted by MJ

The LUSJ has reported that Chapman has resurrected his Term Limit quest prior to leaving city office at the end of this year.

An attempt by 4th Ward Alderman Andy Chapman to force a Common Council vote on his old term-limits proposal failed Wednesday.

The proposal, tabled by the Council in February 2010, would limit the mayor to serving two consecutive terms of office and aldermen to three consecutive terms. Officers would be allowed to run for the jobs again, but only after a full term out of office.
I still feel the same way as when this was first brought up. In the city we get to vote on all alderman every two years. There is ample opportunity to vote in new people. It is our responsibility to try to put the right people in office. Based on a lot of the commenting on this blog, I'd be surprised that term limits would make mush difference based on what people's main concerns are about candidates.

I do see some benefits for higher levels of office (state) where seniority plays a large role and certain members can gain a stronghold that affects the whole state whereas the whole state has no opportunity to get rid of them. It is possible (probable?) that party lines would still hold back any type of change brought out by plugging in any new "individuals".

Here is the post from 2010. Rocketboy where have you gone?


MJ said...

A duplicate comment of mine from other thread to bring the term limit discussion here:


Or the argument for the population to vote them out if they are unhappy with it. there is nothing from stopping the influences to giving the money to the party directly. And if did find some good ones who were above it, would you want them automatically pushed out?

I'd be happy with no campaign money. No ads allowed on the radio or TV. No billboards or law signs. Give every candidate equal representation on local radio, newspaper and debates. Allow them unlimited canvasing or "town hall meetings". Do away with all the 3rd party attacks etc.

I feel it would do more for progress than term limits would. Otherwise you have the same generic crap and mudslinging but with more fresh bodies. Not a big gain in my book.

GI Joe said...

It's a nice thought and I support it, but it will never happen. I think Joe Kibler for instance does nothing more than keep a chair warm. Joe has no new ideas, and acts more like an umpire than a governer. His time has past.But..the people like him so he keeps getting elected. Mike Tucker in my opinion has spent most of his time in office, building his power base and looking forward to occupying another elected office. Mike claims he's not your "run-of-mill typical politician". I don't see it that way. His length in office has allowed him to get into and control other areas of power like the GLDC, the IDA. It's allowed him to get relatives and people like Mike White into a city job. As most know Mr. White is George Maziar brother-in-law. Term limits discourage "cronyism". Where campaign finance reform is the ultimate flush of the political toilet.

MJ said...

Are there any studies showing such? I still think it will do nothing to curb patronage hires. The political groups will still be there as puppet master for who they have in office. Hire so and so. Then line people up for other positions in gov't to run for during term limit out time. It would still be in the hands of the voters.

Here's a quick find on Term Limits in Sacramento since 1990.

"The authors find that term limits altered—but did not revolutionize—the type of legislator who comes to Sacramento. Specifically, Proposition 140 accelerated trends of increasing female and minority representation that were already under way in California. Rather than representing a new breed of “citizen legislator,” however, new members after term limits behave a great deal like their precursors. Many have local government experience and run for another office—for an Assembly or a Senate seat—when their terms expire. Careerism remains a constant in California politics."


"These patterns suggest that legislators are
learning more quickly than their precursors, but that frequent changes in the membership and leadership of legislative committees, especially in the Assembly, diminish their expertise in many important policy areas. Many committees lack the experience to weed out bad bills and to ensure that agencies are acting efficiently and in accordance with legislative intent."

and like usual:

"Few of the most fervent hopes of Proposition 140’s backers—or the worst fears of its opponents—have materialized."

I'd just be happy that someone like Chapman who is pushing for this would come out with studies (pro and con) about it so the populace could make an informed decision instead of going with "gut feelings" of how it would pan out.

GI Joe said...

I see more than Chapman. Tony Sammarco who I consider to be a pretty level headed thinker is another advocate for term limits.

I will take a strong business professional with 5 years of management and leadership experience over a tenured politician sitting on the same committee for 10 years. For the experienced business man/women. It's quick read and an easy transition. What they lack is the knowledge about who's ass to kiss to move policy changes out of committee and positioned for an up or down vote.

An experienced business manager with operational experience could walk into the Mayor's office tomorrow and be more efficient and more effective in 6 months than a man who's been learning on the job for 8 years. You don't need statistics. You only need to look at top performers in the private sector to know what I'm saying.Running the City is not as difficult as the politicians would like us to believe.

One of the Anonymous "know it all's" was aghast at having Smith run a "million dollars budget". I know managers recently that have been fired because they only control 1 Million dollars in responsibility, while other control 4 and 5 Million.

The ones that know the least on the subject have the most to say. ( except me of course..lol)

Patti said...

Re: Joe Kibler - The man works every week-end schlepping the guys in the work release program at the jail and/or those who've been sentenced out of City Court to work week-ends in lieu of jail time. He drives them to the projects and supervises them while they work. He's also "training" Ken Genewick, to Ken's enormous credit, who plans to take over this work when Joe retires.

ALL of this work completed by the criminals benefits ALL residents of our City.

He is also a font of information should the new members of the Common Council seek his guidance. Most do - two do not because, in their words, he's a dinosaur and they know better than that old man.

And, yes, I like the guy despite our opposite Party affiliations.

MJ said...

The city is around a $20 million budget. Mostly to the LPD and LFD. The council actually approves the budget so they are just as responsible for it. The mayor just cannot go around spending as he wishes.

And who works in business atmospheres where "business politics" don't come into play? People are people be they in a public or private atmosphere. Gov't is big business. Anyone who has interacted with the likes of 3M etc knows it is just as political inside them.

How does enacting term limits get us an "experienced business manager"? Are we willing to raise the mayoral salary to be able to woo them over to a business with a stale product line, no vision for the future, 100 years of underfunded legacy costs, where re-organizational bankruptcy is not an option? I've seen people with shining resume's come into a totally different environment and run it into the ground.

This is getting a little off topic. Let's get back on, why are statistics not needed to prove how beneficial term limits would be to us? This is not a discussion on a law requiring we elect someone with an MBA etc.

Who we get in office is up to us, the voters. Trying to "outlaw" slackers in the hope we blindly happen upon "someone good" misses the main cause. We need to demand more information and plans out of those running.

GI Joe said...

Patti Re Joe Kibler: He'll all of what you say.

He is not a contributing force to the growth of the city.

Sorry but he should have like a "Honorary" position. He just votes with Tucker every time anyway. Demonstrate your point by telling me about a single piece of legislation that was created by Joe Kibler that helped to move the city forward and I'll agree with you.

Nice guy, Santa Claus, takes everyone's phone call, ya OK

GI Joe said...

MJ..I think the point I was attempting to make may have become a bit convoluted. You were saying term limits aren't so good because it's better to have someone who knows the process etc. etc.

I said and I'm still saying a seasoned business manager (and there are some in this city) blow the term limit objection out of the water. The learning curve is much less. So if you take a non business person and try to put him/her in office, it will take longer for them to become acclimated.

MJ said...

I think we have still wandered but to sum up my thoughts:

1) I am not really "against" term limits. I'm just asking for some proof that they would do something. I hate laws for the sake of laws or laws based off of "feel good" expectations that are never reached.

2) Term limits do not ensure us of a business person running much less winning a vote. And if they did and we were blessed with someone good they would have to leave in X number of terms. Nothing is stopping one from running now, term limits or not.

Xavier said...

We can't afford a professional City Manager and we're really not large enough to need one. (Don't forget Broderick's fully-fitted shower room.)
I'm still waiting for Chapman's proposal and his proposal on the structure of the Fire Department. Opened with great hoopla - then - nothing.

Anonymous said...

-Yes but don't you think after the county had a second chance they are now doing well with a county manager? You could reduce some costs too, mayors salary, treasurer would not be responsible for the budget so you could rescind his wage, etc.

-I think even the 4 year term we instituted for mayor is now too long. With a 4 year term the first three years the mayor doesn't have to worry about the voters. It's also plenty of time for someone to influence a mayor, i.e. how long has modern been working on the garbage plan?

MJ said...

I don't think this year makes your point. Mayor Tucker had two hot buttons pushed to completion this year: the assessment and the garbage plan. Two most likely "no win" situations in an election year. If he was worried about voters he would have let them slide until next year.

Two years between campaigning is too much IMHO.

Anonymous said...

MJ - Could it be his arrogance that allowed him to do the re-assessment and garbage this year?

MJ said...

I doubt it. And regardless, the end effect is still the same, two no-win issues. A civic leader should get things done and then let the voters decide.

Xavier said...

I, also, agree that two year terms for Mayor would only slow down every process in the City. You're campaigning before you're sworn in. I will concede that three terms for Mayor should be enough - just as 4-5 would be for Aldermen. What do I know? People far better qualified than me can make those decisions.
I firmly believe that Aldermen who don't bother to work for their re-election really don't want it - or, foolishly, think they're a shoe-in. Silly, really.
Tucker was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The assessment had to be done and the garbage was at a point where it was time to implement it. He could have taken the coward's way out and kept it hidden 'til next year, but he didn't, knowing it had to be done.
My only, continuous, complaint, is in the way they advised the public of the new garbage rules. I'm still confused and I'm not a stupid person.

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