Coalition Urges Council Members to Adopt Term Limits
The below letter was submitted to Glendale Council members in support of Term Limits Agenda Item 8e 11/15/2016
Mayor Devine and Council members.
On behalf of the Glendale Coalition for Better Government I urge you to adopt a measure for term limits in the Upcoming election.
The coalition believes term limits provides an important and automatic check on concentration of power that would strengthens our democracy and ensure long-term stability for our city .
Without term limits, long term council members are viewed, over time, as developing patronage networks that trade material benefits for political loyalty. In a political environment, rummer and innuendo’s that get repeated for long periods are perceived as truths. Even if this does not exist in Glendale, the mere perception is harmful to our city. Term limits can naturally insulate council members from assumptions that would question their motives.
Furthermore, term limits will incentivize leaders to develop equitable policies with the knowledge that they will be subject to them once they leave office.
Term limit also provides an opportunity for a fresh set of candidates to re-evaluate the successful policies of their former leaders and introduce new ideas. Equally, if not more importantly, term limits can allow new candidates to correct past mistakes without feeling threatened by long-standing members.
Likewise, opposition is likely to remain loyal and a constructive, as opposed to destructive that tries to upset the system due to entrenched long-standing members.
With term limits, citizens can participate in the political process with the knowledge that a certain end date exists to entrenched politicians without having to resort to legal actions that can be costly to our city.
For those who are concerned that term limits constrain voters’ choices, they can be assured that it does the opposite. Term limits lower barriers to political participation and increase voter choice beyond the limited circle of the political elite. For those who respect the choice and the vote of the electorate, there is no harm in placing a ballot measure asking the electorates choice on term limits. Remember you are not dictating term limits on the electorate, you are asking the electorate for their preference.
The coalition urges the council members to adopt a 2 term limit as the right balance between providing council members the opportunity to accomplish their objectives and prolonged incumbencies that can cement opposition and build discontent.