A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Eden Rose
Oct 28, 2021
Reject prop 2 - term limits
Oct 28, 2021
Charter Amendment Proposition 2 concerning term limits for council members seems like a great idea, but upon deeper reflection is quite limiting to voters and undermines elections. The idea that term limits can "drain the swamp" or prevent corruption has been found repeatedly in studies to produce the opposite effect. Banning seasoned and effective elected officials from maintaining their offices leads to inexperienced membership who lack the merit of well-built relationships or job-specific knowledge. For this, and the steep learning curve required to be effective in such a job, we will see an increase in reliance on special interest groups, lobbyists, non-elected officials, as well as on the influence of former members who have been voted or forced out. By the time an elected member gets through the learning curve and finally becomes effective at their job, they get the boot.
Why do we need term limits when we have elections?

Term limits actually limit the options that voters have, they eliminate the incentive of council members to put in the effort to gain expertise, and they result in councils comprised only of freshmen members, who will logically defer to non-elected individuals and lobbyists for advice. Term limits force a level of impotency and vulnerability on our most important offices. If we don't want someone in, we can always vote them out, but if we want someone experienced to continue their services and building of relationships, we won't have that option.

It may seem difficult to get incumbents out of office, yet it remains the will of the voters, and should remain as such.

I am in support of all other charter amendments, and object to amendment 2.