Martino: Term Limits will make competition for votes fairer

In a recent Palm Beach Post “Letter to the Editor” from a Palm Beach Gardens resident who wrote he was “disturbed” about the results of the November 2014 election concerning term limits. I fail to understand his lamentations. He admits that of 20,000 votes cast, 16,000 were favorable. That’s an impressive 80%!

The resident also says with misplaced enthusiasm, “While it’s true that our City Council has been elected to office over a 25-year period, its members have been steadfast in accomplishing the tremendous controlled growth in Palm Beach Gardens.” The City of Palm Beach Gardens was incorporated in 1959. The roots, foundations, and principles of “controlled growth” in the Gardens were planted, built, and institutionalized in the 1970’s and 1980’s, long before the current members of the City Council were elected.

The resident further opines, “And voters have had numerous times to vote out people they were uncomfortable with.” While this is a truism, it also begs debate and clarification. Open for debate is the supposition that current incumbents have been re-elected because they have done a good job. Part of the clarification is the very real possibility that the current incumbents have been re-elected not solely based on the good job hypothesis but due to block voting in certain sections of the City which is also a truism.

Will the current term limited incumbents be missed? Maybe by some, but probably not, by others! The history of the City Council in Palm Beach Gardens did not begin with the current members and will not end with their exit. Before the current elected five, many qualified and interested men and one woman have served as Council members accomplishing and contributing to the quality of life that Gardens residents enjoy today. It is my opinion that future elected City Councils will continue to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of Gardens’ residents with equal intellect and vigor, as all of their predecessors, have exhibited.

In conclusion, I say, no one has said, and term limits certainly will not, eliminate the competition for votes. Term limits will simply make the competition for votes somewhat fairer for all contestants, and not just incumbents.

Perhaps, in the interest of still further fairness, an initiative to elect Council members by districts should be contemplated.


One Response to “Martino: Term Limits will make competition for votes fairer”
  1. Pat Hughey says:

    Thanks for providing accurate history of the City for those folks who were not here—way back then. There is much in the history of this City that has been put on the back shelf and is now covered in dust, soon to be forgotten. Too bad, many interesting and fun tid-bits were and are a part of who we are and what we have become. Thanks, Mike for reminding us.

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